After sitting vacant for nearly three years, the City of Oakdale announced Wednesday, Feb. 4 that it had accepted an offer for the former Hershey Building at 120 S. Sierra Ave.
Oakdale City Manager Bryan Whitemyer confirmed that the city accepted a $515,000 offer to purchase the property from Matt Budine and Brian Sundberg of Progressive Dairy Solutions, an agriculture consulting service based in Oakdale.
“We’ve been waiting to do that (sale) for a long time,” said Oakdale Mayor Pat Paul the day after the closed session meeting to discuss the transaction. “It really fits in with our agriculture base.”
Paul said the money from the potential sale will be put into a restrictive economic development account since the money used to purchase the building was from the now defunct redevelopment accounts.
The city purchased the building in 2008 for $650,000 and spent $333,000 on improvements that included a remodel that converted the then 18-year-old building for city office use including telephone systems and necessary furnishings.
When it was open, the building served as the site for some public works, community development, engineering, and building inspection department offices. The city moved services out of the building in 2012.
According to Whitemyer, State Redevelopment Agency Funds were used to cover 53 percent of the total $988,000 costs and the city’s General Fund paid for the remaining 47 percent or $462,089.
“Quite frankly I thought the money used for the purchase was squandered, but now we can put it back into the city where it needs to be,” Paul said. “The city should never have purchased it.”
Matt Budine said his company, currently located in the Bank of Stockton building on Yosemite Avenue, was “still in negotiations” with the city and some details still had to be worked out.
“There’s still a lot to be done until it closes,” Budine said, but would not comment further.
According to Budine, tentative plans are for the company to open its offices at the South Sierra Avenue facility including a dairy display that will be both educational and historical.
“Our company is very passionate about the dairy industry,” Budine said. “That’s just another way we can promote the dairy industry.”