Seaside-based builder Steve Olstedt said he's beginning to see signs that the economy may be on the rebound, at least if commercial development in Warrenton is any indication.

"With what's going on with the North Coast Business Park, I think the economy is starting to get better," Olstedt said.

His company, Olstedt Construction Inc., owns the Forest Rim residential subdivision in Warrenton, a 35-acre parcel of mixed residential use, including single-family homes and four-plexes, located just a short distance from the business park.

Construction is underway on two four-plexes in the Forest Rim Subdivision in Warrenton. Builder Steve Olstedt, who owns the property, says the mix of single-family homes and apartments are attractive to young working families because of the proximity to the North Coast Business Park. Photo: Greg Cohen

The company purchased the property in late 2007 and since then has built 23 houses and 11 four-plexes. All of the apartments are occupied and all but three of the houses have been sold, he said.

Olstedt recently began construction on two more four-plexes, which should be completed in June.

Each unit in the four-plex has two bedrooms. The units are moderately priced - from $750 to $800 per month, which includes water, sewer and garbage.

Because of its proximity to the business park, Olstedt said the subdivision is attracting many young working families.

"A lot of young families are moving here, especially into the houses, and we have quite a few young renters (in the four-plexes)," he said. "It's just a nice area."

He pointed out that residents enjoy the natural setting adjacent to the subdivision.

"You're close to town, but having the woods around here gives it a different feel," Olstedt said.

For the most part, the property sits on some of the highest ground in Warrenton. Olstedt said it is one of few areas in town that is outside the tsunami zone.

"Because the ground is a lot higher here, there aren't any drainage problems."

Olstedt, who has been in the local construction business for 20 years, also is building a 90-lot subdivision in Seaside, called Thompson Falls.

Even though he's seeing signs of a resurgence in the economy, Olstedt said the pre-recession boom period in the construction business is unlikely to return anytime soon.

"It will be a long, long time before we get back to where we were," he said. "We've had to work a lot harder for less money."

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