Sept. 16–YAKIMA, Wash. — A Yakima property once contaminated with petroleum is ready to be sold to a commercial real estate investment and advisory firm — more than two years after the state said it could be.
Santa Monica, Calif.-based JAG Retail Properties Inc. has submitted a proposed purchase and sale agreement for the former Tiger Oil Corporation property at 2312 W. Nob Hill Blvd. The company declined to comment on any plans for the property.
The property and three others were bought by the city of Yakima in February of 2014 for site cleanup, with plans for it to be resold for “beneficial economic development,” according to the city.
Two other sites — one at 1606 E. Nob Hill Blvd. and another near the intersection of Summitview and 56th avenues — have already been sold. A fourth, on North First Street, has yet to finish cleanup.
The city prioritized the site cleanups, which are funded largely by the state Department of Ecology, based on how attractive the property was and its level of contamination.
Pollution at the sites can be traced back to the early 1980s, when underground storage tanks leaked 20,000 gallons of petroleum into the soil and groundwater.
The Nob Hill property has been approved by the state for sale since December 2015. City spokesman Randy Beehler said the city has been trying since then to find a buyer.
“We’ve pursued the sale of that piece of property since (2015),” he said. “We entertained a few offers and, for whatever reason, the offering party or the city decided the offer wasn’t substantial enough to seriously consider.”
JAG Retail Properties is offering the city $420,000 — $40,000 less than the appraised value of the property.
But the city believes the offer is a fair value for the property considering its environmental status. The city has to monitor the site for the next 20 years or until the state Department of Ecology gives approval to stop. The price is higher than a $300,000 offer the city had with Argonaut Investments for the property in 2016. That deal ended up falling apart due to factors largely out of the city’s control.
The Yakima City Council is expected to vote on the sale at its meeting Tuesday.
Some people saw the purchase of the four properties for $1.1 million in 2014 as a bailout for Tiger Oil Corp., which closed its gas stations in 2001 while disputing cleanup liability with the Ecology Department.
Because the vacant properties became eyesores and targets for graffiti and other vandalism, the City Council decided to buy the sites. Ecology helped fund cleanup.
The council meeting starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 129 N. Second St. City members are expected to review the performance of a public employee in executive session starting at 5 p.m.
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