Creswell adds to rental inventory

CRESWELL – In an era where rental properties are few and far between, real estate investor Daniel Basaraba heeded the call.

It was a property ripe for the picking, after the 25,536-square-foot building caught fire twice in three days in late 2018, leaving fire damage and potential for weather damage to further degrade the building. 

Owned and renovated by Basaraba and partners of 345 Oregon, Jim St. Clair and Kerrie Johnson, the 22 studio apartments feature a living room, bathroom, and kitchenette. 

As of February of 2022, Barsaraba expected to complete the project by the end of the calendar year. Even after renovation setbacks and lengthy negotiations with the city, renovations were completed on time, just a few days before Christmas of 2022. 

Barsaraba renovated the apartments with the crisis of homelessness in mind, which is running rampant in communities in and surrounding Eugene and Springfield.

On Jan. 10, Governor Tina Kotek signed Executive Order No. 23-02, declaring a state of emergency due to homelessness and ordering an increase in housing construction. 

Today, Oregon has the fourth-highest rate of unsheltered homelessness in the country and the highest rate of unsheltered homelessness for families with children.

The newly opened Creswell Butte Apartments offer year and month-to-month leases, in an effort to assist those in need of immediate and or short-term housing. 

“We were wanting for tenants that know they want to be there long term, we want to be able to provide that security …  A lot of folks that are looking for these smaller units, their situations could be temporary. We don’t want to count them out,” Barsaraba said. 

According to Kotek’s executive order, Lane County has seen a 110% increase in homelessness from 2017 to ‘22, concentrated within the Eugene and Springfield communities. 

“This is the type of project that immediately fills some of those voids. It may not be perfect for chronically unhoused folks, but people that are recently or temporarily unhoused this might be a really good stopping point or option for them to get somewhere out of the weather,” Barsaraba said. 

Barsaraba has reached out to programs at DHS and Hope and Safety Alliance (formerly WomenSpace) to increase awareness for people in need of immediate and or short-term housing. 

“They can lock their belongings up and have some security and personal space and then be able to get back on their feet,” he said. 

Of the 2,197 houses in Creswell, only 676 are occupied by renters, according to the most recent rental data provided by

With the rental opportunities slim in Creswell, The Creswell Butte apartments will add a total of 62 newly renovated units, including the 22 newly opened studios on the north side, and 40 larger units on the building’s south side, which is Barsaraba’s next project.

Barsaraba hopes this project will not only help those in need of housing, but the economy of Creswell too. 

“If we had even two thirds of it filled from people outside the area, that would be a big population influx into Creswell. … Creswell needs a workforce,” he said. “A bunch of folks suddenly living down there will add to the entire economy as they are looking for local jobs and utilizing services.”

For Barsaraba, the biggest challenge of the project was the timing.

“Everybody was used to a process and a way of getting things done and suddenly it shifted. We’d be waiting for one person to get back from a vacation and by the time they get back another person would be out with Covid … We were definitely affected … a lot of that smooths out now, but it’s been interesting,” Barsaraba said. “This really does fill a void for housing. Sixty units of that type of housing go a long way for our area. Waiting for that time to come was difficult.”

As of February, it looked as though the corner space would house “Connor’s Corner,” operated by previous owner of TJ’s Bar and Restaurant, Bob Jensen. 

However, with the ownership of TJ’s changing hands, there is currently no business slated to occupy the commercial space. Barsaraba plans to have a tenant in the future, further boosting the economy in Creswell. 

“I think overall, it’s a good thing for Creswell,” he said. 



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