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Condemnation process through outlet mall continues in Troutdale

As required by the recent property sale to Eastwind Development, the city of Troutdale is taking steps to provide access to riverfront property behind the Columbia Gorge Premium Outlets mall.

Troutdale sold the 12-acre site to Eastwind in February for $1.5 million after nearly two years of negotiations. Part of that agreement was the condition that the city of Troutdale would provide convenient access to the property, via a road constructed through the heart of the mall on Northwest 257th Way.

The city started the condemnation process months ago, but the recent sale of the outlet mall to Time Equities has become a point of contention.

“(Time Equities) have said they are not particularly interested at this time in giving up the right of way,” said City Attorney Ed Trompke during a March 22 council meeting. The right of way is necessary in order to build the access road.

The council approved a resolution declaring a need to acquire this right of way. While the resolution itself does nothing, Trompke said it will be helpful for his future negotiations.

“In order to condemn the property, there are certain things that have to be proved,” he said. Such as, condemnation being in the public’s benefit.

“It will be very helpful to me in getting condemnation to have this,” Trompke said.

According to the sale terms, if Troutdale does not succeed in its efforts to build a road to the riverfront, Eastwind will not purchase the property.

Instead, the city would be required to purchase Eastwind’s property adjacent to the URA site. Eastwind owns eight acres on the Sandy River.

In this case, Troutdale would have to pay Eastwind the purchase price of the property, as well as costs associated with developing the property — approximately $2.1 million.

The cost to Troutdale for providing access is unknown, but at this point the council hopes to use tax increment financing — federal subsidy financing used for redevelopment — to pay for the project.

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