April 23, 2011 in City

Nonprofit lowers offer for city-owned Carlyle Care Center

By The Spokesman-Review
 
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The Carlyle Hotel was built in 1892 in downtown Spokane. The building – now known as the Carlyle Care Center – is owned by the city.
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A Seattle-based nonprofit group has lowered the amount it is willing to pay the city of Spokane for the Carlyle Care Center.

The Spokane City Council in December agreed to a preliminary offer from Pioneer Human Services to buy the downtown housing facility for $3.46 million.

But after further research, the group believes its purchase of the operation wouldn’t pencil out unless the cost is lowered to $3.2 million, Mike Adolfae, Spokane’s community development director, told the City Council on Monday.

The downtown center, at 206 S. Post St., provides housing and services for people with mental illness and is licensed for 139 adult residents.

Part of the need to lower the cost relates to uncertainty in the amount of state support for Carlyle operations available to Pioneer because of budget cuts, Adolfae said.

The City Council will consider Pioneer’s new offer Monday.

The city bought the Carlyle in 2006 from US Bank for $3.2 million, using federal Department of Housing and Urban Development money, in an effort to prevent dozens of vulnerable people from being forced onto the streets. The move was meant to be temporary, but the real estate bust, coupled with the Carlyle’s tight finances, made the property difficult to sell – at least to a buyer willing to maintain the Carlyle’s mission.

Pioneer has said it plans to maintain the current operations of the Carlyle.

Even considering all the expenses the city has incurred on the deal, officials say they don’t expect to lose money from buying the Carlyle because the city has earned a small profit since taking it over.

“We believe it will be a break-even when it all settles out,” said Allen Schmelzer, community development planner.

Money from the sale will replenish the city’s Community Development Block Grant fund and will be used on home rehabilitation loans, park, street and sidewalk improvements in low-income neighborhoods, and other projects. The federal money can’t be diverted to pay for other city services.


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