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Oakdale takes step to acquire Hershey building

Oakdale plans to buy the $5,400-square-foot Hershey Visitors Center and use it for temporary office space for two city departments.
Oakdale plans to buy the $5,400-square-foot Hershey Visitors Center and use it for temporary office space for two city departments. Modesto Bee

OAKDALE -- City Council members are moving forward with plans to buy the Hershey Visitors Center building.

Council members this week approved putting $370,000 from a reserve fund toward buying the 5,400-square-foot center, which closed two weeks ago. Acting as the Redevelopment Agency, members later approved an additional $300,000 to help buy the center and make improvements.

The city agreed last month to buy the center for $650,000. It was a price city officials couldn't pass up.

"It's a no-brainer for us. We were looking for an office building when this came up," Mayor Farrell Jackson said.

Oakdale will get the building for nearly half of what the company had hoped to get for it on the open market.

City officials plan to convert the Harvey Sanchez-designed building into temporary offices, with minimal interior improvements, for the Community Development and the Parks and Recreation departments. The departments are housed in temporary, modular buildings.

Once staff has moved out of the modular buildings, the city will sell them and put the profit toward financing the center's purchase. The profit will be included in the $370,000 from the reserve Development Services Fund. City officials figure they can get about $150,000 for the two buildings and a storage structure, City Manager Steve Hallam said.

The city expects to take over the building in mid-February, after the agreement of sale is processed, Hallam said.

Bee staff writer Eve Hightower can be reached at 578-2382 or ehightower@modbee.com.

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