Wedge-shaped parcel near new sports park will be for sale

A wedge-shaped property owned by Medford at the entrance to U.S. Cellular Community Park could become a prime location for a new restaurant.

At least that's what city officials hope some investor thinks as they consider putting the slightly larger than half-acre parcel up for sale.

A public hearing to discuss the possible sale will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7 (note: this date has been corrected) in the City Council chambers at 411 W. Eighth St.

The property is located at the south corner of the entrance to the park on South Pacific Highway.

Part of the original 132 acres purchased for development of the park, the property has an appraised value of $315,000.

Proceeds from a sale would be placed in a special parks fund that could be spent in the 2011-13 budget cycle.

In 2002, the city bought all the land that became the park. Access to the park was coordinated with the Oregon Department of Transportation.

During the planning phase, the triangular-shaped parcel was excluded, and the land was initially identified as a practice area in the park master plan.

However, after additional analysis, the city determined it would be dangerous to locate the practice area so close to the highway and entrance.

The Medford Parks and Recreation Department hopes the property will be used for a commercial activity that would support the park. One suggestion is that a restaurant could be built on the parcel with a shared parking agreement with Harry & David Field.

The $30 million park on Highway 99 began opening in phases in 2007 and provides a range of sports facilities, access to nature walks and outdoor gathering spaces.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476, or e-mail dmann@mailtribune.com.

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