Medford council to decide on Red Lion land purchase

The city of Medford is poised to purchase a portion of the Red Lion Hotel property for future parking, while a second entity continues pursuit of the operational part of the hospitality facility.

Two resolutions are on the City Council's Thursday agenda. One would authorize $1.6 million, plus closing costs, to acquire 3.29 acres on the southern end of the property between Riverside Avenue and Bear Creek.

The other would allow the city to draw a total of $1.7 million, including $100,000 for closing costs, from its contingency fund to pay for the deal, with the Medford Urban Renewal Agency later reimbursing the money.

Councilor Dick Gordon said the council asked City Manager Eric Swanson to pursue the deal six months ago.

According to the council agenda, DHD LLC is under contract to purchase the Red Lion and has agreed to sell two parcels nearest Sixth Street to the city. Although a February letter of intent was acknowledged in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing by Spokane, Wash.-based Red Lion Hotels Corp., a spokesperson said this past week there was no written agreement.

MURA plans to buy the property from the city for future parking.

The city will pay half of the excise taxes on the property and provide DHD an easement for overflow event parking. Lot lines will have to be adjusted within six months of the purchase, because the property line passes through an existing building.

The deal would have to be completed by June 18.

Gordon said the city has been pursuing additional property for parking after the Housing Authority of Jackson County acquired the parking lot at Sixth and Grape streets, and because of parking spaces needed once the One West Main building goes up adjacent to the Evergreen parking structure.

— Greg Stiles

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