News Release: Multnomah County signs letter of intent for Wapato purchase

October 31, 2017

Multnomah County on Tuesday signed a letter of intent for a Portland developer to purchase the Wapato Facility.

County Chair Deborah Kafoury signed the agreement Oct. 31 with Marty Kehoe of Kehoe Northwest Properties, LLC. The agreement comes two months after CBRE Portland real estate services began marketing the 155,400-square-foot building on 18.24 acres of industrial land in Portland’s Rivergate Industrial Park. Wapato was appraised as an industrial building for $8.5 million in 2014.

CBRE began marketing the property internationally and nationally with a deadline of Oct. 20 for offers. After receiving six proposals, the County selected the Kehoe offer. Details of the letter of intent remain confidential while the buyer performs due diligence. The Board of County Commissioners must approve any final purchase in a public meeting.

Wapato was built in 2004 as a minimum-security detention center after Multnomah County voters approved a $46 million bond measure in 1996 for a new jail. The 525-bed facility was completed, but has never been operated as a jail, and apart from being leased for film and television productions, has remained vacant.

'Wapato has dogged every Board and cost every taxpayer since it was completed,’’ said Chair Deborah Kafoury. 'It is past time to end this debacle and get this property back on the tax rolls.”