This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 15, 2006 8:05 AM. The previous post in this blog was Prepare to laugh. The next post in this blog is Buck-a-Hit Day is Tuesday. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, December 15, 2006

Making headway, but they still don't get it

The Portland Police Headquarters condo scam appears to be morphing into a rental apartment tower project. Trammell Crow, still the developer, says it may be able to make "market rate" rental units a profitable proposition for them, according to this story in this morning's O. And the Portland Development Commission is still hot to get a tower on that block, and so they're quite interested in making that happen.

Given what I've heard about Trammell's reputation as a landlord, I'm not sure the world needs another building of theirs, but that's a blog post for another day.

On the more interesting, political side, the PDC now says that Trammell will "probably" have to pay "prevailing wages" on the construction. If that's true, watch the muckraking by city Commissioners Randy Leonard and Erik Sten come to a screeching halt. Those guys blew the whistle on the fake-y appraisal that was behind giving the developer the property for a dollar, but mostly I think they just wanted to make trouble with the PDC because of its hard-core stance against forced unionization of construction projects that it sponsors. As I've counseled the PDC on this blog previously, placate the unions and the City Hall dogs will stop snapping at you.

But wait; there's more in today's story to marvel at. It turns out that the original appraisal of the property apparently never even considered a comparable sales approach to valuing the land for purposes of pricing the transaction between the PDC and Trammell. "Barclay said a negative value using comparable land sales was 'beyond comprehension' -- unless the site was environmentally contaminated." Come on, people! It's Appraisal 101 that that's the method of choice when you're valuing real estate. That it wasn't part of the appraisal equation at all shows what a cooked report that was.

Second, even though it's snapped out of its coma and now admits that the property has a positive value, the PDC is still talking about giving the property away to Trammell for nothing! Buried way down in the story (where the O usually breaks the news) is this:

The PDC will have to decide how much it is willing to contribute to make the tower work. Taxes from a tall building could repay the land costs in a few years if the commission donates the land.
We're doing a charity drive here next Tuesday. I think we may want to expand it to see if we can buy five hearing aids for the PDC commissioners. Hello! Stop giving away land to Trammell Crow!

Comments (8)

I'm pretty sure even a short building could repay the land costs in a few years if the land is donated. For that matter, so would a public park.

Someone associated with PDC will get lots of money from Trammel Crow if they get this land for free.

Who at PDC wants to leave and work at Trammel Crow? Who at Trammel Crow has close friends or family at PDC?


I'm pretty sure even a short building could repay the land costs in a few years if the land is donated.

Hey, over 200 years, the property tax on my house will probably equal the value of the house. But funny thing, the government didn't give it to me.

Let me repeat:

Where the hell is the FBI?


The FBI in Washington DC:

Housing inspector accused of extortion



In Portland it's not called extortion it's called a building permit.

How come so much of the most highly sought-after land in Portland require huge government subsidies, incentives, variances, FAR, deferred taxes...you name it, in order to be developed? I just wish I could hide in a corner during the dinner parties where these transactions are worked out.

My guess is that within two years (shortly after the 2008 elections) the courts will, in all reality, be investigating the corruption in our fair city. Eventually, someone will feel the guilt of their own actions and, as they say, cop a plea.

Those who don't feel the guilt will have their actions revealed non-the-less. There's nothing like power to bring out the character in a person.

Ever since Trammel Crow Residential was denied the 10 year property tax abatement, for their proposed "Alexan" luxury SoWa apartment tower, the PDC has been scheming to deliver the millions to TCR some other way. After all, why should a favored developer have to put all that effort, time and money into pursuing a tax break without any payoff?
Especially since there's little doubt the conniving PDC powercrats had assured TCR the tax break was in the bag.

When that public/private "affordable housing" tax abatement CON JOB failed, the thoroughly corrupted PDC met not a shred of scrutiny or criticism for their cooking the books efforts to justify the attempted tax break.

The PDC has become so brazen in it's operation that Portlanders should expect the identical "affordable housing" con job to resurface with this new project.
Despite the freebie land.

It's all just another inside job.

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