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Round two kicks off on landfill site

Oregon City’s Urban Renewal Commission will proceed with negotiations on another shopping-mall proposal for the Rossman landfill, but not without hesitancy on a requested $23 million contribution for making the site developable.

California’s Donahue Schriber Realty Group’s proposal to try to lure outdoor-sports superstore Cabela’s back to a landfill site north of downtown Oregon City generated a slew of other concerns from officials.

Before beginning negotiations on the property, the city wants an appraisal, economic analysis and engineering estimates. Economic Development Manager Eric Underwood noted that he received the letter from DSRG on Oct. 26 (see last week’s story, “Cabela’s proposal returns to Oregon City landfill”) and set up a special commission meeting as soon as possible on Oct. 30 to get feedback from commissioners.

“They’ve made a request for some urban-renewal assistance, but we haven’t really seen any numbers, and we don’t have any way to verify or validate their request,” Underwood said.

Comparing it to last year’s proposal, City Manager David Frasher noted that the current deal is “much different” for the city and the developers shouldn’t be making “unreasonable profits.”

CenterCal had proposed in 2011 to front about $17 million, to be paid back by the city’s urban-renewal fund once it leased 80 percent of the property, but DSRG’s letter to the city asked for more money to be paid up front by the city.

“The fact is that Oregon City doesn’t have $23 million in its urban-renewal fund to just dole out,” Frasher said. “This letter to me raises a lot more questions than it does answers.”

Jack Steinhauer, the realty group’s director of development and acquisition, said that the $23 million number represented an early estimate. Suggesting that it was just a starting point for negotiations, he noted that the two estimates from construction companies would be made available for the city’s review.

“Donahue Schriber is not looking to gain anything more than what it take to make the site developable,” Steinhauer told commissioners. “It’s been a big golden star on my map, because we believe this will be something very special.”



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