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TIGARD, OR-The location may actually be too good.

Panattoni has under contract a 7.56-acre parcel sweetly situated on Highway 99, very near the onramp to Highway 217, a major byway that connects Highway 26 and Interstate 5. As it turns out, however, state transportation officials think it may be too near the onramp.

The property, which one local broker describes as “an absolute 100% location,” currently holds a vacant training center formerly used by General Motors. Plans are to demolish the structure and develop twin office buildings totaling 150,000 sf that are being designed by Ankrom Moisan Associated Architects Inc. of Portland.The property owner is Stephen Barasch, who acquired the site in 1994 for $224,000, according to Oregon Title Insurance Co.

Panattoni hasn’t said how much it signed on to pay for the site, but Oregon Title records have the land alone valued at $2.67 million, and the structure valued at close to $1.4 million. The purchase agreement is contingent, of course, upon site plan approval and a building permit–something hard to come by thus far.

Mike Wells, Panattoni’s head man in Portland, wasn’t immediately available to comment on the status of the project Monday afternoon, but Kevin Young, associate planner for the City of Tigard, tells GlobeSt.com the company is in a bit of a pickle at the moment.

Young says the state Department of Transportation doesn’t want cars exiting the property onto Highway 99 so close to the Highway 217 onramp and that the city doesn’t want cars exiting onto the adjacent residential street. “ODOT isn’t excited about (the access to Highway 99) and I think we might have concerns (about access from the residential side street),” says Young. “I don’t think it would be a popular solution.”

Still, Young says he hasn’t heard the project has been scrapped. “To my knowledge it’s still happening,” says Young. “I just wrote an incompleteness letter to them July 2 and they have submitted supplemental information that I have not yet looked at. It’s quite possible the application will be complete by the end of the week.”

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