New owner plans to convert the long-vacant building into an apartment complex

INDEPENDENT FILE PHOTO - Woodburn's former city hall building, which is located on First Street, pictured in 2016. 
The downtown Woodburn building known as the old City Hall (550 N. First St.) was sold on Nov. 1 at a foreclosure auction to a Gresham developer who plans to convert the building into an apartment complex. The building, which was built in 1914 and served as Woodburn's city hall until 1977, sold for $390,000 to Anthony Young at the trustee sale.

The building's former owner, James Frackowiak, had attempted to sell the building on and off for a few years. Originally, Frackowiak listed the building for sale as a package with the neighboring property — a former gas station — asking for $1 million for both.

Frackowiak purchased the property in 2012 for $250,000, according to Marion County Assessor records. He owes $23,638.84 in taxes for the property, according to those records.

According to the public notice for the foreclosure auction, the property went into foreclosure because Frackowiak failed to pay the obligations outlined in the deed of trust. The amount past due, according to that notice, was $376,409.79 as of June 12, 2017, with an additional $58.46 added to that total each day. That total doesn't include other expenses like insurances, late fees, taxes and liens, according to the notice.

The neighboring gas station property was not included in the trustee sale.

What attracted Young to the property was the cost and the building's aesthetic value. "It's a beautiful building and a good price," Young said.

Young said he plans to convert the approximately 16,000-square-foot building into about 20 apartments.

He is considering turning the basement of the building into a separate commercial space. The basement still has a jail cell from when the building functioned as city hall and a police station, a feature Young said could be utilized in an interesting way.

"We're hoping to do something fun there," Young said. "I'm open to ideas."

This will be Young's first time developing multifamily housing. He's remodeled single-family homes, but says this will be his biggest project yet.

The project is still in the early stages. "We're still in the very beginning, getting initial help from the architect and working out who we're going to hire as a GC, general contractor," Young said.

Julia Comnes can be reached at 503-765-1195 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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