Jackson County Board of Commissioners to consider Britt property offer

MEDFORD, Ore. – In a brief regular meeting Wednesday morning, the Jackson County Board of Commissioners passed a motion to revisit two purchase offers for the historic United States Hotel in Jacksonville.

According to Britt Music and Arts Festival President and CEO Abby Mckee, Britt had been in discussions regarding a potential real estate trade since November of 2023. Mckee says Britt would have traded its downtown Medford office for the U.S. Hotel, to house its administrative offices as well as an education center and acoustic performance space.

However during Wednesday’s board meeting, County Counsel Joel Benton says they didn’t receive an offer from Britt until Tuesday night, May 14. Benton went on to say how there was a stir of confusion and misunderstanding between the county and Britt, adding that he was unsure who Britt originally talked to about a potential trade.

Competing with Britt for the property is Jacksonville’s Somar Family Vineyards. Wednesday’s original agenda item was to deliberate on Somar’s offer, but given Britt’s offer as of Tuesday night, the commissioners decided to revisit both at a later time.

Britt presented commissioners with a $1.5 million cash offer for the property. Somar’s offer is for $1.1 million, however the county would receive additional revenue from carrying a note on the property for five years, guaranteeing $283,000 in interest. Britt’s cash offer means no interest would be earned by the county. Both businesses are requesting a 60 day contingency, but Britt is proposing the county pay their relator 2.5% of proceeds for the purchase price, making Britt’s net offer less than Somar’s.

Benton added that the U.S. Hotel has been on the market for close to a decade, and has several costly structural issues. The hotel has also received purchase offers in the past, but all of them fell through. With two firm offers in front of the board, he suggested the commissioners did not have all the information needed to make a decision.

It was Commissioner Dyer who proposed the motion to table the discussion to a future agenda. Commissioners Dotterrer and Roberts swiftly agreed. When asked about her reaction to Wednesday’s board meeting, the Britt president was pleased with the commissioners’ decision.

“We know that whoever has the best offer will take ownership of that building. No matter what, our real goal here is the stewardship of a beautiful, historic community space leveraged for the use of our community,” Mckee says. 

Its not yet known when the Commissioners will schedule their future deliberation.

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NBC5 News at Sunrise Co-Anchor Natalie Sirna grew up in Glendora, CA and attended the University of La Verne. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in English, and served as Editor-in-Chief of La Verne Magazine. Her experience as an editor piqued her interest in broadcast journalism. When she's not reading or writing, Natalie enjoys oil painting and playing her electric guitar. Learn more about Natalie in this report: https://kobi5.com/news/sunrise/whos-who-on-nbc5-news-natalie-sirna-233076/
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