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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 12, 2006 6:37 AM. The previous post in this blog was So long, Ike. The next post in this blog is This could get interesting. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Know when to say when

I see that the Pearlies want to run their condo jungle all the way to the Fremont Bridge. More giant towers of unmitigated junk. And let's run out all the real businesses still left on the east side of 405. Give us Whole Foods and Starbucks!

I say let them build, provided that (a) the developers pay for the infrastructure up front, (b) the current zoning rules are enforced (I know, respecting other people's views, light and air, how inconvenient), and (c) no property tax abatements are granted. The City of Portland is facing bankruptcy over the police and fire pension fund, not to mention the wildly out-of-control boondoggle in the SoWhat district. The news is now dribbling out that the principal and interest on the city's SoWhat debt is now pegged at a staggering $400 million -- which as I understand it is more than double the last liars' estimate that the city planners and development gurus admitted to. Who knows where that number will stop.

This is simply not the time for the city to run out and sell another half-billion more in bonds to pay for fancy streets and totem poles for the Homer Williams types.

Here's a vision, Mayor: No more subsidies for condo towers! Hmmm, how shall I put this? Enough of this horse manure is enough.

Comments (39)

http://www.portlandtribune.com/news/story.php?story_id=115889386528643100

I found this article very insightful. Instead of the City paying for Parks and infrastructure, the developers do in BC. it kind of shouts out the problem of our public officials. I wonder if any of the planners are working part time on the payroll of a developer while representing the public interest. Doesn't sound like it.

"Later, we head to Collingwood Village, on the outskirts of Vancouver, where Pat Wotherspoon, the assistant director of the City Plans office, showed off the area’s large condo towers, all built on a piece of former industrial land.

In exchange for the rights to build 2,800 condos and apartments, the developer built an elementary school, a sports field complex, a day-care facility and community center.

“It’s only partly a matter of the market, it’s partly a matter of will, the will of public officials to determine what it is they can and want to require for the benefit of the citizens and the public amenities – and still have the developers making money.”

“Everything that you see here, including every blade of grass, was paid for by the developer,” he said, with obvious pride.

Vancouver planners use that power to ensure a large stock of not just parks, but affordable housing to offset rising prices. Moreover, the real estate market in downtown Vancouver is far hotter, with condo prices running roughly double that of Portland.

Some of the limits on development are of Hoyt Street Properties own making...Hoyt Street used development rights from many northern parcels in exchange for reducing the floor-area ratio (FAR) available for future buildings north of Lovejoy

This is the key to this discussion. Hoyt Street transferred development rights from some land to build bigger elsewhere...and now they want those development rights restored, and more.

The vacant parcel where in the "worst case scenario" there's no more development rights, "the ability to build nothing but surface parking lots" is, gee, also where all the individual condo assessments were transferred so Hoyt's condos could be sold without having to pay those assessments. It's a big shell game, and if the City doesn't grant more FAR, Hoyt Street walks.

The $400 million is interest only
which was projected to be $160 million in the 1999 SoWa plan when the PDC determined the plan was "feasible".

This is the first released update.

This is also only the interest through 2020.
Years and millions more will be needed to retire the debt as told inthe 1999 plan.

Given the tremendous cots overruns on ALL of the public improvements, it will be many years and many millions more.

If the PDC were prepare and provide a new completed updated 1999 plan with current estimates and projections it would show
there is no feasibility about it and never was.
The TIF revenue will NEVER pay for the projects or the interest and other moneies will have to be taken frombasic services budegets or the sitrict enlarged and do the same through more TIF scheming.

The Portland Development Commission holds the pots of money and the real estate that drives all this. Their original mission was to create zones of economic opportunity in blighted areas. Now it seems their mission is to line the pockets of chosen developers and make condo speculation the premier industry in Portland.

Time for a charter amendment to slay this beast once and for all.

1. Who owns Hoyt Street Properties?

2. What is the local geneology of Tiffany Sweitzer?

On further review the $400 million "debt service" estimate they are claiming is for principal and interest.

However it's as valid as the $15.5 million dollar Tram.

The trouble is they are only using expenditure and debt costs to 2020.
The 1999 plan called for $288 million in expenditures with $160 million in debt service costs through 2020. Additional years and millions were needed to fully retire the debt.
We don't know how long or how much and now that so much of SoWa is way over budget and TIF proceeds are inadequate to service the debt.

PDC's reluctance to provide the means to know how much SoWa will cost in comparison to the 1999 plan makes it impossible to know how much bail out will be needed.

And I believe Joe Weston owns Hoyt Street Properties

The City of Portland is facing bankruptcy over the police and fire pension fund, not to mention the wildly out-of-control boondoggle in the SoWhat district.

WRONG! Which is what is so scary. The City will never go bankrupt over Potter and Leonard's blue and red fund because it is the only thing exempt from property tax limits. The more they spend, the more we pay. And there is nothing we can do about it. (*cough* Vancouver *cough*)

It's time to get rid of the "Urban Growth Boundary" so people don't have to be packed in like sardines.

half-dozen buildings of affordable housing in the neighborhood

Where exactly are these six buildings of "affordable housing"? Because the last time I looked (couple weeks ago), the cheapest place I could find for sale in the Pearl was a 670sqft studio for $300k.

Jack Bogdanski for City Council!

Great comment Hinckley, move to Atlanta for 6 months and then consider what Portland would be like if they build houses in all directions for 60+miles. Salem becomes just another suburb and Downtown becomes even more choked off from the outlyig suburb traffic. It would be awesome that everyone could start shopping at a lifestyle mall in their sub-development called 'Willow Creek' and eat at places lke the Olive Garden for their big night out because going into the city would take two hours with Saturday evening traffic. Oh, and since Cinema 21 would now have to close down everyone will be able to support the next Michael Bay Blockbuster at their 25 screen movie complex!!!

Jon affordable housing means 'rental units' not affordable units to buy, I to0 agree that this is a problem.

The City will never go bankrupt over Potter and Leonard's blue and red fund

Don't count on it. The city owes billions beyond the pension fund. There are statewide limitations on property taxes. Sooner or later, there won't be enough taxes to pay the creditors. Then it's bankruptcy time.

Wait...wait...

More residential buildings in what used to be industrial park.

Hmmmm....

Tax the small businesses out of the city.

Hmmm....

Doesn't the Central City then become a "bedroom community" for people working jobs in the suburbs? Doesn't that mean they are attempting to create gridlock in BOTH directions during commute times?

Inspired!

...It would be awesome that everyone could start shopping at a lifestyle mall in their sub-development called 'Willow Creek' and eat at places lke the Olive Garden for their big night out...

At least Olive Garden has a sense of service. For our anniversary, I took my wife to a restaurant named "Fratelli" in the Pearl. We left after we sat waiting for our waitress for an hour. And boy, sitting six inches away from a neighboring table really provides incredible ambiance. I guess getting crappy service and being packed in next to your neighbor is just standard for the Pearl.

Give me an Olive Garden in the suburbs any day.

CondoBob Great comment Hinckley, move to Atlanta for 6 months and then consider what Portland would be like if they build houses in all directions for 60+miles.
JK: Atlanta has more affordable housing, lower un-employment, better paying jobs.
No we don’t want any of that.

CondoBob Salem becomes just another suburb and Downtown becomes even more choked off from the outlying suburb traffic.
JK: It would never come to that because the USA birth rate is right around replacement. That means the fast growth years are over. We only grow now because of immigration.

CondoBob It would be awesome that everyone could start shopping at a lifestyle mall in their sub-development called 'Willow Creek' and eat at places lke the Olive Garden for their big night out because going into the city would take two hours with Saturday evening traffic.
JK: What’s wrong with getting our of the overpriced, over crowded, over panhandled, over pissed downtown?

CondoBob Oh, and since Cinema 21 would now have to close down everyone will be able to support the next Michael Bay Blockbuster at their 25 screen movie complex!!!
JK: That is coming if we pursue density. High density is required to support big theatres

CondoBob Jon affordable housing means 'rental units' not affordable units to buy, I to0 agree that this is a problem.
JK: The UGB is turning Portland into a region of renters.

Thanks
JK

WoodburnBob
1. Who owns Hoyt Street Properties?
JK:
If I recall right, it is owned by Homer Williams and Dane.

Thanks
JK

Oregon's statewide planning sytem, which includes UGBs, is the only thing that has kept Portland from growing like Chicago, Dallas, Milwaukee, Denver, Pheonix, Atlanta......etc. Every one of these metro areas is a sprawling, strip mall filled, subdivision McNeighborhood, traffic filled freeway paradise. I believe I will stay here.

Woodburn Bob,

I believe Tiffany is the daughter of Joe Weston. But I couldn't swear to it.

WoodburnBob-
Who is this insane person, JK, who overanalyzes everyone’s posts, has a site called StopMetro, and supports Atlanta as the ‘city of the future’

CondoBoB
He’s a mystery, but my guess is that he’s a shady developer who got squeezed out of Sherwood by the UGB, (or maybe Homer Williams) so he’s set up a false website to try and disband Metro so he can profit off building cheap houses and trailer parks, around a lifestyle center with an Olive Garden.

Homer's out of Hoyt Street, I think. Last I heard Joe Weston was one of the partners.

Chicago, Dallas, Milwaukee, Denver, Pheonix, Atlanta......

...all of which have a lot more going for them than Portland.

McMullen:

Why did you sit at Fratellis for an hour without any service? One quick trip to the hostess would have produced the name of the manager, and or profuse apologies.

We had lunch at produce row yesterday, and they lost our lunch order (we learned 30 minutes later). They comped the whole meal, beers included.

Mediocre service (at least that day), but free food and beers took the sting away.

Chicago, Dallas, Milwaukee, Denver, Pheonix, Atlanta......

...all of which have a lot more going for them than Portland.

I'm sure any of those cities would welcome you.

"Chicago, Dallas, Milwaukee, Denver, Pheonix, Atlanta.........all of which have a lot more going for them than Portland."

Sez you. There's no accounting for taste, but there is nothing that downtown Denver or Phoenix have going for them IMO.

You're restricting it to downtowns, Sebastian - not me. I'm not a downtown sort of guy.

By the way, Taliesin West, in the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale, is Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture school - and that one thing alone vaults Phoenix far beyond anything Portland has to offer.

I forgot about all the old neighborhoods with lots of character in Phoenix. Right.

Scottsdale is a golf playground for the rich...thanks but no thanks.

"Chicago, Dallas, Milwaukee, Denver, Pheonix, Atlanta......

...all of which have a lot more going for them than Portland."

"I'm sure any of those cities would welcome you."

ROTFLMAO

Certainly nobody here is going to stop you.

jimbo (who hides their real identity) Oregon's statewide planning sytem, which includes UGBs, is the only thing that has kept Portland from growing like Chicago, Dallas, Milwaukee, Denver, Pheonix, Atlanta......etc. Every one of these metro areas is a sprawling, strip mall filled, subdivision McNeighborhood, traffic filled freeway paradise.
JK: You left out the rest about those areas that you don’t like: they generally have lower un-employment, more affordable housing and better schools.

jimbo (who hides their real identity) I believe I will stay here.
JK: Truly, a sad choice.

Thanks
JK

WoodburnBob-
Who is this insane person, JK, who overanalyzes everyone’s posts, has a site called StopMetro, and supports Atlanta as the ‘city of the future’
JK: He is a lot more sane than you. And not afraid to use his real name either. Why are you hiding you identity? Who said anything about Atalanta being the city of the future. Quit putting words in my mouth.

CondoBoB
He’s a mystery, but my guess is that he’s a shady developer who got squeezed out of Sherwood by the UGB, (or maybe Homer Williams) so he’s set up a false website
JK: Please point out any false information on http://www.StopMetro.com, or shut up.

CondoBoB to try and disband Metro so he can profit off building cheap houses and trailer parks, around a lifestyle center with an Olive Garden.
JK: Do you have something against affordable houses? Are you the one that wants Portland to fill with condos for millionaires? Your compete disregard for ordinary working people is showing.

Thanks
JK

By the way, I love what passes for discourse in this town (and I'm a native with a "Born at Emanuel" pin to prove it): someone dares to raise their hand and say Portland doesn't compare favorably to other metropolitan areas, and within minutes someone invariably will say words like "get the hell out". That "love it or leave it" mentality is what makes Portland (and Oregon) so gosh-darned provincial.

Anyhow, I'm stuck here because of certain responsibilities, but if I could, I'd be in the Sun Belt in a heartbeat - and then I could throw away the St Johns Wort and the lightbox.

"Give us Whole Foods and Starbucks!"

Hey, that's not fair, they also have tons of pizza joints, nail shops and galleries - my lord do they have galleries. Yup, just the kind of businesses that keep a city thriving. Just keep on keeping on.

Hey, that's not fair, they also have tons of pizza joints, nail shops and galleries - my lord do they have galleries. Yup, just the kind of businesses that keep a city thriving. Just keep on keeping on.


No kidding. Now what makes all those shops in the bottom floors of a street of condo towers any different than those "evil strip malls"? The only difference I see is the strip malls in the suburbs actually have someplace for normal people to shop. The stripmall by me has a bank, video store, drug store, Hallmark...[gasp!] an Albertsons! Certainly nothing useful for those rich, elitist, condo dwellers.

WoodburnBob,
Condo Bob,
Are u both nuts or are u Homer and Matt Brown?

JK has exposed more about Homer,shady developers and the shady city than you could imagine.
He lives in NE Portland in the Aleameda neighborhood.
Metro is the perveyor of schemes and scams for their chosen few.

You clowns ought to come clean on your agenda instead of wrongly painting others.

Tee:

I refuse to patronize any establishment with such a blatant disregard for customer service -- comped or not.

However, they did offer free cocktails as we left, but again, I'd rather give my time to a restaurant that deserves it.

Somehow I get the feeling bad service is indicative of many Pearl District restaurants.

An honest question for Jim Karlock -

How can you argue that Salem won't eventually become a suburb of Portland - akin to Marietta relative to Atlanta - because the American population only grows through immigration? You wrote that this won't happen because "the USA birth rate is right around replacement. That means the fast growth years are over. We only grow now because of immigration."

Isn't the big headline these days that America will soon top 300,000,000 people, and 400,000,000 within the foreseeable future? It seems to me that we can't bet on the greater Portland-Salem area flat-lining on the population front - we seem right for continued growth. Does it really matter if it's immigration or otherwise?

I'm not trying to be a smart-alec here - I just think I missed something in your argument.

Thanks.

Sheef Isn't the big headline these days that America will soon top 300,000,000 people, and 400,000,000 within the foreseeable future? It seems to me that we can't bet on the greater Portland-Salem area flat-lining on the population front - we seem right for continued growth. Does it really matter if it's immigration or otherwise?

Sheef I'm not trying to be a smart-alec here - I just think I missed something in your argument.
JK: It would help your credibility if you used a real first & last name.

JK: Here is the logic:
1. Most industrialized countries have a very low growth to falling birth rate.
2. Some European countries (and Japan?) have a birth rate below replacement and are now shrinking in population. Even Catholic Italy is falling.
3. It is generally believed that industrialization lowers birth rate.
4. As the rest of the third world industrializes, they will lower their birth rate.
5. Our birth rate is now around replacement and falling.
6. We are only growing through immigration, which can be dramatically reduced by political action.
Conclusion: Our dramatic population growth of the past is over and we are likely to stabilize. Long term immigration may shrink even without political action as third world countries industrialize and become livable places.

Part 2 (this is the one most haven’t even thought of)
Look at a map (figures below are approximate):
Portland to Tualatin - 10 miles.
Portland to Salmon creek - 12 miles
Portland to Hillsboro - 14 mi
Portland to Gresham - 13 mi
Lets use 12 miles as the diameter of the Portland area. This is exaggerated because much of this circle is outside of the UGB.

The distance to Salem is 42 miles

By the above method, Portland is 12 mile dia = 113 sq miles
To reach Salem, we would be 84 miles dia =5542 sq miles.
Portland would have to grow to 50 times in area to reach Salem (5542/113).

Does anyone think that Portland is so desirable that it will grow by 5000% as the country’s growth levels off or shrinks?

BTW, planners are telling cities all over the country that they are such desirable places that....(fill in your BS)...

Thanks
JK

JK,

First, thanks for explaining your position re flat population growth in these parts. I can disagree with your conclusions, but you substantiated your opinion with what you think is valid support. Kudos to you.

For the record, I disagree with many of your assertions - recent studies indicate that the US will add another 100,000,000 people faster than we added the last 100,000,000. These studies were performed by professional demographers, who I trust more on this topic than you. Nothing against you personally, but you don't seem to have a Ph.D in the topic like the lady I heard on NPR the other day. And your comment that immigration "can" be dramatically reduced by political action may or may not be true, but I don't see any evidence that America will ever stop welcoming immigrants even if we have the theoretical ability to do so. And when do you see Mexico and Central America becoming sufficiently industrialized to build a middle class and stop the rampant flow of immigrants northward?

Oh, and so Salem to Portland is 42 miles. So what? San Diego to LA is 121 miles, and it's a developed nightmare the entire way. It wasn't that way a twenty-five years ago.

Second, don't put yourself on a high horse because you use your real name for posting. The vast majority of the on-line community uses an on-line alias (e.g., the Daily Kos) even when their actual identity is well-known. I use my real-life nickname as my on-line nickname for a variety of reasons, the main one being that my last name is "Schiefelbein" which people rarely spell correctly, invariably butcher on pronunciation, and takes longer to type. So I go by Sheef. My first name is Scott, by the way, just so you have all your bases covered.

Jim Karlock may be your real name, it may not be. Frankly, I don't care enough to do the research involved. However, I get to judge the credibility of "Jim Karlock," on-line poster, from your posts. My opinion is that you are a true believer in many ideas with which I disagree in the strongest terms. Accordingly, when I have challenged any of your posts, I have paid you the compliment of doing so on the merits of your post. So I think my credibility, based on my posts, should be just fine, thank you very much.

By the way, your link to blog@saveportland.com does not appear to work.

So, I would hope that from now on I can ask you a simple question based on your posts without having my credibility questioned. And questioning my credibility doesn't improve the quality of your arguments, anyway.

By the way, your link to blog@saveportland.com does not appear to work.

Actually blog@saveportland.com does work. However, the link appears to add a http beofre it which will guarentee that an email address is bad.

The web site is real and works.

Thanks
JK

Sheef: Sorry to report that I cannot find your website using blog@saveportland.com using Google or typing into my address bar from any computer I have access to. I'll take your word for it that it works
JK: That is an email address, not a web site. Take off the blog@ to get the internet address.
Here is some basic internet stuff:
abcd.com is a web site. The .com loosely means commercial as opposed to .gov which means government. Some organizations use .org while others use .com

abc@abc.com is a email address because it has an @ in it.

Sheef: - I'm sure it's like your posts here, but even more so.
JK: SavePortland is about tax breaks for development (and a few other things) and PortlandDocs has a few hard to find docs on it plus a few videos on urban policy. (both are .com and may require a www. before the name)

JK


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Columbia Crest, Walter Clore Private Reserve 2009
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Termpranillo 2010
Ravenswood, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Quinta das Amoras, Vinho Tinto 2010
Waterbrook, Reserve Merlot 2009
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills, Pinot Grigio 2011
Tarantas, Rose
Chateau Lajarre, Bordeaux 2009
La Vielle Ferme, Rose 2011
Benvolio, Pinot Grigio 2011
Nobilo Icon, Pinot Noir 2009

The Occasional Book

Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 254
At this date last year: 103
Total run in 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


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