The Medford Urban Renewal Agency demanded to know what a company owned by two Lithia executives is paying for the Red Lion Hotel before the city buys part of the property.
"Their reluctance to disclose the purchase price raises red flags for me," MURA board member Chris Corcoran said.
Corcoran led the charge, receiving approval by a six-to-two vote from the MURA board to send the issue back to the City Council for review. The same members serve on both boards.
DHD LLC, a company run by the Mark and Sid DeBoer, is trying to buy the almost 8-acre Red Lion property, which is on the market for $3.5 million.
The DeBoers want to sell a 3.29-acre portion of the city for $1.6 million. The city would then turn its portion of the property into a parking lot.
The DeBoers' company would retain ownership of the hotel's convention center, restaurant and a majority of the rooms.
Corcoran said city officials owe it to the public to explain the purchase and to make sure it's a fair deal to avoid embarrassment to the city if is paying more than half the price.
— Damian Mann