A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Council votes to sell unusual lot for $4,000

Written April 30th, 2021 by Hasso Hering

The grass looked lush Friday on this surplus lot the city council agreed to sell.

Chances are this lot on Albany’s Southeast Burkhart Street will soon look different. The city council has voted to sell the property to two men who want to build attached housing units there.

The first of several photos very much like this one of 370 Burkhart St. S.E. appeared here in August 2015. A couple out for a walk had gone past there, wondered about that concrete bunker in the back, and asked me about it.

Several stories followed, mostly about the city’s attempts to get rid of the lot. The last one, this past Jan. 25, reported that Matthew Wadlington and Page Diemer, who had formed Burkhart Investments LLC, wanted to buy the property and build five or six attached dwellings on it. The council liked the idea and instructed the staff to work out a sale.

This Wednesday, following a public hearing at which no one from the public spoke, the council voted unanimously to sell them the lot for $4,000.

The county assessor values the lot at more than $60,000. The city’s low selling price is explained by the presence of that massive and long unused concrete water reservoir. Demolishing it has been estimated to cost more than $400,000, city officials said at one time.

Wadlington is with Civil West Engineering. Diemer owns Northcore Construction in Salem.  They said in January they might try to incorporate the concrete structure in their plans to put “affordable” housing on the lot.

Whether they find a way to do that, or if not, how the housing will fit on the odd-shaped lot, the public will see when the planned construction is complete. (hh)

5 responses to “Council votes to sell unusual lot for $4,000”

  1. Dawn E Crawford says:

    Why? 4 grand the neighbor on each side would have purchased this lot for 4 grand. Why weren’t they given the option? I live on this street. Why are they getting such a sweet deal? This makes no sense, from 65 grand to 4 grand on the “promise” of affordable housing. No contract enforcing the deal, just their vague word. Sounds super fishy to me. I would have bought it for 4 grand.

    • Cassina Cheers says:

      Apparently you were expected to know about and attend the public hearing that the council created to discuss the investment company’s interest in the property. No one from the public objected to the offer and the council agreed to the $4000. This is how property can be ‘selected’ for a specific use and avoid being put on auction and released to the highest bidder. They don’t love your idea? No public hearing.

  2. Mike quinn says:

    City employee pro ably go it I offered 10 k

    • centrist says:

      Did you read the article? More likely that your offer came in when they were hoping for more. Also likely that the successful offer came in when no other was on the horizon

  3. Katherine says:

    With the city’s 5 million shortfall perhaps they should sell off all of their unwanted and unused properties . As a Real Estate Broker for over 30 years the best way to get the best price and create demand is to place it on the open market and expose it to as many potential buyers as possible. This was a big win for the investors and a big lose in revenue for the city.


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