Auburn to buy old MultiCare clinic after ‘repeated and constant’ vandalism

After the clinic is demolished, the property will be used for unknown “public safety use.”

The City of Auburn has agreed to buy the site of an old MultiCare office clinic on 735 12th Street SE — but the old building will be demolished after “repeated and constant vandalism” has damaged it beyond repair.

According to the Auburn City Council’s resolution, the purchase of the 2.3-acre property was in line with the goals of the council’s adopted Facilities Master Plan, which “addresses the city’s need to replace aging and inadequate city facilities.”

According to City Spokesperson Dana Hinman, MultiCare Health Systems opened a new clinic just off Main Street and closed the old one on 12th Street in 2022.

Hinman said MultiCare tried to secure and fence the building, but vandals cut through the fencing, broke into the building and tore out copper wires and pipes — among them water pipes that then flooded the building. The vandals stole anything of value, and further vandalized the interior and exterior. According to Hinman, there was also a small fire on the roof.

“As the City of Auburn and MultiCare staff evaluated rehabilitation vs. demolition, it was decided that rehabilitation would be much more costly than new construction,” said Hinman. “As part of the property sale, it was agreed that MultiCare would demolish the building prior to the City taking ownership.”

According to the sales agreement, the purchase price of the 2.3-acre property was $2,465,000 and was entered on Sept. 28.

The council’s Resolution 5685, which approved the purchase of the property, said the 2.3-acre property, composed of five tax parcels, “offers a unique opportunity to meet critical short-and-long-term facility needs for public safety in Auburn by providing sufficient property to efficiently and effectively plan for and construct needed facilities.”

Hinman estimated that the city would not start planning the “public safety use” of the property until 2024.