Medford urban renewal may sell old ERA building

A building once destined for the wrecking ball in downtown Medford could become headquarters for Southern Oregon Credit Service and Rogue Valley Billing Service.

The Medford Urban Renewal Agency might sell the former 5,100-square-foot ERA building at 201 W. Sixth St. for $325,000 to $390,000, depending on the outcome of an appraisal. MURA purchased the property in 2003 for $552,000 as part of plans to create additional parking downtown.

The property sits behind the Britt Festivals headquarters and was formerly used as a dance studio.

Brian Watkins, president of the company, said he's been looking for a long time to find the right home for his business, now in a leased building at 841 Stewart Ave.

The Sixth Street building will give him another 1,000 square feet. He has 22 employees in Medford, with three other employees in offices in Grants Pass and Roseburg.

Bill Hoke, deputy city manager, said MURA originally purchased the property so it could be used for a possible parking area.

Since then, the city, which took over administration of MURA this year, decided it would be better used if a business purchased it and renovated the building, which has fallen into disrepair.

The MURA board, made up of City Council members, hasn't decided how proceeds from the sale would be spent.

— Damian Mann

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