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Timeshare resort developer eyes Florence

Siuslaw News

June 4th 2008

A luxury timeshare developer is eyeing the former middle school site on Quince Street.

Wyndham Vacation Ownership is proposing a 157,000-square-foot timeshare resort for 750 Quince St., the property east of the Florence Events Center. Wyndham Vacation Ownership, represented by Myhre Group Architects, Inc., recently applied for a major design review permit from the city.

The proposal is scheduled for a June 24 public hearing at the Planning Commission.

Wyndham has not yet bought the Quince Street property, but a purchase agreement between the buyer and the seller is contingent upon design approval, according to City Manager Bob Willouhby.

This is the first development proposed for the Old Town area since building codes for the district were updated last year, a process that involved a number of Florence citizens.

The site lies in Old Town Area C, the only area in the district in which four stories are permitted. According to Florence city code, "The maximum height for buildings or other structures in the Old Town District Area C shall be four stories above grade with a maximum height of 55 feet."

The development proposal includes one-story common spaces and three four-story wings. The resort has 120 vacation ownership units, according to Associate Planner Melissa Anderson, the lead planner working on the proposal.

WolrdMark by Wyndham is the developer and marketer of WorldMark, The Club, the world's third-largest vacation ownership program, according to the company's Web site, trendwest.com. Wyndham Vacation Ownership is a subsidiary.

"We pioneered the concept of points-based timeshare with a network of drive-to and exotic resorts. Today, more than 250,000 WorldMark owners have access to resorts across the United States as well as in Canada, Mexico, and Fiji," according to the site.

..... The proposed development includes landscaped open space within two courtyards, which are formed by the blocks where vacation owners would reside. The common open space includes an outdoor playground, a swimming pool, a half-size basketball court and various walking paths, water features and seating.

"The development is designed to create a destination resort that fits into the coastal character of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest and is intended to be sensitive to the adjacent natural areas of the Siuslaw River estuary and related riparian corridor," according to a planning report....