A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

This Albany lot proves impossible to sell

Written October 13th, 2020 by Hasso Hering

Oct. 7, 2020: The unchanging scene at 370 Burkhart St. But the lot has been recently mowed.

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)


14 responses to “This Albany lot proves impossible to sell”

  1. Tina says:

    If they cannot sell it then they need to camouflage it with trees and beautify the lot! I own a home across the street and it is not my fault they “inherited” that ugly monstrosity!

  2. Wayne Henneck says:

    It sounds like PP&L made a good move in getting it off their books.

  3. Mark says:

    The zoning is perfect for what I would like to do with it. I would buy this property in a heartbeat. I heard that the price is right. I would not tear down the cement housing, but use it and add on to it and beautify the property so that I can eventually live on the lot. I will have to do further checking into buying this property.

    • Brad says:

      Mark, let’s not make any rash decisions until we’ve had a good night’s sleep and a cup of coffee, okay? Don’t forget the tattoo incident.

      • john marble says:

        I am very supportive of your approach, but what the heck is the mysterious “tattoo incident”?

  4. Josh says:

    Turn it into a little park for the kids

  5. Monica says:

    The ugliest part of this lot is the cyclone fencing and barbed wire. There’s a lot of potential here but people have to think outside the box. You need a designer. Not just a developer.

  6. CHEZZ says:

    Potentially a mini green space – trees, benches, low maintenance.

  7. James Engel says:

    What a great place for a homeless camp. It’s got a tall fence around it topped by barb wire. There is a gate at which a “watchman” could check “residents” in and out. Looks like the ground stays dry for the most part. The location fits right in with that backwater part of Albany.

  8. Rob sollers says:

    So the city should just go ahead and get rid of the reservoir that belonged to them. Then sell the property. Yeah it sucks that it has to happen that way however dealing with old infrastructure is the citys responsibly.

    • centrist says:

      Ahhh, but as many commenters will point out, it isn’t the City’s money; where’s the return; etc

  9. Birdieken says:

    Send some prison labor over and break up the concrete with chisels and hammers just like the old days. Git er done.

  10. Mike quinn says:

    I looked into developing it into a partnership with affordable housing in albany but water chief kris Bailey thinks albany can make a lot of money selling through a realtor. I didn’t know the city got into real estate business. I went to city after hasso wrote on the property first time. Kick the can down the road to the next city administrator comes in


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