62-Unit Workforce Housing Development Coming to Downtown Medford

Published on April 27, 2022

Rendering of Genesis Project

Genesis XXI  broke ground on its 62-unit workforce housing project earlier this month in downtown Medford.

“The Genesis Project reflects the passion and belief we have in the importance of a vibrant downtown Medford. As a community, we need to provide opportunities for people earning 80—120 percent of median income to live in our downtown, near where they work, shop, go to school and access public transportation. This is not a project designed to make a large profit. It is designed to make a large impact. I am very proud of the fact that we have an opportunity to partner with the City and Medford Urban Renewal Agency (MURA) to make it happen,” said Laz Ayala.

Ayala along with fellow investor Dr. Patrick Denard, identified the particular location (8th and Holly Street) as important to the area’s revitalization.

The project will consist of 62 apartment-style homes, with a modern design and additional amenities that will include flexible work and meeting areas as well as electric vehicle charging stations for tenants. MURA provided $1.2 million to support the project. The Genesis is expected to be completed in the fall of 2023.

“The Genesis Project realized MURA’s long-held goal for housing in downtown and tackles the unique challenge of delivering market-rate housing for moderate and middle income households. Laz Ayala understood that combining the tax benefits of the federal Opportunity Zone Program with MURA’s financial assistance would make all the different for the project’s feasibility. It illustrates the power of private capital and public incentives working together to achieve community revitalization,” said Harry Weiss, Executive Director of MURA.

The decision to build in downtown Medford marks the first of new housing developments which it is hoped will inspire further residential housing projects in the downtown core. Developments like Genesis will not only provide much needed housing, but also help bring an energy and revitalization to downtown Medford, which is not were many government services are located, but several small, locally owned shops, restaurants and other businesses are located. Genesis and other developments that follow will support housing needs and economic development in Medford.

“This is an exciting time because we are seeing so much collaboration which always brings greater momentum than going it alone.” - Downtown Medford Association Executive Director, Renatta Tellez. “Revitalization and change for downtown makes sense for a lot of people in our community, and I hear about it often. It always takes someone with a vision, willing to take the jump, perhaps even alone, and for little return in regard to profit, knowing they are creating momentum and bringing a collective progress that will ultimately cause change,” said Tellez.

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