A contract was awarded to tear down old properties located in the 12500 block.

COURTESY OF THE CITY OF TIGARD - A map shows, outlined in blue, the location of the Main Street at Fanno Creek property, also known as the Saxony properties, in downtown Tigard.The Tigard City Council acted Tuesday, Aug. 22, to award a contract bid for the planned demolition of a former log planing mill on Main Street.

What the city is calling the Main Street at Fanno Creek property, also known as the Saxony properties, is a conjoined trio of buildings dating back to before World War II. Plans call for the old structure to be torn down next month, after Tigard's downtown urban renewal agency purchased it for redevelopment in 2015.

Demolition work carries a few complications. For one, part of the structure overhangs Fanno Creek, and care must be taken to prevent debris from getting into the waterway. For another, testing has found soil and groundwater contamination, mostly from petroleum and solvents, on the old industrial site. City staff said Tuesday that contaminated material will have to be removed and disposed of during the teardown process.

Anderson Environmental Contracting LLC was the only bidder on the project, and its $352,043 bid came in roughly $75,000 above what the city engineer estimated. However, the council unanimously followed a recommendation by city staff to award it the contract.

"I think we've been looking at this for quite a long time," said City Councilor Marc Woodard of the demolition project.

He added, "I'm satisfied with where we're at right now, and I think we've got some money in the till. … I'm pretty comfortable with it at this point."

Eric Zimmerman, Tigard's assistant city manager, told The Times that preparatory work for the demolition is scheduled to begin Tuesday, Sept. 5, with the actual demolition beginning the following week. The teardown should be finished by the end of October, he added.

The city has lined up $300,000 in brownfield grant funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the demolition project.

At a community meeting at Max's Fanno Creek Brew Pub earlier this year, project consultants and city staff discussed the impacts the demolition will have on pedestrian and vehicle traffic on Main Street. They're expected to be fairly modest, according to that presentation: Two or so diagonal parking spots on the street will be blocked off, the property will be cordoned off with chain-link fencing, and demolition work won't start before 7 a.m. on weekdays.

City officials have said they hope to see a mixed-use building constructed on the site once the old buildings are torn down and the land is determined to be free of contamination. Early concepts presented to the Tigard City Council last year suggested it could support a building as large as six stories in height.

The properties are located at 12533-12537 S.W. Main St. in downtown Tigard.

By Mark Miller
Assistant Editor, The Times
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