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City keeps WEB sale options open as buyer renews interest

Nick Bunick offers $20 million for building, extra acreage


The city of Lake Oswego is hopeful it has a legitimate offer on the table for the West End Building, but it’s also keeping its options open and hiring a commercial broker to hedge its bets.

After the San Francisco-based Kensington Investment Group terminated its $16.5 million purchase and sale agreement on March 5, Lake Oswego’s Nick Bunick renewed what had been a tardy offer, submitted after the city had begun negotiations with Kensington.

Kensington cited site constraints in canceling the $16.5 million deal. The city was in the middle of rezoning efforts to designate the property as general commercial, a contingency of the agreement, when Kensington pulled out. The planning commission said Kensington’s lack of a specific plan for the 14-acre property made it difficult to approve development.

Now, Bunick said he will pay $20 million, the price the city paid for the building in 2006, if Lake Owego agrees to throw in a 1.3-acre parcel of undeveloped land just west of the property.

During its March 18 meeting, the city council was hesitant to entertain Bunick’s offer exclusively. The council agreed with Lake Oswego Development Director Brant Williams’ recommendation to work with Bunick while recruiting a commercial broker to represent the property, should Bunick’s offer fall through.

Williams estimated the process of hiring such a broker could take anywhere from one to two months.

WEB continues to be a significant drain of city resources, with loan payments, maintenance and operations cost at the former Safeco Insurance location costing about $1.5 million annually.

“We’re moving forward,” Williams told The Review this week, adding that Bunick has indicated he will be in further contact with the city about his offer in the next two weeks.

In the meantime, rezoning efforts are on hold.

“Nick Bunick has mentioned if he buys the property, the city does not need to rezone it,” he said. “So that’s one of the reasons we have it on hold.”

Bunick previously developed the 300-acre Westlake area, and said he intends to establish headquarters for his nonprofit organization, The Great Tomorrow.




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