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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The original linchpins

Great profile of Bud Clark in the Trib today. It includes the tale of how his first establishment was run out of its old neighborhood by the first wave of urban renewal -- which produced the hideous South Auditorium "district" of brutal high-rise ugliness.

Now there was a chasing of the regular joes if ever there was one. At least with SoWhat and the Pearl, the city didn't force too many people out of their homes. Sure, it ran a tram over some of them, but those folks didn't need their privacy, anyway.

Like Bud Clark, small business owners in other inner Portland locales had better watch their backs. The condo weasels are salivating. You listening, central east side?

Comments (2)

One of my customers last night mentioned reading somewhere in the local media that by this time next year, only two percent of the housing market will be rentals. I have heard people complain over and over again that it is so hard to find an apartment right now...you show up, and there are 20 other people who want the place, too.

Everything else has been sucked up by the "Condo Weasels."

I will sign my entire name to this post.
I own WC Winks Hardware now located at 2nd and SE Stark streets. We moved from the Pearl in May of 2001. It was shortly after this move that representatives from the PDC came to my business and announced that they were going to move in a Home Depot to the Burnside Brideghead at MLK and Burnside and that "it will be good for your business". Naturally we, and the 130 other small industrial businesses in the inner eastside did not take this view. Neither did the various neighborhood associations and we mounted a so far successful attempt to stop this project. We also strongly objected to the financial aid the city was offering the 2nd largest retailer in the world to move to the area. There were several other valid objections regarding traffic congestion, pedestrian and bike access, and quality of life issues for the eastside and the city as a whole. After all, there were already 13 Home Depots; how many more do we need?
How many more condos do we need? How will this construction impact the city if the condos do not sell. What will happen if the builders loose their financing during the building of the project?
Where will the displaced people go to live? How much more will we spend in social service costs to support additonal displaced persons? Will the taxpayers be spending even more money to build low incme housing that lower and middle income people cannot afford, that will only further enrich some developer.
I strongly suspect that, as one developer told me several years ago about the Pearl, "the froth is off the market". If the froth is off the market on the west side then perhaps these condos will not sell so easily on the central east side.
I would strongly urge all the east side neighborhood associations to get busy and do their homework on this issue. Find alternatives and solutions to keep their neighborhoods viable.

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