City announces elimination of real estate program, land for sale



Posted on May 30, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 30 at 5:40 PM

SPOKANE-- City owned land near you may soon be up for sale. The City of Spokane wants to sell about 100 acres.

Sometimes the city buys more land than it needs when doing road projects and other improvements. The surplus may soon be your opportunity to buy land.

Jeff Bosma owns fast way freight system, a local trucking company. "We need a lot of doors and not a huge square footage area." 

He currently leases a building and property at Havana and Broadway from the City of Spokane. The city purchased the land to make way for the Havana bridge project. Once it's complete they'll sell any extra land.

Bosma may soon get his chance to buy, as will others.

The city wants to unload about 100 acres worth of property scattered throughout the city. They're identifying land that's not necessary for development or city business, but could be worth something to other people.

The property sale is part of a larger effort by the city to save money.

Spokane Mayor David Condon announced plans to improve the City’s management of its property, including land, buildings, and other facilities.

Historically, the City’s management of such assets has been fragmented, leading to inconsistent strategies for development and use.

“We have 1,600 pieces of property, and we need to manage these assets much more proactively and effectively,” says Mayor Condon.  “Some of this property should return to the private sector for development, and the rest should be managed to improve City operations and to benefit our citizens.”

The first step in these changes is to eliminate the City’s current real estate program. The current program focused almost exclusively on right-of-way acquisition for public works projects.  The City’s real estate program has two full-time employees and a temporary employee, who will be laid off June 9.

After eliminating the real estate program, the City will create an asset management program over time to be funded through fees City departments would pay when they buy or sell property.  Money raised through the sale of real estate or lease payments on property also would be reinvested to pay for capital needs at the City.

The city says they will hire professional real estate assistance from the private sector as needed on individual projects. 
“We must evolve the management of city assets to reach the highest and best use of land, buildings, and facilities owned by the City,” the Mayor says.

The City already completed an inventory of real estate assets as part of the Mayor’s 100-Day Action Plan.  Click here to access the map.