Molalla Gardens


Catholic Charities / Caritas Housing

Molalla Gardens is a reenvisioned community that combines new development with the renovation of existing buildings built in 1974. In order to maximize the number of units on site, an existing building and community building were demolished. The new site arrangement accommodates four new two- and three-story apartment buildings and added more community space with outdoor gathering areas, playground, raised garden beds, and a new community building with laundry room, kitchen, and property management office.

Design challenges came with the discovery of an undocumented culvert that cut across the southwest corner of the site where the Creamery Creek had been redirected and enclosed. In addition, poor drainage conditions required substantial on-site water retention through extensive use of buried storage structures. The project team created a site layout to accommodate these challenges and maximize the number of units possible on site.

Existing buildings received complete envelope renovations, including decks and stairs. Interior renovations included all new flooring, cabinets, doors, fixtures, appliances, and HVAC. One existing unit received accessibility upgrades, and three new units designated accessible. Accessibility upgrades were made throughout the site, in addition to a new parking lot layout.