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Deadline extended for Association Building proposals


The city of Woodburn has extended its deadline for the requests for proposal (RFPs) concerning the acquisPhoto Credit: FILE PHOTO - Association Buildingition and redevelopment of the historic Front Street property commonly known as the Association Building.

Originally set for Aug. 20, the deadline has been pushed back a month — to Sept. 22 — at the request of two potential applicants.

Economic and Development Services Director Jim Hendryx declined to identify the applicants because it’s not guaranteed that they will ultimately submit a proposal.

However, he did say that there are additional parties that have approached his department to discuss possible plans for the building.

“We have talked to at least five potential applicants about submitting proposals on the association building,” Hendryx said. “Of the five, two requested an extension for additional time. So we decided to extend it a month, and both parties seemed pleased by that.

“We want to work with people; we want to be flexible, give them enough time to put together a good proposal and not just a rushed one to meet the deadline.”

So far, the city has received only one formal proposal, from the Williamson County Investment Corp., an Austin, Texas-based for-profit corporation involved with various urban development and construction projects.

Hendryx said that proposal has not yet been reviewed by the city since the deadline was extended.

He said the city had not been in contact with the corporation prior to receiving its proposal, but that the details of the RFP were submitted nationwide through a commercial real estate listing service and various trade websites.

Though the ultimate decision about the city-owned historic property lies with the City Council, initial review and recommendations will be offered by an appointed board called the Association Building Feasibility Review Committee.

Hendryx said Mayor Kathy Figley is scheduled to announce appointments to that committee at the council’s Sept. 8 meeting.

“We’re encouraged,” Hendryx said. “We’ve given a number of tours of the building to various parties. There seems to be interest out there. It’s exciting.”

Originally built in 1891 by Woodburn founder Jesse Settlemier, the iconic, two-story, 10,000 square-foot brick structure was seriously damaged by a 5.7-magnitude quake in 1993. It’s been vacant ever since, though it was the recipient of an $850,000 project by the city in 2005, which included seismic retrofits, fire and life-safety upgrades and a complete exterior makeover.

However, the city — which has owned the building since 2000 — did not address the building’s interior, which currently lacks finished walls, floors, stairs, elevator, plumbing, electrical wiring and other infrastructure required by the Americans with Disabilities Act and occupancy codes.

A feasibility study conducted by Portland-based Constructive Form Architecture and Design LLC, presented in January, estimated it would cost a minimum of $600,000 to bring the building up to a baseline, market-ready level.

Constructive Form’s feasibility study used site evaluations, market research and copious public input to identify three concepts the firm believed represented “the highest and best uses for the Association Building”: a neighborhood activity center, business incubator with a studio arts focus or a micro-brewpub/beverage distillery.

The city could also sell the building without an identified use. Though the property’s real market value, currently about $535,000, would not fully recoup prior investments, this option would still be less expensive than any of the three concept models highlighted by the study.

For more information, or to view a copy of the RFP, visit the city’s website at www.ci.woodburn.or.us.

Tyler Francke covers all things Woodburn. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 503-765-1195.