Demolition of three buildings and a pool at the southern end of the former Red Lion Inn should begin by the end of the year.
The city of Medford is looking for bids for the demolition work to pave the way for a 100-space parking lot at 56 N. Riverside Ave.
This is the latest effort to improve the area around The Commons, a downtown redevelopment project that has two parks, Lithia Motors headquarters and the soon-to-open SkyOak Wealth Management on Bartlett Street.
Much of the former Red Lion has been converted into The Inn at the Commons and is being remodeled.
The deal to acquire the eight-acre Red Lion property was a collaboration between the city, two executives from Lithia Motors and Doug and Becky Neuman, Ashland hoteliers who own the Ashland Springs Hotel.
The Red Lion featured 185 rooms, but that number dropped to 118 at The Inn at the Commons because the city took over the three buildings to the south.
City officials wanted to buy the 3.29-acre portion of the Red Lion because they say the city needs additional parking in the downtown, particularly if more businesses move into The Commons.
The first park in The Commons is almost finished, though drinking fountains and a splash pad are not operational yet.
The second park to the north is nearing completion and will have a large grassy area, a stage and fir trees that will be adorned with lights during the holiday season.
City officials have eyed more parking because long-range plans indicate more corporate offices could locate around The Commons.
An 18-space parking lot to the south of Lithia's headquarters may be replaced with a proposed three-story office and retail complex.
Other buildings are hoped for in the future to the north of Lithia's headquarters.
Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476, email email@example.com or @reporterdm.