Redding City Council OKs Sale of Former Police Station for $650,000

The sale of the dilapidated and long-vacant former police station was approved Tuesday with a 4-0 vote by the Redding City Council.

Equity Streams, a Redding firm that plans to transform the brick building and parking lot into a co-sharing work space for startups and a small restaurant or brewery, will pay $650,000.

Mayor Brent Weaver, who owns property on the same block, abstained from the vote.

Councilwoman Francie Sullivan and Mayor Brent Weaver. Photos by Jon Lewis.

Councilwoman Francie Sullivan and Mayor Brent Weaver. Photos by Jon Lewis.

Terms of the agreement require Equity Streams to develop at least half of the property within four years or risks having the city buy back the property for the sale price. The city also has the right to buy it back if Equity Streams wishes to sell the property to another developer. If more than $750,000 is invested in the property, the city loses its right to repurchase it.

Equity Streams first indicated an interest in the old police station last November when it made its $650,000 offer. Hours before the council was scheduled to consider it, the McConnell Foundation came in with a $675,000 bid.

The two parties briefly flirted with collaboration before Equity Streams backed out. Rather than compete with Equity Streams, the McConnell Foundation withdrew its offer while maintaining its commitment “to being a long-term stakeholder in the revitalization of downtown Redding,” according to John Mancasola, the foundation’s president and CEO.

At the November council meeting, an attorney for the McConnell Foundation spokesman said the philanthropic organization had been interested in the building for a year or more, but it had always been in connection with McConnell’s ongoing negotiations with Union Pacific. Those negotiations concern a potential land swap that would free up the UP railyard property west of the railroad tracks and north of Yuba Street.

Councilwoman Julie Winter’s motion to approve Tuesday’s sale was supported by Councilman Adam McElvain. Escrow is scheduled to close in 90 days. The building was sold “as is.”

In other action Tuesday, the council:

Continuum of Care & the homeless

–Voted 5-0 to send a letter to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) expressing the city’s support of the Redding/Shasta Continuum of Care (CoC). The CoC is a partnership of agencies, nonprofits and service providers tasked with delivering services to the homeless.

The letter, recommended by Weaver, was in response to a letter Councilwoman Kristen Schreder sent to HUD that detailed her concerns with the CoC.

Schreder, who spearheaded the Redding Area Homelessness Coalition Project, has argued that the CoC needs to formalize a coordinated one-stop entry system to streamline the delivery of services and invest in software designed to manage information on homeless populations and services.

Both requirements, she said, are essential if Redding and Shasta County are to obtain vital HUD funding in an increasingly competitive environment. Currently, in terms of HUD funding on a per capita basis, the Redding/Shasta CoC ranks just 387th out of 395 CoCs in the country. “Clearly we can do better,” Schreder said.

Sandra Oswald, an event coordinator with Shasta Support Service and the organizer of January’s point-in-time homeless survey, told the council she was “deeply disgusted” by Schreder’s letter to HUD. Dale Ball, also with the Shasta Support Service volunteer group, said the letter will hinder the delivery of services to the homeless and he called on Schreder to resign.

The mission’s good news

–Heard an update from Jonathan Anderson, executive director of the Good News Rescue Mission. In the three years Anderson has been on the job, the mission has helped 112 clients enroll in college and helped 166 more find employment.

Jonathan Anderson reports on Good News Rescue Mission progress, including the Victory House.

Jonathan Anderson reports on Good News Rescue Mission progress, including the Victory House.

In the past two years, more than 600 clients have transitioned into permanent housing, Anderson said. New projects include a community outreach project in cooperation with the Redding Police Department and ongoing negotiations with local hospitals to establish a medical respite center at the mission.

Councilwoman Winter said she wanted to thank Anderson “for having a heart for those who don’t have a voice” while Councilwoman Francie Sullivan said “we owe you about four hours of applause” for the mission’s efforts.

U Prep’s brainpower

–Awarded proclamations to the five University Preparatory High School students who captured first place in the 20th annual Redding Regional Science Bowl at Simpson University. It was U Prep’s fifth straight victory, according to Matt Madison of the sponsoring Redding Electric Utility.

Mayor Brent Weaver, left, REU's Matt Madison and U Prep Regional Science Bowl winners.

Mayor Brent Weaver, left, REU’s Matt Madison and U Prep Regional Science Bowl winners.

The winning team of Katherine Woodworth, Sam Newcomer, Luke Blankenberg, Kevin Liu and Nick Schumann earned an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete in the National Science Bowl later this month. Team coaches are Brian Murphy and Corey Poole.

U Prep High School Science Bowl winners and coach Brian Murphy, left.

U Prep High School Science Bowl winners and coach Brian Murphy, left.

This year, the high schoolers will be joined by the U Prep Middle School team, which also captured first place in the first year middle schools were invited to compete. Winning team members are Thomas Neill, Kevin Matthews, Shaun Saini, Abby Bowling and Logan Hunt. Morgan Peck was their coach.

Jon Lewis
Jon Lewis is a freelance writer living in Redding. He has more than 30 years experience writing for newspapers and magazines. Contact him at jonpaullewis@gmail.com.
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26 Responses

  1. Rev.Christopher Whedon says:

    While not being a Redding Resident I do enjoy your e-paper. I always find something about it interesting and informative! thank you for keeping me in the know!

    • I’m glad you’re here, and that you enjoy A News Cafe.com.

      It’s writers like Jon Lewis and many other contributors who provide the interesting, engaging and informative content. Yay, team!

    • kerr, david says:

      All digital newspapers have great potential.  Most Michigan newspapers, except for metro Detroit, are Mlive.com local digital editions.  Mlive also functions as a news aggregator, so you can see the stories in all the local editions.

      The Northstate could use a news aggregator.

  2. Carter Slade says:

    This whole sale of the former police station is very confusing.  Perhaps that is because the Redding City Council is involved. Referencing past RS articles, the news first broke that Equity Streams offered $650,000. Later, a followup RS article reported McConnell came in and bumped the bid to $675,000 but only with the inclusion of  2 connecting parking lots.

    Then it was reported the Equity Streams and McConnell were investing in the property as partners. Faster than the Redding city council could say sold, the McConnell Foundation, citing vague reasons, backs out of the deal. Later, here comes Equity Streams with the same $650,000 deal but now, the newly reported sale mentions nothing about the 2 parking lots  but the bigger question I have is- who brought Equity Streams back to the bargaining table?

    Speaking of who’s, meanwhile back at the ol police station, Mayor Brent Weaver owns a building on the same block as the police station.  Ah, the plot thickens.  At an earlier council meeting he tells his fellow council, brethren and sisteren – “pass this deal, pass it now or else.” Folks felt the or else was a bit strange but hey, it’s Redding. Finally, as the latest article indicates the sale is approved by the council but the Mayor “abstains” from the meeting.  Another out of town news source reports he “recused” himself. To me, “abstained” is a little more benign than “recused”, the latter insinuating a conflict of interest with lets say, legal guidelines. Abstain or recuse Mayor, , isnt ait a bit late for either? Legally maybe not, but if nothing else, how about from a moral standpoint?

    Ya’ll can do your own dot connecting but for me, I find it ironic that a building that was once was a symbal for law, order and citizenry safety may have just been used to pick our pockets….

    For me, the most confusing part of this whole deal if I’m seeing it right is where was the rest of the Redding City council when this deal was being hustled…?

     

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Say WHAT? 

      Here’s an Occam’s razor version of the events.

      1.  McConnell Foundation backed out because they decided after having a better look that they didn’t have the stomach for investing in a potential money pit.

      2.  Equity Streams (I’m surprised that you’re not asking the question, “Who are they?”) is less intimidated by the host of structural defects.

      3.  Recuse is the legal term for abstaining from voting when you have a conflict of interest.  There is nothing interesting in the use of both words to describe Weaver’s sitting out the vote.  It would be cause for raised eyebrows if he hadn’t recused himself, but to imply the smell of fishiness because he did is kind of……I mean……what else is the guy supposed to do?

      4.  Pick our pockets?  How so?  That would be the case if the property were being sold for well below its market value via some sort of back-room deal.  What’s your evidence?  You and I were both free to submit bids, right? Did you submit a bid for $750k that the City ignored?

      You do get brownie points for using “I find it ironic…” correctly, Ghost Rider.

      • Carter Slade says:

        Oh no, it’s that Steve Towers guy…Well, seeing as it’s my turn in Mr Towers barrel –

        My main point is Weaver who owns a building on the same block and who is also a council member, urged and I mean URGED the council to shove this deal thru. Some council members felt it should have been given more scrutiny. What was he supposed to do? How about recuse himself from the very beginning, stand down, keep his mouth shut and let the deal happen, one way or the other. Thanks for the English deff lesson (recuse) Steve but it doesnt even make you appear any smarter than the rest of us…

        Your McConnell explantion – So you say…It seems to me the Foundation has been around long enough and purchased enough properties that they would have inspected the propertry before bidding, wouldnt you? Whatever. Just seems odd.

        How do you know the City IGNORED the $750,000 ? All accounts say McConnell “backed away”. Speaking of evidence…

        Out of curiosity I researched Equity Streams several articles ago. Big developers with big ideas. Cant fault that.

        Lastly, my opinions are my opinions in which I am entitled to and that is all I posted here, my opinion. Please extend me the courtesy of repescting that and I promise, I will try hard to respect yours. In fact, real hard.

        You giving me brownie points.  How nice…Last thing, does Occam make a good razor? My Gillette blades really suck…

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          Good point about Weaver keeping quiet from the get-go, if your representation of his initial enthusiasm is true (and I’ve no reason to believe it isn’t.)  I didn’t mean to lecture you about the meaning of “recuse,” but you seemed to be drawing a distinction between “recuse” and “abstain” that I don’t think is there in any important way.

          The Foundation has been around long enough to know that you can put in a bid contingent on the findings of your due diligence.  That building is well-known to have major issues, which is why the City abandoned it in the first place.

          You misread my comment about the $750k bid.  I was asking if you submitted a competing bid of that amount (or more) that was ignored, and that’s how you know the citizens are getting fleeced.

          I respect your opinions, Ghost Rider, but posting opinions on an opinion board beget other opinions.*  That’s the point of the format we have here, where you get to reply directly to preceding opinions.  Feel free to throw darts at mine whenever it suits you.  I enjoy the give-and-take.

          *I know there are a lot of places on the internet that are echo chambers, with everyone saying to each other, “Oh, me too!  That’s what I think, too!”  If this was one of those places, I wouldn’t be here.

           

          • Carter Slade says:

            *I know there are a lot of places on the internet that are echo chambers, with everyone saying to each other, “Oh, me too!  That’s what I think, too!”  If this was one of those places, I wouldn’t be here.

            Yea Steve, that’s what I think too…wink

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            :::chuckles:::

          • Carter Slade says:

            LOL The rules of the opinion board according to Steve.  Okey dokey pard, I’ll try to keep em in mind…

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          There actually are etiquette rules on this site, but I don’t make them, enforce them, or consistently follow them.  I’ve been on the receiving end of enforcement actions more than once, though.

          (See the “Comment Policy” directly above this comments section.  Allowances are apparently made for trolls.  :::points thumbs at own chest:::)

  3. R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

    I find it ironic that a building that was once a cop shop is gonna soon be a brewery. I hope the beer is good. If I was them, the first thing I’d make is a Quadruple IPA called “Drunk Tank.”

    Drunk Tank, in fact, would be a much better name than The Station for the place.

    • Carter Slade says:

      LOL RV.  The new owners could invite past drunksters who spent the nite there to come down to share beers and stories. I can here em now – “Hey, right over there in that corner was where I threw up…Luv the name and the irony.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      I like it.

      Lock-up Lager

      Downtown Jail Pale Ale

      Pokey Porter

      I’m Innocent IPA

      Graybar Hotel Hefeweizen

      Bricks and Bars Stout

      Cellmate Romance ESB

  4. Karen C says:

    It it my imagination or are we getting too many brewery types in Redding.  Is the population going to support all of them?

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      It’s not your imagination. Of course, some go out of business. But it seems like there’s plenty more to take their place.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      We went forever being just about the only sizable city in California without a brewpub or craft brewery.  I’ll take the abundance of riches, so long as it doesn’t drive my favorite under.  (Team Wildcard.)  The brewpub out in Palo Cedro was the first to fall.  There’s a tragic tale tied to that failure, I sense.

      • Beverly Stafford says:

        Local restaurants hosted a sort of Taste of Redding barbeque several months ago, and we attended the one in Sweetie’s parking lot.  A brewer from the Palo Cedro brewpub was there and told that he would soon be opening Final Draft because the Palo Cedro location was shutting down.  The beer offering he shared with us was great.  Hope Final Draft is successful.

        • Richard Christoph says:

          Beverly,

          We have had the pleasure of lunch at Final Draft twice since they opened and can highly recommend their food, service, and especially their excellent brews  (their Red IPA is my favorite). We hope that the Carnegie Food Truck concept raises all Downtown boats as some predict, but in the interim urge our fellow citizens to support the various businesses that are dependent on customers to survive and thrive.

  5. Lori G. says:

    Great coverage Jon.

  6. kerr, david says:

    Whoever buys the old police station may be making a very bad investment.  Today’s Dan Walters column in the Bee is worthwhile.  The GOP tax plan could eliminate the deductions for state taxes, an indirect subsidy the Federal government pays to states like New York and California.  States like CA and NY could pay for lower corporate tax rates, more favorable expensing of investments and lower taxes to repatriate capital which is now trapped overseas.  Investors have pushed up stock prices anticipating this plan would give 4% annual GDP growth instead of the 1-2% we have been seeing.

  7. Joanne Lobeski Snyder says:

    I just got doused with all I don’t know about politics,  real estate and high finance.  For example.  A historic, secure brick building has potential.  Right?  You can gut the insides and start over.   More importantly, in my uneducated mind, no car servicing (oil, gasoline and other hazardous components) took place in this building.  I can’t wait to see what happens.  I can’t wait to see what “Downtown Jail Pale Ale” tastes like too.  I picture an arresting blend between locked up for too long pale, with an innocent touch of stout.

  8. Frank Treadway says:

    All this chatter about Beer and Buildings, it will go forth on its on merits or crumble, like our economy will under the current DC Administration…More importantly, what about the statement, in Mr. Lewis’s article, of the two SSS members who asked for the resignation of Council member Schreder.  On what grounds do they stand ? They are most rude at council meetings, immaturely snickering with one another, yelling from the back wall, wearing t-shirts that make them seem important, what are they really all about, a group that knows nothing about Downtown issues, and especially  who would never be able to gather enough signatures to recall the 3 council members they want replaced.  Please, do something constructive for our community besides whispering and denigrating someone who has gathered more information about the street people of Redding than they ever will.

  9. Russell K. Hunt says:

    Well good lucky with the police station ie. Lou Geard Ford i.e. oil pits in the repair bays, contaminated insulation from leaky sewers and who knows what else.

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