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‘Emerging opportunity’ teased for future of Wapato Jail

It appears the owner of the jail, Portland developer Jordan Schnitzer, plans to announce a partnership with an Oregon nonprofit to use the empty facility.

PORTLAND, Ore. — There appears to be a new development in the fate of the Wapato Jail. The owner of the facility, Portland developer Jordan Schnitzer, plans to announce an “emerging opportunity” with nonprofit Helping Hands to utilize the building.

The announcement will come Friday morning.

Helping Hands Reentry Outreach Centers provides homeless services and transitional housing. Schnitzer, who acquired the jail in 2018 for $5 million, has stated a desire to turn the facility into a homeless recovery center. But in October, Schnitzer said the jail would be torn down and turned into a warehouse.

RELATED: Portland Developer Schnitzer says Wapato Jail will be torn down

The facility has infamously sat empty since it was built by Multnomah County in 2004 for $58 million.

More details about the partnership will be revealed during Friday’s press conference. The following people are expected to be attend:

  • Jordan D. Schnitzer, president of Harsch Investment Properties
  • Alan Evans, Founder & CEO of Helping Hands Reentry Outreach Centers
  • Senator Betsy Johnson, Oregon state senator
  • Dr. Jay A. Barber, board president at Helping Hands Reentry Outreach Centers and Mayor at City of Seaside
  • Raven Russell, director of data & major projects at Helping Hands Reentry Outreach Centers
  • Trina Hoggard, CFO/deputy director at Helping Hands Reentry Outreach Centers
  • Elizabeth Kotaich, development director at Helping Hands Reentry Outreach Centers
  • Denise Dunn, Helping Hands program graduate and Astoria Facility manager
  • Kurtis Thompson, Helping Hands program graduate and Astoria Facility maintenance manager

RELATED: A look at Wapato Jail from the inside