By Jeb Bladine • President / Publisher • 

Jeb Bladine: Yes, the Evergreen sale is complicated

Michael F. Thomson – U.S. Chapter 11 Trustee for The Falls Event Center bankruptcies — was a master of understatement in his motion to sell Evergreen Museum campus properties:


Jeb Bladine is president and publisher of the News-Register.

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“The offering and marketing of the property has been complicated.”

Complicated, indeed! Thomson cited the size and unique nature of the property; lack of proximity to a major metropolis; lack of comparable sales transactions; inaccurate former land surveys; complex relationships with the museum; statutory bankruptcy rights claimed by the museum; multiple liens on the properties; and physical condition of the water park.

However, as long-rumored, a buyer came forward this summer with $10 million and a desire to save the storied Evergreen Museum institution.

The pending sale includes 285 acres of farm, vineyard and potential resort lodge lands. It transfers ownership of the Evergreen space building and waterpark, plus the former chapel that was converted into a spacious event center. The buyer also receives seven aircraft, irrigation water rights and miscellaneous personal property.

The buyer first offered $8 million, then agreed to pay $10 million with credit up to $250,000 for waterpark repairs. After water park repairs were estimated north of $800,000, negotiations dropped the final purchase price to $9.5 million.

A real estate agency will receive $265,800 for brokering the deal.

As a so-called “stalking horse bidder,” the buyer could lose the deal at auction to a higher bid. In that case, he/she would receive 3 percent of the winning bid as a “break-up fee” for negotiating a sales agreement acceptable to Trustee Thomson.

Yamhill County will claim about $1.6 million of sale proceeds for unpaid property taxes on the properties, but that will be contingent on subsequent proceedings in Oregon Tax Court.

Our buyer declined invitations to discuss his/her plans for the Evergreen campus. The newspaper is honoring that desire for anonymity until the sale is finalized, expected by Nov. 4. That could change if he/she goes public or otherwise is widely identified elsewhere.

The buyer’s Oregon-based company and representation by a Salem attorney clearly suggests someone nearby. And, any auction competitor would face a poison pill planted by Evergreen Museum, which agreed to drop its complex legal claims against The Falls Event Center for this buyer and this buyer only.

Interim Museum Director John Rasmussen, always a calm optimist, was even more upbeat than usual recently when he said. “We’re thrilled that this chapter is finally coming to an end.”

It’s quite a chapter in the Evergreen encyclopedia, an epic book still being written.

Jeb Bladine can be reached at or 503-687-1223.



I can't wait to find out who this anonymous buyer is. The "poison pill" provision the musueum threw in makes for some great drama. I can't imagine what would make a prospective buyer so appealing to the musuem that they would push for that. How about a bigger buyer with more money to throw into the museum? Strange events around Yamhill County this Halloween season.


I’m hoping it’s Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air to build some hangars for its fleet that will be departing from McMinnville International Airport with daily service to San Jose and Guadalajara :)