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NW Natural event to include innovative homes in Wilsonville's Frog Pond West residential area

PMG PHOTO: COREY BUCHANAN - Builders will work up until the opening day to finish homes for the NW Natural Street of Dreams event.

On the north side of Boeckman Road next to nearby churches, a few relatively modest homes under construction and undeveloped land, one of the first roads in the Frog Pond West residential neighborhoods is dotted with abodes worth $1-2 million.

It's called Street of Dreams for a reason.

"Street of Dreams offers the opportunity to showcase all of the home designs that are trending," Northwest Natural Communications Manager Adrian McCarty said. "It's a nice variety this year."

The 2019 Northwest Natural Street of Dreams put on by the Home Builders Association of Metro Portland will take place July 27-August 25 at 28717 S.W. Stafford Rd. in Wilsonville. The month-long extravaganza features a block party, realtor day, a chef series and celebrate veterans day, all surrounding the six homes built for the event.

While builders began constructing the homes in January, as of last week, they were far from finished and were working feverishly to meet the deadline. McCarthy said this is typical.

"These builders are very experienced builders in the Street of Dreams. They will work on the house until the very last minute. Professional judging takes place on July 25 so everything will be done and ready to go on July 24," McCarthy said.

West Hills Homes NW is building "The Meadow," a two-story 4,147-square-foot modern farmhouse and "La Maison," a 2,784-square-foot French Country style home; Red Hills Construction is building "Bespoke," a 4,600-square-foot modern farmhouse "with a twist of Old World and industrial themes," according to the NW Natural website; BC Custom Construction is building "Generations," a 4,072-square-foot two-winged ranch home that has two separate living units with a common area in the middle; Renaissance Construction Homes is building "Farm to Table," which is a 4,311-square-foot contemporary farmhouse that includes a "biophilic design," meaning the built environment and natural elements are blended together; lastly, Everett Custom Homes is developing "Pacific Usonia," a 3,923-square foot two-story prairie style home with a minimalist style.

Experts will analyze these homes during the event and then award various distinctions such as "Best Landscaping" and "Best Kitchen."

The homes aren't as big as some of their predecessors from year's past but still are emblematic of Frog Pond West, which was planned to feature mostly large single family homes. Some of the homes have already been purchased, while others have not.

McCarty said this year's themes are sustainability and technology and that all of the homes are considered "smart homes," meaning facilities like lighting, heating and electronic devices can be controlled remotely.

"Some of them are DIY (Do it Yourself) smart homes and some of them are behind the walls professionally installed homes," McCarthy said. "It will showcase the wide range of smart home technology that is being delivered to consumers."

She also said the homes feature energy efficient infrastructure and will receive an energy performance score from the Energy Trust of Oregon.

"What we find a lot of times with these Street of Dreams homes, while they may be large in square footage, they are extremely efficient homes that could cost $150 a month for gas and electric," she said.

As for traffic, McCarthy and City of Wilsonville Communications and Marketing Manager Bill Evans said Wilsonville residents can expect considerable congestion on the night of the opening block party. However, they said traffic will not be much of an issue the rest of the event. Evans said the City was mulling ways it can help mitigate traffic issues during the block party but hadn't reached a decision.

"It's a bit of an unfortunate situation that this is the first event and creates a first impression. This is a unique event on the 24th that is going to pose its own special challenges and shouldn't persuade people that it's going to be a month-long disruption," Evans said. "We've had conversations with folks in Happy Valley and Hillsboro who hosted the event (Street of Dreams) the last two years and they've had nothing but good things to say about the way the HBA (home builders association) operated the event and they echoed that the first night has it challenges but after that things move pretty smoothly."

The HBA also has over 500 parking spots on-site and Community of Hope church, which sits near the Street of Dreams homes, has offered 130 overflow parking spots. Evens said visitors parking in residential neighborhoods shouldn't be a major issue.

"They have more than 650 parking spots onsite to accommodate the guests so in terms of side street parking that's not as big of an issue as trying to accommodate those people driving during the most challenging traffic time of the day (on the day of the block party)," Evans said.

McCarthy acknowledged that many people cannot afford homes with a similar size and amenities of those in the Street of Dreams. Nevertheless, she hopes people will draw inspiration from the event.

"What we hope is people come out and find inspiration whether it be the countertop or a tile or wallpaper or some furniture; we just want people to get inspired to make their house their own home," she said.


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