Sale of Wikman Building finally underway

See who’s made an offer on this iconic building in the Foster-Powell neighborhood …

At the meeting hosted by the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners in September of 2012, several organizations were invited in to discuss the potential and future of the Wikman Building. East Portland News archive image

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
It appears the long-vacant Multnomah County Wikman Building may soon have new owners.

> See our November, 2012 story,
”County pushes for sale of Wikman Building”:
CLICK HERE.

Multnomah County Commissioner Judy Shiprack recalled how the County Board of Commissioners declared the Wikman Building “surplus property” almost exactly three years ago.

“I convened a community roundtable, hoping that the neighborhood associations, Foster Area Business Association, ROSE CDC, the Portland Development Commission, and a range of stakeholders could help us arrive at what became knows as our ‘triple-aim’,” Shiprack told East Portland News.

Part of the County’s new sales agreement will include that the new owners keep up and improve the look of the venerable Wikman Building.

That was, she said, to:

  • Retain community involvement and community access,
  • Keep the historic building intact, and
  • Receive market value for the property.

 

“We negotiated with the community groups for well over two years,” Shiprack recalled. “They came up with an intriguing idea of making it a neighborhood center. The buyers central idea looks like it will continue, but it’s being done by a [financially] stronger business entity.”

The county created a set of expectations for the building’s look and potential uses which they wrote into a Request for Proposals in March. In August, the Board of Commissioners unanimously accepted an offer.

“Developers Brandon Brown and Rahim Abbasi, who have the financial ability and experience to keep the building a community asset, submitted an offer,” Shiprack said. “Their offer is to pay $260,000 in cash for the 95-year-old building, and spend another $270,000 to make repairs and upgrades.”

The new owners of the former Multnomah County Wikman Building vow to keep the historic look of the structure.

The developers say that one of their goals is to get the former Carnegie Arleta Library listed on the National Register of Historic Places after spiffing up the building’s exterior. Inside, they’ll offer leased office space, and a conference area for use by the community.

The sale is pending, as both sides negotiate the final terms. It is expected to close sometime in September.

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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