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Friday, April 20, 2007

Condos, condos, more Joe Weston condos

Looks like the Portland Development Commission's going to sell developer Joe Weston the vacant property across Grand Avenue from the old Cosmo Hotel in the Lloyd District (catty-corner from the Don't-Even-Think-About-Parking-Here Denny's). And guess what's going in? Another 325-foot-tall condo tower! Twenty-eight stories -- 200 units. Oh, goodie!

At least there's no overt taxpayer subsidy for this one. The purchase price for the property is said to be $2.4 million, and the PDC says it has a good appraisal this time.

The deal will all be discussed at the PDC board meeting on Wednesday. The official lowdown is here. It appears to be pretty much a done deal. A "memo of understanding" was signed between Weston and the PDC last October, and now they've got a 39-page contract all worked out and ready to be signed.

Comments (20)

Damn, more housing. I hate housing. And people too. That vacant lot adds so much character to that neighborhood. Jack, let's you and I go throw ourselves in front of the backhoes.

He said "hoes".

We should contact Denny's ASAP. I hear that they have a spcial contract with the city that specifies al Denny's have to have 'Vacant Lots' within walking distance.

he did say hoes....

I live very close to the said property and I'm all for it, providing there are no taxpayer subsidies. That area is in such distress, we really need to promote new growth and development in the area. One of the main problems with the area is not many people live there, so there isn't any real pressure to change the area, since people do their business then go home.

Joey Link, don't hold your breath about "no taxpayer subsidies". There will be. TOD and "moderate income housing".

The Lloyd District is an eyesore, which is unfortunate, because its location and trasnsit-accessibility are primed for a really great new neighborhood. I have zero problem with taxpayer subsidies to build something on that lot. If done right the area between Lloyd Center and the Convention Center will be another national model neighborhood.

in a lot of ways i can't think of a more appropriate spot for condos.

transportation, jobs nearby. the neighborhood would be greatly improved by some people around past 6pm and on sundays...

Damn, more housing. I hate housing. And people too.

If you hate 28-story condo towers, you hate people. This is how we discuss things in Portland now. Follow the Stennie line or you're evil.

If Joe's gotta stick one of his '70s-Buckman-abominations-turned-on-its-sides somewhere, Lloyd District sounds about right. Many of us who currently go down there for a burger now and then will probably give up due to the parking problems, but hey, nobody's wanted that property. Joe and the dupes who will pay him millions to live there can have it.

Come to think of it, though, it's on the MAX line, which means there's got to be some sort of "transit-oriented development" giveaway at work.

Nah. No throwing ourselves in front of the backhoes unless we are sure it will make these units all two bedrooms and under $90K, so the people in all those minimum wage jobs the convention center has brought us can walk to work. That's what all the plans around here call for, isn't it?

The condos are necessary because Sam Adams said we need more density in the Lloyd District for the Eastside Streetcar to work. Some cities create transit for the benefit of residents. Portland prefers to create residents for the benefit of transit.

If Sam Adams thinks we need more density in the Lloyd District, he should move there.

He already has enough density -- in his skull.

"I have zero problem with taxpayer subsidies to build something on that lot."

How nice. I suppose 'DE' is a huge fan of the BS going on in SoWa, as well.

I don't mean to rant, but I want to be succinct: "If Sam Adams thinks we need more density in the Lloyd District", he should let the free market provide it. It has mass transit, why should TODs and other taxpayer funded gimmies be used to in addition?

This is amazing.
For years our local officials and planning fans have been touting Eastside Max as "spurring" re-development and a makeover of the Lloyd District.
Just as they make that false claim every where else. It's simply untrue as this discussion should be making it clear.
The claims continued as 205 MAX was approved with claims that "MAX will spur new development along 82 Avenue". Yet two weeks later a $25 million Urban Renewal plan was hatched for the Clackamas Town Center and 82 Aveneue. This borrowed Urban Renewal funding, like all others diverts, for decades, huges sums from basic services including schools to retire the debt.
The MAX "spurs" claims disappeared as the Rockwood UR plan was touted as needed to address the crime and blight along the Eastside MAX. What? How can that be?
Eastside MAX has had 20 years to spur new stuff.
Light rail, Urban Renewal, and the planners have it both ways and can say anything they want.
Light rail has spawned nothing but MORE govenment spending while very littlle of the private redevlopment attributed to light rail has happened.
Countless millions have been misspent and invested in Transit Oriented Development "theories" that never deliver the promised benefits.

Yes, but as a city gets to a certain size, it needs areas in which to concentrate it's poor, it's subsidized housing, etc, along with rail. Trains that should have turnstilles, in my opinion, anyway. This town hit two million a long while back...it is not a small city anymore...there are going to be sleazy areas of town full of poor people anywhere that big, period.

Why not locate them right by the train station ? With those new "no cash" card-only ticket dispensers that are going in on the Eastside Max now, at a cost of $1.7 million, it will be very easy to track who rides the train when, too.

Sorry if you live in Rockwood, I guess. There are large portions of the suburbs that are going to seed, really, almost as if METRO has designated the area as a slum-to-be. Think anyone is going to want to own most of the high-density rowhouses now starting to blight some of the main drags of NE Portland in 15 years ?

A man who builds them was laughing and laughing at me the other night, he was drunk, and going off about the sheer shoddiness of the construction.

Cool! So it's a building. With residents.

Not that I want to live in the Lloyd District, but why not?

I'm with you. They can have it.

As for why not, I suggest you ask the many, many people who have tried living in the Merrick apartments a couple of blocks away from there, and hated it.

So Joe Weston, who you helpfully pointed out built all of those apartments in the 70's which provided essential housing for the now-matured creative class that is driving the Portland economy, is building, without any subsidies, a large 200 unit market rate condo complex in a neighborhood that is marked by its already large buildings and significant lack of housing for the thousands of people that work in this economic center daily...

Lets review your arguments.

1) Its big. Well, tarnation... Sure will muck up that Lloyd District's defined aesthetics.

2) Without any evidence, there's going to be some massively draining TOD and low-income subsidies. Inspite of the fact that the deal specifically states that none will be sought. Weston has alot of money and a history of doing all his development without public help. Please, show me where this sentiment grows from. Should be fascinating.

3) And what? Did you have any other rational reason for even posting this blog? Or do you just dart-board developments as a basis for your rants? You say that TOD's have failed, sure is great we duped the rest of the planning/development community across the rest of the nation into following our 'flawed' lead. You hear that Houston is building light-rail and pursuing TOD? Yes, Houston. Face the truth that MAX-side developments have worked, all along the rails, and that has spurred the need to continue what we started, because it works.

4) "He (Sam Adams) already has enough density -- in his skull." My goodness. Who the heck gave you a blog?

Thank you for the many laughs. But the ad hominem stuff? I assume you're addressing me, who didn't say hardly any of that. That's your first and last comment here.

Don't they teach you manners in your bus boy training?

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