TACOMA, WA-The city council this week handed first rights to purchase its soon-to-be former vehicle fleet storage property on Holgate Street to a growing commercial art firm two blocks up the street, but not until a few council members voiced concern about the lack of a public-bidding process.

City Manager Ray Corpuz says he was following council priorities of boosting local business when he lined up the tentative deal with Caracol Design, which is outgrowing its nearby site. George Capestany Jr., who moved the business from Seattle three years ago, told the council he couldn’t afford the property if it went into the public bidding process, and suggested he might move to Fife if he wasn’t successful.

Council members Bill Evans, Dave De Forrest and Sharon McGavick said the sale should be public, not private. The council ultimately approved the sale agreement 6-1. De Forest was the dissenting vote. Evans abstained on principal and McGavick voted yes, explaining that the end result was good even if the process left something to be desired. The price to be paid has not yet been determined.

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