Bend’s City Council has approved the sale of a three-acre vacant lot near the city’s downtown. City leaders hope that developing the property will boost tax revenues. But for taxpayers, the deal, so far, has only been a bust.
The city bought the property for $4.8 million as a site for a new city hall. That was in 2005, near the market’s peak.
Only later did planners determine that it wasn’t really suitable for that purpose. On Tuesday, council agreed to sell the property at loss of about $3 million.
Assistant City Manager Jon Skidmore says timing of the original purchase was unfortunate. But he says the market is coming back, and the council believes the time is right to sell.
“We’ve got a developer with a proven track record who’s got a concept that council really values and it would be a terrific addition to downtown and so I think that’s why council decided to move forward with the sale,” Skidmore said.
The buyer, Getz Properties, is planning a mixed use development. The deal is expected to close early this fall.