December 4, 2019 9:50 a.m.
The Oregon Only project near Sutherlin has been dropped by developers.
A release from Douglas County Commissioners said the December 2nd closing date on the latest “Option to Purchase” extension for the just over 126 acres of real property commonly referred to as the Sutherlin Industrial Park, has passed. That property is owned by Douglas County. Developers failed to produce the payment and meet contractual requirements by the latest deadline. The release said they did not request another extension and have indicated that they will not be pursing the project on that property.
The project had been in the works since May of 2017. That’s when the City of Sutherlin invited Douglas County Commissioner Chris Boice, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Oregon Department of State Lands, and Oregon Only investors to a “kickoff” meeting.
The idea for the Oregon Only project included Oregon-centered activities including a museum, waterpark, a lake for boating and fishing, an outlet mall and more. A hotel, convention center and an RV park were also mentioned as potential ideas.
The release said the Board of Commissioners entered into a Purchase and Sale Agreement with Oregon Only on August 23, 2018. The agreement said the property would be sold “as-is with all faults and defects”. Closing was scheduled for September 4th, 2018. Several extensions to the purchase agreement were issued. A new option to purchase agreement was signed on March 21st of this year. The last agreement was extended on November 18th, to the December 2nd closing date.
Commissioner Chris Boice said “despite making every reasonable effort to see the project through, we are incredibly sad that this project will not come to fruition”. Boice said it was “an exciting project for Douglas County” which would have created jobs, increased tourism, and created additional commerce for the area. Boice said “the County did everything we could to extend the process and give Oregon Only the opportunity to close the deal, while also being willing to help with regulatory hurdles if the property had sold”. Boice said the County will continue to search for viable economic development partners for the property and other properties that are owned by the County. Boice said “getting these properties productive and back on the tax rolls is a priority of ours”.