Roslyn

In collaboration with the Roslyn Downtown Association, Forterra is exploring how to develop a 30-acre parcel in a way that reflects Roslyn’s history and the community’s desire to live sustainably.

Photo by Myles Basterrechea

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Old friends

In 2019 the Roslyn Downtown Association transferred ownership and stewardship of the Northwest Improvement Company Store building to Forterra. The building preserves an important piece of town history and has revitalized the commercial core. Forterra is also known in Kittitas County from its work placing conservation easements on area farms, such as Triple Creek Ranch. When Forterra was known as the Cascade Land Conservancy, it helped conserve over 50,000 acres in the headwaters of the Yakima Basin for the Teanaway Community Forest. It was the culmination of a decade of work with state agencies and a broad and passionate coalition of local stakeholders.

In 2021, building from this foundation in Kittitas County, Forterra will begin working with the community to explore Roslyn’s vision for sustainable and affordable housing that protects and celebrates its land and history.

Support community-driven development

Forterra not only conserves natural spaces and working lands, but also invests in places where people live. We listen and work in collaboration so that anything we build embodies the identity of the community and our shared desire for sustainability. To support Forterra’s work, including community-driven development like this, donate today.

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Roslyn Downtown Association

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Project Background

A small town big on history and beauty

The city of Roslyn is proud of its past, as a coal mining town founded in 1886 on the lands of the Kittitas or Upper Yakama people and a destination for immigrants. And it is proud of its present, as a place of natural beauty and continued welcome (there are residents from 26 ethnic groups living here today). The cemetery, with its array of headstones representing the town’s multiculturalism, is well tended and an attraction for genealogists and others looking for a window into the past. And its carefully preserved historic architecture is a source of pleasure to residents and tourists alike. Roslyn also values its views of mountain ridges and its night skies, whose stars have not yet been dimmed by city lights.

For these reasons, countless people have taken a keen interest in this small, hospitable town, and the uptick in newcomers from neighboring regions over the last five years has only increased with the ease of telecommuting. Gentrification and displacement are not just urban predicaments. Residents of Roslyn have expressed concern about rising housing costs and a desire for attainably priced homes.

An opportunity at the #4 Mine Site

Roslyn has long had its eyes on a 30-acre parcel of land at the closed #4 Mine, untouched since the ‘70s, for its potential to support affordable housing, community green space, and wetlands conservation. In 2017 the Roslyn Downtown Association reached out to Forterra about an opportunity to purchase the land. With legislative support for the initial purchase and due diligence, Forterra will close on the property at the end of 2020.

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