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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Red-letter day

Yesterday was a great day for the Blazers, but it was also a big one for Portland Commissioner Sam "the Tram" Adams. The stage has been set for him to do what he does best. Congratulations!

Comments (17)

Waaaaait a minute - he's paying the assessed value? What's the catch? Something seems fishy here....

I think it says he's paying the appraised value.

What seems fishy is this:"Brown said the $4.7 million from the land sale would help pay back a loan the city took out to extend the streetcar tracks into RiverPlace."

"The $6 million loan is due in June 2008. Brown said he isn't sure yet how the remaining $1.3 million will be repaid."

Why doesn't the city assess the cost of the street car track extension to developments served by the street car?

Property at appraised value plus street car service - for free = yipee!
Oh yeah and the city will need to come up with another 1.3mil to pay off the loan for track extension serving the future condo.

Also in the news yesterday in the Tribune: "Public ridership of the Portland Aerial Tram once again has dipped below the 15 percent level used to determine how much the city would pay to build and operate the project."


Thank you, Tram Adams. The solution? Run the damn thing MORE often, on Sundays, the only day the neighborhood had any rest from the intrusion. Unsurprisingly, the city lied yet again. FTT!

Nothing else really matters in Portland right now except making developer weasels rich. All the rest is really beside the point.

Does anybody else find it remarkable that there was only one bidder for that parcel? For riverfront acreage in a booming part of the city? At a reasonable price?

Who knows? Maybe it's because there's a fat deal worked out with Homer for the construction of the project, which realistically no one else can expect to get. It pencils out for him with all his connections, but perhaps for no one else.

Although the RFP was reissued to exclude the two outside developers who originally submitted a bid, this deal is about the best the PDC has done as far as the public interest is concerned. Imagine, a developer actually paying for land, union labor, etc. IMHO, PDC is trying to reverse public opinion that it's flowing our tax money to HW and JO.

Also, anyone want to bet that the building is going to end up being taller than 15 stories?

Jack, a considerable reason for how only one bidder-Homer-is awarded the right to purchase parcel 8 is the proforma, purchase requirements that Larry Brown and PDC required for the site. If you read the PDC requirements it narrowly focuses the project to what PDC perceives is the right uses for the site.

This PDC "narrow scope" of uses was recently questioned at a recent URAC meeting, and asked why the free market can't be more of a deteriment of property development which could conceiveably achieve higher prices on land/projects. Of course PDC likes to control all aspects of use, type, density, if housing units-costs, parking, design, etc. For parcel 8 PDC wanted housing, so many units, types of units, etc.

This is a major reason why interest from developers is very limited. And like a PDC staff member and a planning bureau staff member said not so long ago: "we like working with Homer because he talks the planning hype, and knows all the in's and outs of city government; he's a player". PDC just writes the script so that just one or a few can play the game.

They'll all burn some day.

There may be a question about who's the hand and who's the puppet.

There's no question about where the finger goes, though.

Roll up your sleeve and bend over.

The 1.3 million shortfall is, as usual, understated. Note that the city also built roads and cleaned up asbestos contamination left behind by PPL, so there's also some sunk costs for both of these items.

And has anyone ferreted out what this line was getting at: "As part of the deal, they'd [Williams and Dame] also get exclusive rights to buy a two-acre site known as Parcel 3 across the street."

Why bother understanding it? It will never change. Potter hasn't changed it, and Mayor Opie or Mayor Tram will just make it worse. It's the same old story, only now nobody has to pay Goldshmidt (I don't think). By the time the population wakes up (if ever), it will be too late to save the place.

It is interesting that exclusive rights to Parcel 3 was part of the deal for Parcel 8. PDC's Larry Brown and Rachel Blakeman never told the SoWhat URAC anything about this "deal" in any of the so-called updates at several URAC meetings.

Time for an investigation.

How can a citizens committee have any oversight when PDC staff doesn't present the whole picture. And even if we were presented the picture-SoWhat.

I believe it is time for the city auditor, city attorney, then the Multnomah Co. DA, then the FBI to investigate this Parcel 3 and Parcel 8 arrangement. Certainly the Oregonian knew nothing about it, or it would have been reported.

The SoWhat URAC certainly never heard about the RFP for Parcel 8 including "exclusive rights" to Parcel 3. I wonder if any of the earlier interested bidders knew of any kind of promise like this, and in writing. If not, it seems legal action on their part would be justified. I'm sure that with City Council having more "control" over PDC, that they will be doing their job of beginning the investigation. ?

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