What has happened with the empty lot and water tank at 370 Burkhart St. since the Albany City Council voted to sell it last winter? Not much. The property remains as unused as it has for decades.
My bicycle meanderings through town once again took me past that address last week, and this reminded me that on Feb. 12, following an executive session, the council voted 6-0 to put the property on the market.
It’s a slightly intriguing place because in the back of the quarter-acre lot there’s a concrete reservoir that once was part of the Albany water system. It is no longer in use, having been disconnected so long ago that nobody remembers when. The city fell heir to the tank and the lot when it bought the water system from Pacific Power & Light in 1985.
I wondered whether the lot had been listed since the council vote. The answer is no, it was never advertised for sale.
Chris Bailey, director of public works operations, told me two parties had been interested. But they lost interest because of the zoning and the cost of dealing with the reservoir.
The lot is part of a large area of single homes west of Burkhart Street zoned RM or medium-residential zoning, which in Albany means up to 25 dwellings per acre.
“I did contact a local real estate broker to see what other options we might have,” Bailey said in an email. “Unfortunately, her research came to the same conclusion that we have reached, which is that there is not really a viable opportunity for that property. Dealing with the reservoir is really a challenge because the anticipated costs to demolish it are higher than the value of the property. So, we have not listed it. We remain open to offers but have not been actively trying to sell it.”
Looks like that lot is going to stay on the city’s books and off the tax rolls for many more years. (hh)