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Downtown Bend’s historic former post office is up for sale

Post Office Plaza Compass Commercial
Compass Commercial
The Post Office Plaza office building in downtown Bend served as the city's post office for 50 years.
Bend post office being built DCHS
Deschutes County Historical Society
Construction began in 1932 on Bend's new, large post office, which opened the following year.

Sellers seek $4.4 million; building was turned into office space in '80s

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – One of the largest, most visible historic buildings in downtown Bend, which served as the growing community’s post office for a half-century, is up for sale, for $4.4 million: The Post Office Plaza, which was turned into an office building in the 1980s.

“This is an incredibly rare opportunity to own a piece of Downtown Bend history,” reads the listing from Compass Commercial Real Estate for the three-story (including basement) building at the corner of Wall Street and Franklin Avenue.

The post office was built in 1932, opened in June 1933 and served in that role until the U.S. Postal Service moved out in 1983.

Deschutes County bought the building that year for office space, but decided the remodeling would be too costly and sold it to Don Bauhofer and Thomas Donnell the following year.

The building was converted into offices, and the Bend Chamber has been the anchor tenant for years. An addition was built in the 1980s on the now nearly 20,000-square-foot building.

Missouri-based Helena Family LLC has owned the building since the late 1990s. property records show.

The listing notes that a 36-space on-site parking lot could be developed to add to the building, since on-site parking is no longer needed under current downtown Bend parking regulations.

The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985, termed in its nomination “a noteworthy example in Oregon of Stripped Classical architecture.” The property listing said a buyer would need to investigate “to determine the breadth of remodeling” that’s possible.

A property listing brochure notes that the 17 office suites are under short-term leases with under-market rents. A buyer could raise the rents, it said, or “the building could be transformed into a downtown boutique hotel, with the large lobby already in place, and the main level renovated into a restaurant and bar.”

The brokers also said the interior could be gutted and modernized into a mix of retail, office and residential uses.

Bend Senior Planner Heidi Kennedy said any exterior changes to the building or site would require formal city review and compliance with the Bend Preservation Code.

Any interior work or changes would be subject to the Bend Development Code and any Building Safety Division permit requirements, Kennedy said. Being part of the National Register, The building also is part of a federal tax incentive program administered by the state of Oregon.

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Barney Lerten

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