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PORTLAND-The Portland Development Commission has tabled a proposed purchase agreement for last parcel it needs to complete the acquisition of a full block at Northeast Portland Boulevard and MLK Jr. Boulevard, where it wants to build Piedmont Place, a mixed-use development.

The property is owned by Ruth Ashbrook Bakery, which purchased the property in 1992 for $155,000, according to Oregon Title Insurance Co. The current assessed value of the property is $370,000. The proposed purchase agreement drafted by PDC staffers would pay the owner $400,000, not including a non-refundable $15,000 payment to gain an exclusive 90-days option on the property while the city conducts its due diligence.

In delaying the decision, some commissioners complained that people are holding out for higher prices for their land simply because a government agency wants to buy it without resorting to condemnation. Other said it is not an unreasonable price, especially since it is a key land component to the Piedmont Place project, the construction of which is slated to begin next year.

The PDC, the city’s urban renewal agency, will take up the matter again at its September meeting.

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