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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 29, 2006 2:24 PM. The previous post in this blog was Don't miss it. The next post in this blog is Where were you in February 1986?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Nonsmoking, queen, tram view

The folks behind the SoWhat development and the OHSU aerial tram [rim shot] have apparently been looking into having OHSU build a hotel as part of the condo tower jungle. You wonder how much taxpayer money has been spent on that:

Comments (17)

Well, they are in the business of renting beds. Let's hope the room service has better food than the stuff they feed you at OHSU.

Hmm...That's hospitals and hotels, how long is it until the expand to other bed rentals? Y'know, like on an hourly basis?

Oh...wait...they already screwed the taxpayers.

This could be a vehicle for all sorts of mixed metaphor humor. I mean, how will they use the phrases, "Turn your head and cough," or "This won't hurt a bit"? And interesting names for the service areas, like the bar in the basement, to be known as "The Morgue".

"Welcome to the OHSU Bronchitis & Breakfast Inn". Will you be paying by credit card or Blue Cross?"

I think this idea has been abandoned. As BMcD has pointed out, the PDC is going to run an aerial tram from SoWa to the new 400 (or is it 600?) room convention center hotel.

McMennamen's already have a corner on this concept - it's called Edgefield. Trouble is, they know how to sell it; OHSU won't.

Yes, OHSU looked into it but abandoned the idea. It appears that the driving idea behind the hotel was more about having meeting facilities and a place to put visitors, rather than getting into the hotel business per se.

Part of the thought process was that there's not enough space for large "world-class" type conferences and meetings on the hill. The Old Library Auditorium holds about 400 but it's a creaky old building with little high-tech conference facilities inside.

Garage Wine,
I think someone else suggested that idea - or maybe there's another B. McD. in the mix.

The question is: how much are the tax payers on the hook for this part of South Water Front?

Are the rumors true about SoWa sucking even more tax money than previously reported? If so, what impact will "the sucking sound" have on the credibility of Erik "trickle down" Sten(So called because his "affordable housing" has mainly benefited a few rich developers and rich condo buyers.)?

Lets face it; the whole council's credibility is on the line with this one project.

BULLETIN: FLASH
PDC documents have come to my attention which spell out a massive tax money transfer from the City of Portland through the auspices of the PDC to OHSU through the conduit of of "affordable housing": namely a large parking garage being built with the understanding that 100 stalls will be reserved for affordable housing, yet OHSU will be able retain the income stream from renting the stalls until affordable housing is built.

It is my belief this document is only the tip of the iceberg of a layered strategy of transfering Portland tax money to OHSU with, of course, the favored few developers gaining windfall construction profits through this leveraged tax money transfer.

Let the light shine on this scheem. Tranparency is crucial to trust. No wonder Portland voters have lost trust in their elected office holders

jfe: It is true that over $3M has been tranferred to OHSU from TIF taxpayer money for the future rights to have 100 parking spaces in OHSU's future parking structure to be built sometime (no time is designated) in the future between the park on Moody and Macadam. The parking is for future medium income housing to be built above the parking garage.

This, of course, helps both CoP and OSHU in their tram budget problems. This is one of several "gimmies" given to OHSU in backroom trading by PDC/Council so that City Council can claim that they are holding fast to their "$3.5M in public taxpayer money for the tram" claim. Then OHSU gets all these "gimmies" so that they can claim that they are now giving $10M to $15M for the budget shortfall in their LID portion-"aren't we wonderful".

Don't forget the interest/financing cost on the $3M (for how many years, we don't know). That is no small change either. Is it good business sense to give $3 plus for future parking spaces when you don't know the timeline, or with no guarentee it will be built?

Lee, thank you for following up and giving more context and explanation of this scam.

Do you think the average Portland voter would support such an arrangement if they knew the truth? Where is the Oregonian newspaper shedding light? Not to be found, or more truthfully in bed with the publicist for OHSU.

TO THE LEADERS OF THE OREGONIAN: YOU ARE BANKRUPT AND SELLING OUT THE PEOPLE OF PORTLAND. WHERE IS YOUR SHAME, HAVE YOU NO SHAME.

WILLAMETTE WEEK we need you, the people of Portland need a crusader, somebody to stare down the plutocracy and the ruling elite in government and out. This is the time, this is the place. The rot is sickening me.

What is interesting is that several reporters at the Oregonian know about the above. Now, why isn't it being reported? Sooner the better.

Writing about issues after the fact, the Oregonian cannot benefit the public in influencing our politicians. Why no reporting or late reporting?

Is it because it is too complex to relate to readers?

Is it hard to research and make it understandable?

Is it ...O editors, OHSU, PDC that play down the info, spins it, kills it...?

"No Adverse Regulations will be passed that will affect the hotel"

This table is from the South Waterfront Development Agreement, right, Jack? So in black and white, they promise that future Councils will not pass regulations that may affect a particular site. Regardless of whatever other public policies and values may be affected, apparently.

I'd love to see the lawsuit trying to enforce that provision, if a future Council had the guts to say "no, PDC had no right to promise that on our behalf, so we aren't bound by it and here's what we believe to be in the public interest in South Waterfront".

Yeah, I know, don't spit your coffee on the monitor. It could happen, though, with a new voice on the Council.

If what they're doing isn't illegal, it ought to be.

Amanda, the hotel "no compete clause" is a fact-another "gimmie" for OHSU. There are a few more "gimmies" that are existing too that haven't been divulged, but will be soon. And that isn't including the "gimmies" that have been already posted.

When are the taxpayers going to be given some "gimmies" since they are on the hook for $500M in taxpayer dollars for North Macadam UR? Thats assuming that there aren't any cost overruns that we never experience in Portland, and only a 20 year UR District which we always seem to exceed.

The rest of the story. But not all.

From Development Agreement amendment 7

The PDC agreed to pay OHSU $3 million in cash, supposedly, to reserve 100 parking spaces for affordable housing.
Something I find mysterious given that the PDC did not even tell the Commissioners that NO parking spaces were to be included with the so called "affordable" studios in the Alexan Tax abatement scheme.

Now they give $3million in cash to OHSU for future spaces?
That $3 million in TIF borrowed money which will be paid back with more TIF debt service costs over 25 years, is being diverted from street improvements now far behind schedule and unfunded.

Not only the $3 million was handed over. They guarantee OHSU will have the
Air space rights above the future parking garage so they can get into the retail and commercial business.
PDC agreed to allow a new LID so OHSU can get cheap money for the mixed use building. A curious set of arrangements instill. Are these LIDs
passing through all costs to the participants or is the city subsidizing the interest and set up costs. The participants are getting 2.5% or even 1.5% for OHSU. Does the city borrow that cheap or are they paying more?
PDC agreed to let OHSU retain all of the rental income from the 100 spaces the city bought today until such time as some affordable housing needs them.
All told this is a huge giveaway to OHSU at a time when the pitch to the public was "we are holding ground on the $3.5 million of the Tram and OHSU is offering up the increased costs"

That ain't all.

The city also handed over another $5 million in cash, also borrowed TIF money for what they a called "commercializable biotech research space".
Again that was money earmarked for streets/transportation and other public improvements in the district now far behind schedule and unfunded.

If the city is indeed subsidizing the LID interest on the $42 million LID share of the Tram this represents many millions more in public Tram costs.

More to come.

There's this vein on my forehead that's bulging like a Snake on a Plane....

If I were to propose a rally on, say, April 10th, how many of you would show? This is not hyperbole. This $#!+'s gotta stop.

If you want to email me - don_smith@countrywide.com

To be fair I am not saying I know there is subsidizing of LID interest.

However there should be skeptisim on all fronts as more details emerge.

The 1.5% and 2.5% is likely the mark up amount the city adds to their bond costs.

Ultimatley the city is supposed to be held harmless on LID's.


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