Jackson County will buy U.S. Postal Service building

A $2 million deal has been struck that would allow Jackson County to buy the four-story U.S. Postal Service building and convert it into a central complex for health services employees.

“I think we can confirm the deal is pretty well clinched,” said Commissioner C.W. Smith.

County commissioners will vote Tuesday on the purchase agreement with the U.S. Postal Service, which will include a $125,000 deposit.

The Postal Service, which plans to look for a replacement building in the downtown, would lease back a portion of its former building for nine months at a monthly rate of $16,650.

This will give the county time to work with architects and engineers to remodel the interior of the 80,000-square-foot building at 333 W. Eighth St. to consolidate health and human operations that are now spread out in downtown Medford. The structure will also be brought up to current seismic standards.

The building had been on the market for $3.3 million, but the price agreed upon by the Postal Service is just over $2 million.

Harvey Bragg, deputy county administrator, said the cost to remodel could be about $9 million, depending on how much work the county wants to undertake to improve the building.

Another $7 million will be spent to pay for a parking garage that could be four stories tall.

The county will use various reserves it has set aside for the project, and won’t be seeking any additional dollars from voters.

Bragg said the county will eventually recoup some of its investment by selling off buildings on East Main Street that currently house health services.

-- Damian Mann

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