Former Murray and Holt car lot nears sale

  • A sale is pending for the former Murray and Holt Motors on Franklin Avenue. (Joe Kline/Bulletin photo)

Just a week after sending out a flyer for the former Murray and Holt Motors lot on NE Franklin Avenue, Compass Commercial Real Estate Services broker Gardner Williams has a sale pending for the property, which was listed at $2.9 million.

Williams, who represents property owner Jack Holt, said the property was pending as of Dec. 13. He declined to discuss details of the pending transaction or the proposed buyer. Murray and Holt closed for business Nov. 23, according to the dealership’s voicemail greeting.

“The property’s way too valuable to be running a used-car lot off of,” Williams said earlier this month. “We’ve had three offers on it already.”

The 1.76-acre property was marketed for its development potential, which includes a maximum building height of 85 feet under certain conditions. For residential development, 10 percent of the building’s units must be sold or rented at affordable prices, as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to the city of Bend. A commercial development would have to provide at least 75 percent of required parking within the building’s footprint.

Otherwise, the maximum building height is 65 feet.

The former Murray and Holt, located at 181 NE Franklin Ave., is part of the Bend Central District, created in December 2016 at the same time the city adopted a new urban growth boundary. The central district is supposed to encourage a denser mix of housing and development along Third Street. So far no land owner or developer has taken advantage of the 85-foot building height provisions, senior planner Aaron Henson said.

This isn’t the first time Holt has sold property in the area. Murray and Holt owned the lot at the southwest corner of Franklin and Third Street that’s now home to Walgreen’s and several national chain restaurants.

Jack Holt didn’t respond to requests for an interview. The dealership had been in business since 1957, according to the company’s website. Before the Great Recession, Murray and Holt was among the top three new car dealers in Bend, according to The Bulletin’s archives. Murray and Holt stopped selling new Buick, Pontiac and GMC vehicles after the 2009 credit crunch and became a used-car dealership and service shop.

—Reporter: 541-617-7860,

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