By Molly • Molly Walker • 

Evergreen's McMinnville campus drawing interest

He credited local officials, particularly Jody Christensen of the McMinnville Economic Development Partnership, with helping foster the interest. “You have a wonderful city to work with, from soup to nuts, he said.

Nicholson and his partner, Cory Lowe, listed the former Evergreen campus at $20 million. They would prefer to keep it intact, but are also offering to break it up and sell it piecemeal.

Individually, the list prices of the buildings range from $1.6 million, for a 13,500-square-foot Learjet hangar and 2,500 square feet of office space on 1.72 acres, to $12 million, for the still-occupied Erickson Helicopters building, featuring 50,000 square feet of office space and 30,000 square feet of hangar space on 13 acres. The individual asking prices total $22.9 million.

Nicholson said the buildings currently share sewer, water, power and Internet networks, but they can be partitioned off to accommodate separate tenants. Some prospective buyers are interested in the entire campus, which lies across Highway 18 from the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, while others are considering individual elements.

The campus abuts McMinnville Municipal Airport and enjoys direct airport access.

Most airport sites are available for lease, but not purchase, Nicholson said. He said having the buildings and the land they occupy available for purchase is an advantage.

Another major plus is the site’s light industrial zoning. He termed that “good, generic zoning” supporting a wide range of uses.

Christensen said her agency has been working closely with CBRE to secure new owners.

She said that has meant keeping lines of communication open with a broad array of stakeholders. “There’s always complexity to a project of this magnitude,” she added.

When a serious buyer emerges, Christensen said, “We know who we have to bring to the table with both sides to start a conversation.” If there is a need to deal with issues like easements, lot line adjustments or other components, they’ll be ready.

She said the fact that Evergreen is in Chapter 7 bankruptcy — the company was joined by several of its subsidiaries in filing on Dec. 13, 2013, in Delaware — add layers of additional complexity. But she noted recent sale of Evergreen International Airlines assets to Jet Midwest moved relatively quickly — a good sign.

“I know we have a city that has good processes in place,” she said. “There’s clarity to move forward.”

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