A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Linn County rents space for Veterans Services

Written November 1st, 2023 by Hasso Hering

The former car dealership at Fifth Avenue and Ellsworth Street on Oct. 31, 2023. Linn County is renting this side of the building.

Linn County is expanding its services to part of a downtown Albany building that, until a few years ago, housed Mark Thomas Motors.

The county board of commissioners on Tuesday approved a 10-year lease of about 2,600 square feet of the building at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Ellsworth Street. The monthly rent is $3,324, scheduled to go up 3 percent a year.

The county plans to outfit the space for its Veterans Services office. The rest of the building and grounds, covering the whole block between Fifth and Sixth and Ellsworth and Lyon, is occupied by a body shop, Collision Auto Body, and its parking lot.

The property is owned by a limited liability company named “300 East First Avenue,” which was the address of Main Auto Body before its Albany branch moved downtown after the GM dealership closed.

The Veterans Services office exists to help veterans and their dependents obtain state and federal benefits they have coming. A press release quoted County Administrator Darrin Lane that the building will provide much needed space for individual offices to enhance client privacy.

(As near as I can tell, the space rented by the county includes the showroom on the Ellsworth Street side where in 2007 I first saw a new GMC Sierra, and the waiting area where I later sat and read books while the truck was being serviced. I liked the truck and the people who sold it to me, and who later took care of it. I hated to see that business close.)

The lease agreement, signed by Lane for the county and Steven R. Perlenfein for the landlord, says the county will make the space ready for offices and pay its share of the building’s utilities. After 10 years, the lease may be renewed for three periods of five years each. (hh)

2 responses to “Linn County rents space for Veterans Services”

  1. Sherri says:

    This is GREAT that there will be a place to help out our Veterans but I do have a question. Instead of the County paying $3300.00 a month in rent and being committed to that payment for the next 10 years… why not hold off until the Wheelhouse is purchased and put the Veterans Services in there ? Unless the Wheelhouse purchase did not go thru ? That would seem like the most logical and cost effective thing to do. Just curious… Thanks!

  2. Richard H. Smith says:

    …and hopefully fix the eyesore windows! (Until the homeless break them again.)


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