Port Angeles gets one proposal each for old fire hall, City Light building

PORT ANGELES – The city has received just one redevelopment proposal for the old fire hall at 215 S. Lincoln St., and one for the City Light building at 240 W. Front St.

Details of the proposals, including names of the suitors, will be shared with the City Council’s real estate subcommittee at its May 7 meeting, said Sherry Wright, assistant to City Manager Mark Madsen.

The committee possibly could forward a recommendation to the City Council, she said.

But the city doesn’t have to accept either proposal and also could request clarification or additional information from either suitor, Wright said.

At a December 2006 meeting, the city’s utility advisory committee discussed selling the City Light building to Family Medicine of Port Angeles and relocating the city’s electricity utility to an as-yet undetermined location.

The building was declared surplus to the city’s needs in 1987.

Then at a City Council meeting in January 2007, the building at 215 S. Lincoln St. – which has served as the city’s fire hall, jail and city council chambers – also was declared surplus to the city’s needs.

City Manager Mark Madsen told the council at that meeting that the city doesn’t need the building, and that cost of upgrading it for use as a public building was prohibitive.

The building currently is leased to MaMa’s Bakery & Restaurant.

No specific sale proposals for that building were discussed at the public hearing to declare the building surplus.

But representatives of the Clallam County Historical Society urged the City Council to require the new owner to maintain the building’s historical characteristics.

Then at the March 20 meeting, the City Council voted to seek requests for proposals for the building at 215 S. Lincoln St.

When the request for redevelopment proposals was released by the city on April 1, it included both buildings.

The request stated the minimum bid for the City Light building was $850,000 and proposals would be judged, in part, on benefits to the economic vitality of downtown, the city and community.

It also stated “mixed use developments” that included commercial or retail at street level (with residential above) were encouraged.

The minimum bid for the old fire hall was listed as $405,000 with judging criteria to include, in part, retention of historical characteristics, benefits to the community and city, and development compatible with the property’s setting.

Consideration also would be given to non-profit organizations or government agencies proposing a civic use for the property, the request stated.

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