Peter Sachs / The Bulletin

The city of Bend is ready to sell a downtown parking lot it owns on the corner of Greenwood Avenue and Wall Street, but the land may not go to the highest bidder.

After discussing the proposals, Bend’s urban renewal agency could either give one of the mixed-use projects the go-ahead for remaking the corner, on the north end of downtown Bend, or reject both of the proposals.

Either project would bring the city well over $1 million from the sale of the land. One is offering $3.5 million for the site; the other is offering $1.4 million for it. According to an issue summary prepared by city staff, the $3.5 million offered by Taylor Pickhardt Development is close to the land’s market value, while Acadia Properties’ $1.4 million offer is well below real market value.

The Bend Urban Renewal Agency comprises the entire City Council. It owns several pieces of property in and around downtown that are all slated for eventual redevelopment.

As a result of a last-minute switch in the terms of the city’s request for proposals, officials can judge the projects without having to favor the project with the higher sale price to the city.

One proposal, submitted by Taylor Pickhardt Development, calls for a 58,000-square-foot building with underground parking, first-floor retail, a floor of offices and two floors with nine condominiums each. The $20 million project could be complete by the summer of 2009, according to proposal documents.

The condominiums would range in price from about $250,000 to about $600,000, according to information in Taylor Pickhardt’s proposal.

The developers envision several shops or restaurants on the ground floor, which includes a courtyard at the corner of Greenwood and Wall. Taylor Pickhardt also developed the mixed-use building at 919 Bond St., which is still under construction. The developers are involved in the Yarrow residential development in Madras and two projects in Hood River, as well. The developers propose buying the property from the city for $3.5 million.

The second proposal, from Acadia Properties, is a 46,000-square-foot project with street-level retail, two floors of offices above that and a rooftop garden with views of the Cascades. The $13 million development would be done in about two years under the proposal’s timeline.

Dubbed “The Lookout,” the project attempts to incorporate design elements from fire lookout towers, including a tower-like structure at the Greenwood-and-Wall corner of the building with a glass-encased elevator inside. The developers propose buying the land from the city for $1.4 million.

Acadia’s project includes space for six retail businesses on the ground floor, with covered parking spaces behind them accessed from an alley. Acadia has been involved in the redevelopment of the Firehall downtown, the construction of an affordable housing project for seniors in southwest Bend and a retail-apartment building on Northwest Newport Avenue.

In August, just one day before proposals for redeveloping the land at Greenwood and Wall were initially due, the council, acting as BURA, decided to suspend the process to change the factors that would be used to select a project.

Initially, half of a project’s score was to have gone toward the price that developers offered the city for the land. Thirty percent would have gone toward the design concept and 20 percent of the score would have been for the qualifications and experience of the developers.

But at the last minute, councilors decided they would rather have more flexibility in scoring the proposals, so they pulled the plug on the process, returned the proposals unopened to the developers and launched a new process, with proposals due in the middle of September. In the second round, the three categories remained, but there was no scoring percentage or weight attached to any of them.

All but one member of BURA, Councilor Mark Capell, voted in favor of the change.

“We just seem to be doing a number of embarrassing things,” Capell said at the Aug. 15 meeting. “If we keep looking flaky, and I hate to keep using that word, (the city’s credibility) is never going to get better.”

The Bend City Council is considering a number of other things this week.

During a Monday night work session, the council will discuss a widely circulated policy memo on the next steps of developing the 1,500-acre mixed-use Juniper Ridge project. Though the meeting is open to the public, the council is unlikely to open the floor to much public comment, Mayor Bruce Abernethy said.

At a regular City Council meeting Wednesday, councilors will consider another version of a fireworks ordinance that would ban the sale of fireworks inside the city limits.

Read the proposals to develop the lot at Greenwood Avenue and Wall

Street, see the agenda for the Bend Urban Renewal Agency

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