According to The Bulletin, a 1.6 acre parcel of land owned by former U.S. Ambassador Gordon Sondland is being put up for sale for $10.5 million. The land is located across the street from the Portland Convention Center. The timing of the listing has some experts puzzled. “Everything is completely shut down right now,” said Todd Gooding, president of ScanlanKemperBard, a Portland real estate merchant banking firm. “There’s no demand for hotels; there’s no demand for anything.”

Jim McDermott, Sondland’s attorney, said the notion that financial problems are forcing Sondland to liquidate assets is just flat wrong. “There really is no story here,” McDermott said. “The plan all along was to realize cash from this parking lot asset and deploy that cash elsewhere. The current marketing effort that is underway is simply to make a broader spectrum of buyers aware that the property is for sale.”

And, McDermott said, this is not the first time Sondland has attempted to sell the land. He provided a copy of a purchase and sales agreement dated Oct. 2, 2018, between Sondland’s company and an unidentified purchaser from Colorado.

The sale fell through. This time around, Sondland has hired well-known local brokers George Diamond and Nicholas Diamond of the Real Estate Investment Group to help him sell the parcel.

“Rare close-in opportunity. Multiple uses per zoning across from Oregon Convention Center, close to I-5 & I-84,” a new sales brochure proclaims. At $10.5 million, the price equates to $142 per square foot. That’s a fraction of the price close-in raw land was fetching in pre-COVID days. Given the tremendous decline in prices since then, $142-per square foot seems about right. “Given the current market,” Gooding said, “it’s no bargain.”

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