We would, in my opinion, be foolhardy to sell West End Building and to do so may, in hindsight, be judged surprisingly shortsighted for the following reasons:

  • We own the building.

  • There is ample parking at the WEB site.

  • It is more demographically central to the entire community, according to my understanding.

  • It has attractive campus attributes.

  • It has space to accommodate most, if not all, city services and future expansion needs as well. Excess space could be leased.

  • The existing city hall is very, very tired. The existing city hall property could then be sold to developers and would be consistent with objectives to expand and infill the East End business district.

  • The library is also very tired and undersized and would be well positioned in WEB. The current library is recognized as obsolete and also mis-located in a prime residential neighborhood. Moreover, our library needs a great deal more parking capacity.

  • An evaluation of the remaining useful life of the adult community center should be undertaken to determine if that facility should be moved to WEB. It too is inappropriately positioned in a prime residential area.

  • Both of the above sites could be sold to developers, generating a financial return

  • Alternative use, as proposed for commercial development of the WEB site, will exacerbate traffic congestion at the intersection of two major arteries, and may, as well, not appropriately fit the intentions of the Lake Grove redevelopment, as it essentially lengthens the strip.

  • The WEB site is bordered by residential primarily, suggesting it more suitable for residential development.

  • While the recession is more or less over, the WEB site will, over time, hold a much larger valuation; it makes no sense to sell at a book loss in a market with rising valuations.

  • The WEB has, by many, been branded a folly, but that is only due to the unforeseen events of 2008; it should not remain a drag on our community vision.

  • In some ways, the 14-acre site is a testament to our love of open space, and it may remain as a lovely domain, a testament to our open space goals. It’s a site many cities would kill for.

  • While some may consider a sale long overdue, it is the council’s prerogative and responsibility to expand the city’s vision beyond the current circumstance.

    Dean A. “Tony” Marquis has been a resident of Lake Oswego for 40 years and served as a Lake Oswego city councilor from Jan. 1, 1979, to Dec. 31, 1982.

    Contract Publishing

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