Sale of Wapato Jail in Portland approved

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Multnomah County commissioners have approved the $10.8 million sale of the long-empty Wapato Jail in Portland and earmarked the proceeds for affordable housing.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that the sale, approved Thursday, represents a loss of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars.

The Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 to sell the property to Kehoe Northwest Properties.

The county received six proposals by its Oct. 20 deadline. One was withdrawn, and only two of the remaining bidders submitted final offers.

Portland developer Marty Kehoe has said that he plans to convert the facility into a distribution and storage space for a medical equipment company.

The county spent $58 million to construct the jail in 2004 and another $300,000 a year to maintain it. While it has been rented out for movie productions, the facility was never used as intended.