City Council to revisit Edmonds Conference Center bid Tuesday night

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The Edmonds City Council during its Tuesday night study session will continue its discussion of whether to continue pursuing efforts to purchase the Edmonds Conference Center.

At its June 7 business meeting, the council learned that Edmonds’ North Sound Church has made a $2.4 million offer to the State of Washington for the Edmonds Conference Center. The city had made a $300,000 offer, with the idea of tearing down the building, which is reported to need significant repairs. The council voted 4-2 (Councilmember Tom Mesaros was absent)  to continue discussing whether to increase its $300,000 bid for the property at 4th and Bell.

Other items on the council agenda include:

– Meeting at 6 p.m. in executive session to discuss collective bargaining and pending or potential litigation, followed by a 7 p.m. regular meeting.

– Update on city’s investment policy

– Discussion of the SR-104 Complete Street Corridor Analysis

– Report on final construction costs for the 2014 Citywide Storm Drainage Improvements and acceptance of project

– Discussion of boards and commissions

– Discussion of ordinance amending the Edmonds City Code relating to council committee meetings and formally establishing the committee of the whole

The meeting will be held in the Council Chambers, Public Safety Complex, 250 5th Ave. N. You can see the complete agenda here.

18 COMMENTS

    • The city would pay no taxes either nor does the existing Conference Center. A church brings much more than just tax revenue to the fabric of a community.

  1. The state should go with the North Sound bid! they are offering more $$ and the city is making a low ball offer! the church brings more to a city besides taxes! besides the city wants to plow it over and make a parking lot or something? that makes no sense.

  2. Edmonds needs space for conferences and events that would benefit more people. Recently, the wonderful day-long high school Jazz Connection (featuring jazz bands from as far away as Arlington) had to use three separate venues, including the old Masonic Hall. There is also a need for more public parking for larger events. Maybe the City could include both parking and a centrally located gathering spot on the Conference Center property (?) Nothing against churches, mind you.

  3. The city of Edmonds has no need for this property and the accompanying headaches. The lowball offer made sense just in case there were no other offers. Now, however, there is a legit offer on the table and there is no reason for the city to suddenly decide the property is a must-have. Please, council members, move on to other, more important, business.

    PS Jazz connection has used three separate venues for (at least) the last ten years and it works perfectly well.

  4. How many totally tax free ACRES and ACRES (some with rentals on them) not generating REVENUE for our city does this small city( and yes, Wasington State has a tourist book out this year 2015 that lists Edmonds as a “small” city) have?…….just visiting a number of these large acreage non tax paying entities recently and seeing some of the acreage was shocking. I say let our city purchase and actually generate revenue that is sorely needed for just basic infrastructure……..Why so many give-a-ways to non paying tax entities, particularly in a small city such as this…….doesnt even make sense…….and do we want a possible mega church at the very center of our town?……

  5. Tere, would like your suggestion of how the city should pay for these properties and what they should do with them to make a profit . Besides property taxes which the city doesnt pay what give a-ways are you talking about.

  6. Why is the tax exempt status of Churches, Mosques and Synagogues ( all of them get that exemption) even being discussed? There are many tax exempt entities. Something about that “greater good” that has been getting so much digital ink here of late. The City can ill afford to take on the property, has no clear vision of what they would do with it should the acquire it and cannot given that non vision even speak to any financial forecasts for it besides the purchase price. If that Church buys it, so what? A mega church? Well, if that be the case then the only problem with that will be parking ( and that will be the Church’s mega headache.). And if I owned one of the restaurants down there I would love to see those hungry souls after services every Sunday.

  7. The church isn’t leaving if they don’t purchase, as the church is already renting the space every week, and this revenue along with other rental needs would generate the income
    Has the City considered that the new Conference Center managers would be tasked with covering expenses and making a profit, however small, to keep this vital property/land belonging to Edmonds?

  8. The college lost over $50,000 per year even with the church renting the building. So how would the city do a more efficient job with management and actually make a profit? They would have to average over $4300 more income per month just to break even. The current room rental rates are between $50- $ 300 per hour. The city would need to increase the weekly use to at least 86 hrs at the lower rate or 14 hrs per month at the higher rate to just break even. The odds of that happening are minimal, at best.

    • I am not a proponent, need to learn more about it. But the economic equation has 2 sides, in conjunction cut expenditures. Do we really believe the college ran it effecient? How many people staffed it? At what inflated salary?

  9. The property is now valued at approx. $2.5 Million. The City was once offered the property for free but, declined. What short sighted vision and capital loss for taxpayers that was. Now, some folks are saying we should decline again to make a fair offer. I beg to differ. It’s not a stretch to think the value could increase significantly again over the next ten years while at the same time providing for numerous community uses. I understand the college indicated it spent literally no effort to manage the asset. Properly managed, I believe it could generate a sustainable revenue to cover expenses, and be a venue that brings others to the city supporting our local businesses and additional taxes generated from their local spending. And by the way, if the church can pay $2.5 Million to buy the asset, they would make a good long term tenant without excluding others from using the site I would think. There are many ways I believe to put a workable deal together.

  10. Before the city could consider offering $2.8 mil to buy the site, they need a well defined, viable plan to improve on what the college was able to generate to the point of profit compared to their loss of $52,000 per year. They have neither.

  11. Nice to see that the City Council is finally addressing its violations of ECC 1.02.031 and ECC 1.04.010 by discussing an Ordinance amending the Edmonds City Code relating to Council Committee Meetings. The Council has failed to hold the required Committee Meetings since last September.

    I am disappointed that in doing so they are trying to revise history. The proposed Ordinance claims that the City Council would like to formalize its practice of having a “committee of the whole”. The City Council did not vote to establish a practice of having a “committee of the whole” last September. The September 2, 2014 City Council Meeting video clearly shows that they voted to have “no committee meetings”.

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