The former site of the Wells Fargo Bank in downtown Albany has been put on the market for a listed price of $310,000 and, according to a city official, has attracted quite a bit of interest.
As you may recall, the city council, acting as the Albany urban renewal agency, had bought the property at 300 West First Ave. for $1.5 million in 2019 after Wells Fargo closed its branch there the year before. Hopes of repurposing the building didn’t pan out, and the city hired Laneco Demolition of Portland to raze the structure for about $239,000.
The council’s idea is to sell the vacant lot, not including the adjacent parking lot or former drive-up lane, to someone who commits to constructing an apartment building on it, with commercial space on the ground floor.
The listing of the property with Albany real estate agent Brandon Hanson showed up on the Zillow real estate website 10 days ago. As of this morning, Zillow reported 302 views of the listing.
The decision to list the lot for what appears to be the appraised value seems to have been made at a recent executive meeting, closed to the public, of the Albany Revitalization Agency, comprised of the mayor and six council members.
Before any sale, though, there would be a public process to review a would-be buyer’s proposal for developing the property. And the actual selling price would be negotiated as part of a development agreement between the city and the buyer.
On Zillow, this was described as a “unique development opportunity in downtown Albany across the street from the revitalized Broadalbin Promenade, a block away from Albany’s new Waterfront Project that will host events attracting thousands of visitors.”
At Monday’s public open house on the Waterfront Project, I talked about the listing with Seth Sherry, the city’s economic development manager. He’s the one who told me the listing had attracted a quite a lot of interest.
Meanwhile, on the site itself, the demolition contractor has been filling the excavated basement space with tons of gravel. On Thursday most of the lot looked just about level. The contract calls for the demolition job to be finished by the end of June. (hh)