Austin plans major Oregon Wine resort

Devotees of Oregon’s burgeoning wine region, will soon pop the cork on
the creation of the area’s first luxury hotel, spa, restaurant, shops and
housing, thanks to local entrepreneur and philanthropist Joan Austin.Mrs. Austin said today that she will oversee development of the largest
tract of land in the Newberg urban growth boundary, which lies between
Portland and the Yamhill Valley wine-growing region, famed for its pinot
noir grapes.
  Mrs. Austin said Newberg is the family’s hometown and a love of the
area inspired her to take on development of a community that will attract
guests to the hotel and spa and new homeowners, create jobs and bring
overall vitality to the area.
  “We have had many offers over the years from developers who wanted to
purchase our property,” Mrs. Austin said. “We could have sold and lost
control of the quality of the way it will look and feel.”
  She has selected a team of planners, engineers, designers, hotel and
hospitality consultants and an advertising/PR firm to manage development
and marketing of what is now called Springbrook.
  The 433-acre development lies northeast of Newberg (20 miles southwest
of downtown Portland) and is adjacent to A-dec, which is co-owned by Mrs.
Austin and her husband, Ken. A-dec is the largest manufacturer of dental
chairs and equipment in the world and employs nearly 1,000 in the Newberg
  The new development has already drawn praise from local vintners. Susan
Sokol Blosser, president of Sokol Blosser Winery, said, “The site the
Austin family has chosen emphasizes that a hotel in a beautiful location,
in or near existing developed areas strengthens our local economy.”
  Groundbreaking for the luxury inn is expected to begin in the spring of
2007, with the restaurant and spa following closely thereafter. The opening
is planned for 2009. The development’s master plan calls for 50 acres of
greenspaces, multi-use trails for pedestrians and bicyclists, open space
areas and community parks.
  “Overall, we want to revive Springbrook as a community gathering place
—one that we will be proud of and Newberg will be proud of too,” Mrs.
Austin said.