City set to sell property near Evergreen Park

After more than a year of negotiations, it appears the city of Bremerton is set to sell two parcels of city-owned land near Evergreen Park to Seattle developer Mark Goldberg.

The two pieces of property are located across from Augustino’s on Sheldon Boulevard and were appraised at $126,000 in August 2006 when Goldberg first approached the city about purchasing the parcels.

Goldberg also owns numerous other properties in the area, which are in the process of being redeveloped.

“He decided to buy both parcels and hold us harmless (for any clean-up costs),” City Attorney Roger Lubovich told the Bremerton City Council during its Wednesday night study session at the Norm Dicks Government Center. “If the state comes after us, we might still be on the hook.”

Goldberg has agreed to pay the city the assessed value of the properties and the proceeds would go into the city’s general fund, Lubovich said.

Councilman Mike Sheppard, who represents the Evergreen Park area, said the two properties are currently problem areas for the neighborhood.

“We would like to see it redeveloped,” Sheppard said, noting that the properties are covered with blackberries and other eyesores, which detract from the neighborhood’s redevelopment efforts.

Although no clear development plans for the property currently exist, Sheppard said he envisions the parcels as potential sites for mixed-use structures as part of a larger development plan.

“I see it as a great piece of property for mixed use development,” Council President Will Maupin said.

Among the development ideas that have been floated for the property are three to six-story structures, which could be built into the slope of the properties without violating the city’s 35-foot building height restrictions, Sheppard said.

“It’s probably going to be something which is a little bit of residential, but there will be some retail and maybe artists,” Sheppard said.

Regardless as to what the final development plans turn out to be, the most important thing is to get the property off of the city’s books, Mayor Cary Bozeman said.

“We’d like to get it on the tax rolls, because it has no use to us,” Bozeman said.

Because Goldberg is purchasing the property as is, it makes sense to go ahead with the sale, Lubovich said.

“It’s hard to get somebody to say we’re not going to ask you for some kind of reimbursement,” Lubovich said.

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