PORTLAND-Port of Portland commissioners on Wednesday approved the sale of the 15.8-acre remainder of its Terminal 1 facility to the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services, which has been leasing the property as a staging area for its combined sewer overflow tunnel project. The agreed upon sale price is $6.3 million. The sale is expected to close July 31.

In 1998, 10 years after it ceased operating the site at 2100 Front Ave. as a marine cargo facility, the Port’s Marine Division transferred management of the parcel to the Property and Development Services department, which leased it out to various short-term tenants, most recently to the city, which is using it as a base of operations for the boring of a 14-foot-wide, four-mile tunnel that prevents raw sewage from flowing directly into the Willamette River.

Port officials say they considered various redevelopment options for the property over the past several years, including industrial, another maritime use and even commercial or residential uses, however “none of those alternatives proved feasible within financial, regulatory or market constraints,” according to the Port. “We believe selling this parcel to the city is the most viable and desirable option for Terminal 1 North,” said Port of Portland executive director Bill Wyatt. “This transaction has the additional advantage of keeping this historic waterfront property in public ownership.”

A BES spokesman tells GlobeSt.com that the site will be used for the $300-million so-called Westside Big Pipe project until late 2006 and that no plans for its use after that have been contemplated by the city. Next door, the Port is in the process of selling the other 15.5 acres of the Terminal 1 facility to Riverscape LLC for $7.6 million. Earlier this week, that parcel was cleared for condominiums and commercial businesses by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality when it signed off on the cleanup of soil and groundwater contamination at the site.

Under the terms of the purchase and sale agreement, the city will pay the port $6.325 million and the port will provide up to $25,000 in maintenance services for the facility, primarily for its fire protection system. The City will receive credit for rent and tunnel easement fees paid prior to June 30, 2003-the assigned closing date for the transaction.

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