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Old city hall sold for $1.2 million | Update
POULSBO — Poulsbo’s old city hall on Jensen Way, vacant since November 2010, has a buyer.
“We have sold the old city hall property to a gentleman on Bainbridge Island for $1.2 million,” Mayor Becky Erickson said June 4. “It’s a contingency sale. We have to perform certain things and he has to perform certain things, but we have every expectation that the (property) is being sold.”
The City Council voted June 4 in favor of selling the property, after discussing the proposed sale in an executive session after its regular meeting. The vote was 5-0 in favor of allowing the mayor to sign the purchase and sale agreement. The buyer, Mike Burns, and the mayor signed paperwork for the purchase and sale June 5.
One contingency for the city is that the old city hall building will be demolished. The city also has to seek approval from Kitsap County, which at one time had offices in the building and owns 25 percent of the property.
In the past, Erickson has said proceeds from the sale of the old city hall property will be used to defray the debt from construction of the new city hall on Moe Street.
The old city hall was at one time a fire station. Thecity moved to its new city hall on Nov. 15, 2010. Talk about finding a new city hall began in the mid-1980s, as the make-shift building on Jensen Way grew aged and in need of repairs.
Two potential buyers, one of them the Port of Poulsbo, considered purchasing the site and redeveloping it. The port district hired a consultant to study the feasibility of developing a hotel, a parking garage, or retail stores on the site.
Those ideas were reflected in discussions with Burns, Erickson said, noting that Burns has not made a decision on what to do with the property just yet. She said that whatever is built there will have to fit in with downtown’s Little Norway theme.
“The building that is going to be built must fit in with our downtown commercial district code,” Erickson said. “The things that have been discussed with me (for the property) have been a hotel, or apartments with retail. Both were discussed, but there hasn’t been a formal decision by the buyer as to what he’s going to do with it.”
Before any approval by the city, Burns will go through a design review process to ensure that whatever is built on the old city hall property is up to downtown standards.
The port had a right of refusal agreement with the city from December 2013 until March 2014, meaning that for that period of time, the port had a claim on purchasing it if it chose to do so. The port did not attempt to extend the agreement when it ended.