Bladine: Economics not there for a rehab – News-Register

by | Nov 19, 2022 | Financial

• November 19, 2022

The News-Register, and our family, can say this about the Gwendolyn Hotel: It is not “our project.”
That is no disrespect to the Hugh Development proposal to build an expansive hotel, restaurant and retail complex in place of three downtown buildings. However, our connection to that plan consists of a long and thus-far unsuccessful effort to sell two of those buildings.
Architectural drawings of the project have drawn praise, but there is opposition from people who don’t want those buildings replaced with that size of project in that location. While debate continues – in the community and in today’s “pro-con” presentation – we want to provide some historic and more recent context about the property.

Jeb Bladine is president and publisher of the News-Register.
> See his column

In 1976, we leased and moved into what now is called the News-Register building at 611 NE Third St. When the adjacent O’Dell’s Tire Shop closed in 1982, we leased that building and made it our company fueling station and newsprint warehouse. The O’Dell building was built in 1904, the N-R building between 1912-28, and both underwent significant modifications over time.
In 1985, gas fumes revealed a leaking underground storage tank beneath the sidewalk at Ford and Third streets. In 1986, our site cleanup effort drew an informal “No Further Action” determination by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, and later that year we purchased two properties at that intersection, along with the adjacent Fourth Street buildings.
[See also: Paddock: Rue the da …

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