A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

City gets one offer for ex-Cumberland lot

Written May 13th, 2022 by Hasso Hering

The corner of Main Street (right) and Santiam Road on Friday afternoon, in the rain.

Envision a little pocket park at this corner, with parking spaces behind it and three or four businesses in what now is the warehouse at the back.

The concept has been proposed by Yohn Baldwin, president of Baldwin General Contracting, who has offered the Albany City Council $10,000 for the city-owned lot on the corner of Main Street and Santiam Road. The Baldwin company’s headquarters is a few steps down Santiam.

The lot at 401 Main Street is where the old Cumberland Church sat for 129 years before being moved in October 2021 to Santiam and Pine Street, where a private nonprofit plans to turn it into a center for community events.

Albany declared the vacant lot of about one-quarter acre to be surplus and offered it for sale. The council received only one offer, from Baldwin, and is schedued to hold a public hearing on a possible sale on May 25.

In his May 5 letter, Baldwin said the city’s appraised value of the lot, $90,000, was too high because with existing zoning and city development standards, the only thing the site can be used for is parking. And the costs of development would make the suggested price prohibitive.

Baldwin also wrote: “As a condition (of) sale, I agree to develop the property in a manner consistent with the concept site plans included in this submission and complete construction by 9-30-2022.”

The proposed site plan shows 17 parking slots in the space where the church formerly sat. It shows landscaping and other improvements along both Main and Santiam, and a pocket park accessible to the public where the streets come to a point.

“By accepting our offer,” Baldwin wrote, “the community will benefit from Main Street improvements to city standards along the frontage of the properties, a site amenity of some sort on the corner of Main Street and Santiam, improved traffic flow resulting from the elimination of curb cuts on the property, a fresh new streetscape, an increase in property value, and property tax income in perpetuity.”

The city acquired the former church property in 2000 for $150,000 to accommodate a street project. But then the design of the project was changed and the property was not needed after all. (hh)

Looking at the vacant lot from Main Street. The Carriage House Plaza is in the background.





11 responses to “City gets one offer for ex-Cumberland lot”

  1. TLH-ALB1 says:

    A park is a bad idea…
    Too much traffic and an accident waiting to happen. Besides, there’s not enough money in the city’s pocket…they don’t take care of the parks and streets we already have.

    • Bill Kapaun says:

      It’s PRIVATE PROPERTY! There would be no City involvement other than their meddling for meddling’s sake. Think of it as a PRIVATE yard the public will be allowed to use.

      • hj.anony1 says:

        Bad idea BK. Guess not so much for you but for Baldwin. When they are constantly calling the police to police his private “park” of homeless camps, loitering and worse.

        Put up a coffee drive thru i suggest! Make some $$$$$$$$$

        • Bill Kapaun says:

          If you knew anything about Albany, you’d know there’s already homeless camping in that neighborhood.

          • Hasso Hering says:

            But not on that corner lot, and there likely would not be on this proposed parking lot, just like there isn’t any (that I’ve seen) on the parking lot across the street.

  2. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    The market has spoken. Will city government listen?

    The city has determined this to be “surplus.” Meaning, the property serves no public purpose.

    And the market responded. So Baldwin should have the exclusive right to determine the best use of the property without city government restrictions.

    Forcing Baldwin to navigate the city’s gauntlet of site plans, hearings, existing zoning, and development standards are a waste of time and money. No public purpose is served.

    City government’s proper role in this case is to agree/disagree with the offered price alone. Then get out of the way.

  3. Bill Kapaun says:

    Seeing what Baldwin has done with the old Salvation Army thrift store, I would expect they would do a far better quality job than anybody else. Who cares if they get it “below market value”! Considering how much money the CITY has already wasted on this property and CARA money that goes down the drain with “forgiveable loans” to City Council members and others, hopefully the City will get out of the way. Baldwin hasn’t been at the “public trough” KUDOS to them!

  4. Katherine says:

    Surprise Suprise only ONE BID!!!
    We knew from the beginning who was going to buy it .
    It’s not worth $90,000 so you’re gonna bid $10,000? Wow that’s quite a drop in price.
    So why didn’t the Cumberland church bid bid $10000 that would have saved them a heck of a lot of costs in moving the church. Something’s fishy here don’t pretend it’s not.

  5. Katherine Domingo says:

    Another give away by the city of Albany. Get rid of the Cumberland church so the neighbor can get it for a bargain.

  6. Katherine says:

    We all know who was meant to buy the property. Only one offer not worth $90000 but they’ll take $10,000.

  7. CHEZZ says:

    How about less parking spaces and more little park area


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