Wapato Jail may become distribution center

Medical equipment distribution company would use the space

The Wapato Jail remains empty, June 3, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
The Wapato Jail, June 3, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Multnomah County has signed a letter of intent to sell Wapato Jail to a developer for use as a distribution center.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the letter was signed Tuesday.

Portland real estate developer Marty Kehoe said he plans to convert the facility into a distribution and storage space for a medical equipment distribution company, saying it’s a good location because it’s close to Interstate 5.

The letter is the first step toward the county recouping a portion of the money it sunk into the North Portland property in the last 20 years.

The county spent $58 million to construct the jail in 2004 and another $300,000 a year to maintain it. While film companies have rented it for movie productions, the jail was never used as intended.

The county declined to confirm the purchase price.