Clatsop County will receive only half the purchase price for property in the North Coast Business Park ... for now.

In a 4-0 vote, the county's Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to amend its agreement with Wes Giesbrecht, of North Coast Retail LLC (formerly Atlin Investments), a Mercer Island, Wash., developer, allowing his company to pay half the $8,653,000 asking price.

Chairman Jeff Hazen recused himself from the special meeting held Wednesday in the Judge Guy Boyington Building, because he works for the first business scheduled for construction on the parcel - Costco. Commissioners John Raichl, Patricia Roberts, Ann Samuelson and Dirk Rohne, who appeared by telephone, voted for the amendment.

The rest of the purchase price ($4,326,500) is to be paid one year from closing with 4 percent interest. That payment would be secured with a deed of trust secured to the southern four lots of the parcel being sold. If Giesbrecht doesn't make the payment, those four lot would revert to the county.

On March 11, Giesbrecht told the Board that the capital markets were upside down, and getting financing was more difficult than in the past.

North Coast Retail is scheduled to invest $5.5 million in infrastructure to prepare the site for the new Costco facility.

"This is a no-lose situation for the county," said Interim County Manager Nicole Williams.

North Coast Retail will have to install infrastructure, which includes a segment of road, to the property.

Williams said the property would be more valuable to the county.

Atlin faces a second hurdle developing the business park. It hasn't received permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Oregon Division of State Lands. The developer began the processes to receive permits in December 2007.

"It just goes on and on and on," lamented Ed Wegner, Clatsop County director of Community Development. "It's a private stimulus package for our economy."

For more on this story, read Thursday's edition of The Daily Astorian or on this Web site

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