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City staff ironing out property sale details

Six parcels will be auctioned off through a sealed bid process


Now that the City of Prineville has chosen to sell six of its properties, work has now begun to establish that sales process.

Last month, the city council opted to sell six pieces of land, five of which are located near O’Neil Highway, and the other in the Baldwin Industrial Park. They felt it best to move the land as quickly as possible and remove the city from the property management business.

At a meeting two weeks ago, City Planning Director Phil Stenbeck approached the council with a sales strategy, and with the exception of some minor tweaks, they approved the plan.

While the city wants to act quickly, the sales won’t happen overnight. Some properties include dwellings while some await other hurdles.

“One of them can only be sold by boundary line adjustment,” Stenbeck explained. “The other five, what we will end up doing is looking at having the properties inspected, so when people bid, they will be able to see an inspection report on the house.”

In addition, the city will identify wells and do required testing according to real estate law. Then, they will create whatever easements are needed for the water, and determine and establish water rights. Another property will require a partition process that will convert it to three parcels.

When the city council discussed initial sales plans, they stressed that any tenants currently occupying the properties should be given priority over other potential buyers if they are interested in purchasing the land. In developing its plan, city staff accounted for those concerns.

“We are trying to work with the tenants and give them an opportunity - that first right to buy,” Stenbeck said. “It gives them an opportunity to stay where they are living if they pay the going rate for the property.”

Unlike private real estate transactions, the city will sell the properties via a sealed bid process.

“We will advertise in the newspaper for a couple weeks. The people who choose to participate in the process also have to have a prequalification letter,” Stenbeck said. “If they turn in a bid and they don’t have a prequalification letter attached, they are going to get tossed.”

The properties will each go to the highest bidder. In the event of a tie, the two bidders may bid on the property up to whatever amount they are prequalified to pay. If one of the tying bids is the tenant of the property, they will win and purchase the property.

Stenbeck could not say for sure when the properties would be available for bid. He noted that the property line adjustment could take at least 30 days and the inspections and other necessary pre-sale work could take a while as well. However long it takes, the city will wait until all the properties are ready for sale, and then make them available for bid all at once.



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