By : Linda Jagiela
Sources : bendbulletin.com
Posted by : 3dgroupca.com
Deschutes County’s purchase in May of a Redmond office building marked the county’s first big real estate buy since mid-2011.Both transactions, the deal last month for a 6,500-square-foot office north of downtown Redmond, and the much larger purchase of a foreclosed shopping center building nearly three years ago, came amid efforts by the county to add more space for public health services in Redmond.But while the 2011 deal was made as the county eyed consolidating all of its Redmond offices into a “north campus,” similar to its offices in Bend, the May deal isn’t a precursor to anything larger.
County officials say the north campus idea is still on the table. But the real estate market has changed significantly since the plan first gained traction in 2009.Rising construction costs have the north campus plan on the back-burner for now, Susan Ross, county property and facilities director, said Thursday.The county paid $600,000 last month to buy the property at 406 W. Antler Ave., looking to move the behavioral health division of the county’s Redmond-based Health Services Department into a bigger space.The division’s current office is 1,000 square feet, less than one-sixth the size of the new building.
Where the north campus plan once called for a new, roughly 12,000-square-foot building somewhere in the downtown area, “We’re kind of stepping back and taking a breather,” Ross said. “We’ll figure out what to do in the future. In meantime, the purchase of the Antler (Avenue) building gives us some breathing space, and time.”County officials in 2009 said the new facility could have been built for as little as $3 million, mirroring Bend’s service building northeast of downtown, according to The Bulletin’s archives.“We lost the opportunity with the (construction) prices being lower” at the start of the recession, county Commissioner and former Redmond Mayor Alan Unger said last week.The north campus idea was on a list of the county’s priority projects as far back as 2007. The need came as Redmond’s population boomed from about 7,000 in 1990 to more than 26,000 in 2010, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures. The demand for health, planning and other county services has grown along with the population.The county’s various Redmond services are spread across the city, meanwhile, on Cascade and Glacier avenues, Southwest Seventh Street and Canal Boulevard. Some health offices are miles apart from each other.“I think right now we’re saying that was a big, ambitious plan,” Unger said of the north campus vision. In the near term, “We don’t see a path for moving forward.”
The 2011 purchase was supposed to be the solution. The county paid $1.4 million that year to buy a 40,000-square-foot former shopping center known as the Design Center, at 2127 S. U.S. Highway 97 in Redmond, out of foreclosure.At the time, the building was considered a future home for community development, health services, justice court, juvenile services, parole, probation and veterans’ services, according to The Bulletin’s archives, as well as some state offices.But the plan hasn’t materialized, and the county now wants to sell the building, Ross said.“It was a great deal, and we jumped on it,” Ross said, noting its price would have been considerably higher in a nonforeclosure sale. “We don’t want to do that again. But we’re not going to lose any money on the deal.”
Sources : bendbulletin.com | Deschutes service center in Redmond on hold