Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Times-Litho building to be razed by November

Forest Grove council OKs $1.1 million sale to Urban Renewal Agency

NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: DOUG BURKHARDT - The iconic Times-Litho building in downtown Forest Grove will be demolished sometime before Thanksgiving, according to a timeline set this week by the city council.A fixture on the western edge of Forest Grove’s downtown for the past 63 years will likely vanish by Thanksgiving.

On Tuesday, the city’s finance department received six bids for demolition of the Times-Litho building at 1829 Pacific Ave.

With submitted bids ranging from $288,200 to $635,900, a demolition contractor will be chosen no later than Aug. 31, said city finance director Paul Downey. The agency will then have 90 days to raze the structure.

Formerly a printing plant, the building was erected in 1952 — and even acted as home to the News-Times’ printing division for a time.

Gresham-based development agency Tokola Properties has been planning a new structure to replace the building after it comes down.

At this time, however, those plans are “still in an infancy stage,” Downey said.

In April, Tokola president and owner Dwight Unti tantalized city officials by suggesting the possibility of a mixed-use residential/retail plaza, including a boutique hotel and apartments or townhouses.

A nearby example of Tokola’s work is the 4th Main apartment complex in downtown Hillsboro, which was completed in spring 2014.

That building now houses 71 luxury apartments and ground floor retail space, home to McNally’s Taproom, a popular craft beer pub and restaurant.

Tokola’s 180-day exclusive agreement with Forest Grove will expire in late October, possibly before the Times-Litho building is demolished, although the company is eligible for two 90-day extensions on the deal.

According to Unti, it’s not unusual for developments of this size to take this long.

On Monday, the Forest Grove City Council moved the whole process forward by approving the $1.1 million sale of the building to the city’s Urban Renewal Agency (URA), which is made up of the same individuals as the council.

Bought in 2012 for approximately $825,000, the city will use the $1.1 million to recoup money spent on assessments and surveys over the past three years and pay for the demolition.