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County declines to bid on purchase of Blue Heron property

Clackamas County will not join with Metro and Oregon City in an effort to outbid a private developer for the former Blue Heron property.

Some officials are concerned about the terms of a Washington state developer’s $2.3 million offer to purchase the Willamette Falls property from the bankruptcy trustee, and an overbid would have to exceed that amount.

Clackamas County commissioners said there was not enough time to fully consider the financial impacts and structure of the bid proposal due by the deadline of 5 p.m. Monday. The request to participate came in late Wednesday, April 23, from Metro staff.

“It would normally take 30 to 60 days to negotiate the terms of a deal like this,” said County Administrator Don Krupp.

The former Blue Heron site, closed in February 2009, is located along the Willamette River in downtown Oregon City.

Clackamas County, Metro and Oregon City, along with other regional partners, have been working with a consulting firm to develop a concept plan in order to attract developers to the site. Clackamas County has invested $100,000 towards the visioning process with potential future financial assistance.

“The county remains committed to the vision for this site and the public partnership that has been working diligently over the last couple of years,” said Commissioner Tootie Smith. “There just isn’t enough time today to fully examine the commitment we are being asked to make.”

“Public sector support may be needed to spur redevelopment of the site,” said Commissioner Martha Schrader. “I hope we can continue to work together to develop the right approach.”

The Willamette Falls Legacy concept plan can be viewed at rediscoverthefalls.com.