PORTLAND, Ore. — Multnomah County voted 4-1 on Thursday to sell the Wapato Jail to a developer for use as a distribution center.

Portland real estate developer Marty Kehoe told OregonLive he plans to turn the facility into a distribution and storage space for a medical equipment distribution company, saying it's a good location near Interstate 5.

Commissioner Loretta Smith cast the lone no vote. She pushed last year to turn the jail into an emergency shelter for the homeless.

Background: Commissioner wants Wapato Jail opened to homeless

The estimated cost to build the jail in 2004 was $58 million and maintaining it costs $300,000 per year. It was sold Thursday for $10.8 million.

It was appraised several years ago at $8.5 million, said Multnomah County spokesman Denis Theriault.

"Now it starts 60 days of due diligence for the buyer," Theriault said. "They can extend it another 30 days if need be. The buyer will be putting down $200,000 in the next week or so."

The 155,000-square-foot facility sits on 18.24 acres near Kelley Point Park in North Portland.

The money from the sale will go toward the county's comprehensive housing plan. The county is working with the city of Portland on affordable housing for 2,000 people in the next 10 years.


The Associated Press contributed to this report