fb pixel

Log In

Reset Password

Wal-Mart buys site for store in south Medford

City's rejection of supercenter stands, pending an appeal

Wal-Mart bought Miles Field and the surrounding property from Jackson County for &

36;15.6 million Tuesday, following 14 months of negotiations.

The sale does not change the status of the Medford City Council decision in May to reject a 207,000-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter proposed for the site. The council decided that the design was incompatible with the area.

Wal-Mart has paid the county &

36;7.6 million for the 18.9-acre parcel, and the rest of the purchase price will be paid when the county juvenile center and Miles Field are removed.

About &

36;2.3 million from the sale will be used to replace Miles Field with a ballfield at Medford's new 132-acre sports park on Highway 99 across from Bear Creek Corp., if the city of Medford approves the transfer of funds, according to County Administrator Sue Slack. She also said about &

36;1 million will be used to reduce the debt for a new juvenile detention center. The old facility will remain until this fall when the new building at 10th and King streets opens.

Another benefit, she said, is that Wal-Mart will pave the National Guard Armory parking lot to the north, as requested by the Oregon Army National Guard and the city.

— It's a good accomplishment, said Slack.

Gary Miller, president of the board for Miles Field/Medford Youth Baseball Society, said he's waiting for City Council approval on the fund transfer before he starts celebrating.

He said the timing of the sale allows ballgames to go on at Miles Field through the season, which will extend through August. He said it should take between six and nine months to build a new ballfield and seating.

Councilman Bob Strosser said he was optimistic the council would approve the transfer of funds.

It would be my fervent hope that it would be a part of the sports park, he said. It just makes sense to do it.

Eric Berger, Wal-Mart community affairs director in Seattle, Wash., described the sale as a win-win for the community as a whole.

Wal-Mart has until around June 24 to appeal the city's rejection of the supercenter with the Land Use Board of Appeals. Berger said a decision on whether to file an appeal has not been reached.

We still have 8 or 9 days, he said.

Reach reporter Meg Landers at 776-4481 or e-mail .