Multnomah Co. signs agreement to sell Wapato Jail, which has sat - KPTV - FOX 12

Multnomah Co. signs agreement to sell Wapato Jail, which has sat vacant since 2004

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Wapato Jail (KPTV file image) Wapato Jail (KPTV file image)
Wapato Jail (KPTV file image) Wapato Jail (KPTV file image)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Multnomah County has signed an agreement to sell the Wapato Jail, which has sat vacant since it was built in 2004.

Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury reported a letter of intent was signed Tuesday with Portland developer Marty Kehoe of Kehoe Northwest Properties, LLC. 

An agreement was reached two months after the property in north Portland was marketed nationally and internationally, with a deadline of Oct. 20 for offers.

Wapato Jail is a 155,400-square-foot building on 18.24 acres of industrial land in the Rivergate Industrial Park.

It was built in 2004 as a minimum-security detention center after Multnomah County voters approved a $46 million bond measure for it in 1996. It never opened as a jail due to funding issues, and aside from being leased for film and TV projects, it has been unused since its completion.

The county reported receiving six proposals for the property.  

Details of the offer and the future of the property are not being released, “while the buyer performs due diligence.”

The county reported the location appraised for $8.5 million in 2014. A business owner offered $9 million for it last year, but eventually backed out.

Some people have proposed using the jail as a homeless shelter.

The Board of County Commissioners must approve any final purchase during a public meeting.

'Wapato has dogged every board and cost every taxpayer since it was completed,'' Kafoury said. "It is past time to end this debacle and get this property back on the tax rolls."

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