Rendering of Marylhurst Commons development

Marylhurst Commons Groundbreaking Celebration


November 16, 2022

Contact: Nathan Box | Mercy Housing Northwest | or 206-602-3488

Marylhurst Commons Groundbreaking Celebration

The groundbreaking celebration for Mercy Housing Northwest’s first affordable housing community in Oregon is scheduled for November 18, 2022.

On November 18, 2022, from 11:30 A.M. – 1 P.M., Mercy Housing Northwest, in partnership with the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM), will celebrate the groundbreaking of Mercy Housing’s first affordable housing community in Oregon. The event will be held at Clark Commons which is located at 3190 Furman Dr. Lake Oswego, OR 97034.

This is a private event for project partners and press. A public grand opening event will take place in 2024.

When completed, Marylhurst Commons Affordable Housing will feature a three-and-four-story U-shaped building with 100 affordable, energy efficient apartment homes. 80% of the homes will have two and three bedrooms, meeting a critical need for affordable family housing in the Portland metro area. There will also be on-site offices for management and Resident Services staff, a community room with a kitchen, and a technology center for residents.

The Marylhurst Commons Affordable Housing property will be one of the most energy-efficient affordable housing communities in the country. With support from SNJM, the project is pursuing Passive House USA (PHIUS) certification, a rigorous performance-based energy efficiency certification. The building is expected to use 40% less electricity than a conventional design, and will not consume any fossil fuels. Features include high-performance windows, a balanced ventilation system with air-filtration and air conditioning, a highly efficient heat-pump hot water system, energy-star appliances, LED lighting with automatic dimming, and EV parking. PHIUS certified projects reduce ongoing operating costs, increase comfort for residents and staff, and are more resilient to extreme weather events, including wildfire smoke.

The event will feature speakers and partners who have been instrumental in making this exciting new community possible. Additionally, guests will have the opportunity to learn about the community and meet our Resident Services staff who will be available to answer questions about the service-enriched programs that will be offered to residents.

History of the Project

The Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary began in 1843 with the foundation of a new religious teaching community in Longueuil, Quebec. Eulalie Durocher, now Blessed Mother Marie-Rose Durocher, and her two friends Mélodie Dufresne and Henriette Céré sought to provide formal education for young girls, which was rare in early 19th century Canada. Holy Names Sisters traveled to Portland in 1859, the year Oregon became a state, and soon were building schools, founding orphanages and ministering in parishes throughout the region. Today, their ministries continue in Canada, on both coasts of the U.S., in South America and in the African nation of Lesotho.

Marylhurst University, founded by the Sisters in 1893, was Oregon’s oldest Catholic university and the first liberal arts college for women established in the Pacific Northwest. Its mission of educating underserved students continued until its closure in 2018. When the property reverted to the Sisters’ ownership, they conducted extension community outreach to understand how the former campus could continue to serve community needs. Affordable housing emerged as a top priority from those conversations. In 2020, SNJM partnered with Mercy Housing Northwest to explore devoting a portion of the land to affordable housing, a critical unmet need in the Portland metro area. The Marylhurst Commons Affordable Housing project is the result of over two years of planning and community outreach.

Public funders for this project:

  • Oregon Department of Housing and Community Services
  • Oregon Metro
  • The Housing Authority of Clackamas County
  • Oregon Multifamily Energy Program
  • Energy Trust of Oregon

Financing partners for this project:

  • Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary
  • Key Bank (construction lender and long-term lender)
  • Key Community Development Corporation (Tax Credit investor)
  • Mercy Housing, Inc.

Partner Quotes

“We value everyone in our communities and are using our resources in innovative ways to have a bit more impact as we pursue real solutions to the affordable housing shortage in our state. When construction of Marylhurst Commons is completed, 100 more households in Oregon will have keys to a quality home that is also affordable. Much appreciation and gratitude for all the partners that came together to make this happen,” said OHCS Director Andrea Bell.

“Clackamas County needs more housing—particularly affordable housing,” stated Clackamas County Commissioner Paul Savas. “The County has a strategic goal to build at least 1,500 new affordable homes, and Marylhurst Commons is helping us exceed that goal. This project will provide crucial housing for lower-income workers and their families.”

“I’m delighted to celebrate groundbreaking at Marylhurst Commons, one of two Metro affordable housing bond projects to bring new affordable housing to Lake Oswego. Marylhurst Commons will add 100 new family-focused apartment homes to the 3,544 already finished, under construction or in predevelopment across the region, funded by Metro’s housing bond. New affordable homes are needed across and in every corner of the region, and we’re proud to support this much-needed housing coming to Lake Oswego. We are lucky to have incredible partners across the government, nonprofit, and private sectors who are moving with urgency to make this project a success and meet the needs of our neighbors looking for a safe and stable place to call home.” – Councilor Christine Lewis

Construction Partners

The community was designed by Carleton Hart Architecture and is being built by Walsh Construction Company. Additional team members: Harper, Houf, Peterson and Righillis, Inc., civil engineer and surveyor; ColeBreit Engineering, mechanical; MZLA, Landscape Architect; TM Rippey, Structural Engineer; O’Neill Electric, electrical and low-voltage; Russel & Sons, plumbing; O’Brien360, sustainability consultant and Certified Passive House Consultant; PBS Engineering, geotechnical and environmental.

Mercy Housing Northwest

Mercy Housing Northwest is an affordable housing developer providing development, property management, and resident services. With 54 properties serving over 6,000 residents in Washington and Idaho, our mission is to provide a place to call home for families and seniors at below market rent. Beyond a home, many of our properties feature wrap around resident services focused housing stability, health/wellness, community engagement, education, and financial well-being. Mercy Housing Northwest is a regional branch of Mercy Housing, Inc., a leading national affordable housing nonprofit headquartered in Denver, CO.