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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

County Poised to Buy Land Near Sellwood Bridge, then Give it Back

Posted by Dirk VanderHart on Wed, Apr 24, 2013 at 5:20 PM

sellwood_bridge.jpg

To all the costly facets of the new Sellwood Bridge, add paying rent.

Or, as Multnomah County legalese terms it: a "settlement of condemnation litigation associated with the Sellwood Bridge Project."[PDF]

The County Board of Commissioners tomorrow will vote on a proposed settlement with the owner of several parcels of land at the bridge's east end. Officials need the land—both to widen Tacoma Street and to use as a staging area—so they're buying it off owner Diana Richardson for almost five years, she said today. The county will return the land 57 months later.

"We've come to an agreement," said Richardson.

Neither Richardson nor a county spokesman would discuss how much the settlement is worth, saying the arrangement has yet to be finalized. Richardson said she'd be paid fair market value for the land.

The parcels currently include a number of businesses, including the Riverside Corral Strip Club (NSFW). Blogtown needed to know: Was the county going to own the Riverside Corral?

Alas, no.

"We're not in any way, shape, or form operating a strip club," said County Spokesman David Austin.

The settlement instead only involves a portion of the Riverside Corral's property. Richardson said the business will remain open during bridge construction.

The county also will temporarily purchase a vacant lot south of Tacoma Street for storage.

"Eventually I want to build something there," Richardson said. "I had planned to do it sooner, but this came along."

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