Plans to convert the never-opened former Multnomah County Wapato Jail into a recovery and wellness center have taken a major step forward.

Owner Jordan Schnitzer announced his development company has signed a lease on Wednesday, May 6, with Helping Hands Reentry Outreach Centers to create the Bybee Lakes Hope Center. Harsch Investments Properties will lease the facility in North Portland to the nonprofit organization for $1 year.