VALE – The long and winding road that is the Oregon Trail Mushroom facility saga is taking another turn.
City officials recently confirmed the abandoned and foreclosed commercial property on Washington Street East is up for sale.
Colliers, a Boise real estate brokerage firm, and Five Star Property Management in Ontario are handling the marketing.
Marty Justus, owner of Five Star Property Management, said, “We are actively pursuing someone to buy it.”
“We are not marketing it at a special price. We have it on the market and we are encouraging offers,” he said.
The plant is owned by 1000 Washington Packing LLC of Redondo Beach, California. Amandeep Bhalla is the company owner, said Justus. Bhalla is also listed as the organizer of the company by the Oregon Secretary of State. The articles of organization for the firm were filed in July.
“We’ve had no firm offers but had several inquiries. We suspect something should happen soon,” he said.
Justus said he is anticipating a sale price “north of two million dollars.”
According to county tax records, the real market value of the property is $212,210.
The 165,000-square-foot building sits on about 29 acres. According to Todd Fuller, Vale City Manager, 1000 Washington Packing LLC owes the city $130,000 in unpaid utility fees.
Around $47,000 also needs to be paid to the Malheur County tax collector as well, according Dave Ingram, Malheur County Assessor Dave Ingram.
Justus said the interest he’s received on the former mushroom plant has been mostly from agriculture interests.
Established in 1988, the plant produced more than eight million pounds of produce per year but closed in 2007.
Since then, the plant fell into foreclosure, was bought and sold several times and was put on the auction block in 2020. However, the 2020 auction was canceled.
In 2016 a Canadian company – Farmers Fresh Mushrooms – announced it intended to establish a new mushroom operation in Vale. The company bought 117 acres near the intersection of Frontier Lane and Lagoon Drive and expected to hire 200 people.
In 2018, the company canceled its Vale plans, citing new tariffs, currency rates and changes in the market.
In 2017, Parvez Malik of PASM Corp. of Colorado convened with Vale city officials to seek help to reopen the mushroom plant but those plans evaporated.
Todd Fuller, Vale city manager, said the prospect of a sale of the plant is good news.
“It’s great. I hope something happens,” he said.
Vale Mayor Tom Vialpando said a sale of the former mushroom plant will “remedy the blight it is when you come into town.”
New tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]
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