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Purkey Building sale falls through

King City and Purkeys can't reach agreement on terms.

King City is not going to purchase the Purkey Building after all.

City Manager Mike Weston told the City Council at its Oct. 5 meeting that there were problems with the “level of inspection” of the building and the city had submitted a new contract for the purchase.

“We might have run into asbestos and structural issues,” Weston said. “The Purkeys rejected the new contract and went with a private buyer.”

Licensed tax consultant Denny Purkey opened Purkey Tax Service in the late 1970s, and he later married Diane, a licensed tax consultant who went to work for him. Denny passed away in January 2010, and Diane continued running the business until closing it in June this year.

The city was going to purchase the building for $1.4 million with the idea that if King City expands its urban growth boundary in the future, it would need more city hall space, and in any case, it was the city’s only opportunity to purchase a building adjacent to City Hall.

“We tried, and we didn’t get there, but we tried,” said Mayor Ken Gibson.

Weston suggested, “Instead of spending $1.4 million on a building, we could put some of that money into this building for space redesign, modernization and adding Wi-Fi and PowerPoint capabilities.”

He said, “There is a lot of space in this building that isn’t maximized. We could bring in a consultant to maximize the space we aren’t utilizing.”

Councilor Bob Olmstead suggested the city could also purchase land to the west for a new city hall.

City officials have previously discussed the feasibility of purchasing a new city hall site, possibly along Southwest 131st Avenue, but Weston pointed out that even if the city’s urban growth boundary is extended west on the south side of Beef Bend Road to Roy Rogers Road, “there are not very many options.”

“We might be better off to start with bare earth,” he added. “Five to 10 years out, maybe a new site will be identified, and maybe we can start talking to property owners out there.”

Gibson said, “Simultaneously, we should find out what it would cost to fix this building while looking for land. There are some improvements that need to be made here. When Metro Councilor Craig Dirksen came here, he planned to do a PowerPoint presentation, but he couldn’t because we don’t have the capability.”

According to Weston, community block grants and other grants might be available to make improvements, and “we should start putting our name in the hat. It could be beneficial to us to upgrade our facilities and bring them into the 21st country.”

Councilor Chi Nguyen-Connor said King City can “recoup the cost when we sell.”

Weston concluded, “The first step is getting a design to repurpose this building with some of the money that was going to Purkey.”

Council members voted 7-0 to give Weston the green light to seek a consultant to look into updating City Hall.