Seven bid have been submitted to the city to purchase Terminal 1, the surplus industrial site where the City Council has voted to open a temporary homeless shelter and perhaps permanent homeless multi-service center.
They range from $6 million to $10 million.
Commissioner Nick Fish, who opposes using Terminal for a homeless shelter, says the bids confirm the property is highly valued by industrial developers who want to create good-paying jobs.
"The bids confirm what our broker has been telling us, that this is highly sought-after industrial property," says Fish, who oversees the Bureau of Environmental Services, which owns the property and is selling it.
Fish also says the bids support his argument the market value lease for the property is around $100,000 a month, not the $10,000 a month authorized by the council.
Only three of the bids mention specific development proposals. A $6 million bid from Costco Wholesale proposes one of its membership stores at the site. An $8.5 million bid from Kidder Mathews proposes a "new and innovative business park." And Portland developer Jim Winkler offered $10 million with the idea of having the council rezone the property to accommodate 1,000 affordable housing units.
The other bidders and their amounts are: Kehoe Northwest Properties, LLC, $9 million; WPC 2400 NW Front Ave LLC, $8 million; Lincoln Property Company, $10 million; Conax Properties USA, Inc, $8.1 million.
The bids were obtained by the Portland Tribune through a public records request. They were received by the broker assisting with the sale no later than 5 p.m. Monday.
That was five days after the council voted to pursue a proposal by developer Homer Williams to serve homeless people at the 14-acre parcel at 2400 N.W. Front Ave. During last Wednesday's hearing, the council voted 3 to 2 to authorize the Portland Housing Bureau to lease the property from the Bureau of Environmental Services for six months, with two automatic six month extensions, unless the lease is canceled.
Fish believes the vote hurt resulted in lower-than-expected bids and hurt the city's reputation in the eyes of those who might want to buy property from it in the future.
"We were told to expect bids in the $8 million to $12 million range, and we know some of those who looked Terminal 1 chose not to submit bids after the vote," says Fish.
The proposal was submitted by Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who is in charge of PHB. He said it would give Williams time to raise the tens of millions of dollars necessary to create a permanent homeless multi-service center on the location called Trail of Hope.
Voting for the lease was Saltzman, Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick.
Voting against the lease was Fish and Commissioner Amanda Fritz.
Fish says the sales should go ahead, with the proceeds used to reduce future BES rate increases.