City considers purchasing lot for college parking

The former Dollar GMC lot is valued at $873,500

The Medford Urban Renewal Agency board voted Thursday to continue negotiations to buy a 1.33-acre property at the corner of East 10th Street and South Riverside Avenue and convert it into a 100-space parking lot that could be used by college students.

"We feel the lot would be a good use for the college," said Duane Wallace, one of the owners, with Alan DeBoer, of Dollar GMC.

Dollar moved its location to Airport Chevrolet Buick GMC Cadillac on Biddle Road in 2011. An old Dollar building on the property at 225 Riverside Ave. would be demolished to make room for the parking lot. No dollar amount for the property was released.

The Jackson County Assessor calculates the real market value of the property at $873,500.

MURA board member Chris Corcoran said the city gets a lot of heat for parking issues.

"This is an example of working behind the scenes to get things done," he said.

Bill Hoke, deputy city manager, said he estimated the number of spaces in the lot could be 100, but the exact number will depend on the required riparian setback from Bear Creek.

Councilor John Michaels, who attends Rogue Community College, said the parking lot would be welcomed by students at the school.

"Their main focus is parking, parking, parking," he said.

Michaels noted that despite parking being a hot topic of conversation at the school, students seem to shun the nearby Evergreen parking garage.

Board member Al Densmore said the city's purchase of the property could provide an opportunity to improve a portion of Bear Creek.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or

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