Troutdale Marketplace owner saves $100,000 in development fees in deal with City Hall.

OUTLOOK PHOTO: ZANE SPARLING - This urban renewal land will soon be owned by the city of Troutdale. The Troutdale City Council has sweetened the pot for a local developer who's selling the city about eight acres of riverfront property.

Junki Yoshida will pay a lower rate for city development fees if he retools another one of his properties, the Troutdale Marketplace, anytime within approximately the next three years.

Yoshida can save as much as $100,000 before he'll revert to paying the higher rate on fees, formally known as system development charges, that were hiked as much as 400 percent by the council in January.

The deal compares the difference between the two rates, and lets Yoshida pay the lower amount until he's saved $100,000. Yoshida has three years to cash in, starting whenever the city forks over $2.4 million for the acreage nestled between Columbia Gorge Outlets and the Sandy River.

City staffers downplayed the $100,000 credit — which is double the amount originally proposed — noting the informal construction plans they've seen for the shopping mall at 26942 S.E. Stark Street would only qualify for about $37,000 in SDC savings.

"We think it's highly unlikely that they're going to get to $50,000, and even more unlikely that they're going to get to $100,000," Finance Director Erich Mueller said during a City Council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

"On the other hand, if they are able to move forward with as grand of a change of scope, that would be quite a significant development," Mueller continued. "Hardly a downside for the city."

The fee credit is non-transferable and only applies to the Troutdale Marketplace. When the land deal is finalized, Troutdale plans to tear down its old sewage treatment plant and a historic sheep rendering pullery, as well as clean up the polluted landscape.

The resolution was passed 5 to 1. Councilor Larry Morgan voted no, while Councilor Rich Allen abstained, citing an ongoing lawsuit.

"You guys did a really good job with everything," Mayor Casey Ryan said to the employees who led negotiations. "We're trying to move it quick because we've got to get something going on that."

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