This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 16, 2007 4:24 AM. The previous post in this blog was And she's off. The next post in this blog is Opie's thinking "outside the box" again. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

SoWhat fun facts

The Portland parks folks keep posting amendments to the request for bids on the design work for the new poodle poop park in the SoWhat district. Lots of interest in that project, I guess. In answering prospective bidders' questions, the city reveals some interesting facts about the emerging condo tower jungle "neighborhood" down there:

Q - Is the neighborhood sufficiently developed and occupied to have a representative constituency involved in the process?

A – The newly developing South Waterfront District is part of the more established greater South Portland Neighborhood. The City has held off on developing this park a few extra years than originally planned in order to allow some of the development in the District to occur for that very reason. It’s hard to say if the existing District population is representative or not. Residents of the greater South Portland Neighborhood will also be involved in the public involvement process.

The Meriwether and John Ross Condominiums are the only completed residential buildings so far, although the Atwater will be opening a few units by the end of 2007. There are approximately 500-550 people living in the Meriwether and John Ross Condominiums currently, with approximately 25 more residents moving into the Atwater Condominiums by the end of December 2007. All 245 units of the Meriwether Condominiums have been sold. Approximately 60 units, out of 303, are still for sale in the John Ross Condominiums. The Atwater Condominiums include 212 units. There are also several other projects breaking ground in the District that will be completed prior to the June 30, 2009 date.... There are approximately 1,100-1,200 employees currently working in the District, excluding construction employees. The entire build out is projected to be 5,000 residential units, with 788 units designated as affordable housing, and 10,000 employees.

The City bureaus involved in planning and development can provide information for projects that have started their planning processes and those that are designated to be particular housing and employment types, so we are working with the best projected demographics available at the time we start the park project. However, projected demographics will not be available for a good portion of the district further from the park site that is several years out from being developed....

Q – Is the site designated a “brownfield”?

A – PDC did use some EPA Brownfield funds for cleanup based on a prior Phase 1 and Phase 2 performed at the site which indicated some recognized environmental conditions; so technically it was a "brownfield" at that time. However, they removed all suspect and unforeseen environmental issues during their demolition and cleanup, obtained a DEQ “No Further Action” determination with no limitations on reuse. Therefore, today, the site would be considered a "greenfield". An average of three to five feet of clean fill was imported to raise the entire site, so PDC feels very confident that there are no issues (even latent) that will be uncovered during the park project. No limitations on design, construction or use.

Comments (7)

"The entire build out is projected to be 5,000 residential units, with 788 units designated as affordable housing, and 10,000 employees."

Interesting. The 5,000/10,000 homes/jobs split was the original projection, which later changed to more homes/fewer jobs due to "market forces" - realization that a boom in biotech jobs wasn't likely to happen. Sounds like the City may be going back to the first guess now that condo sales are weakening.

Still trotting out (and hiding behind) that 10,000 employee benchmark. Unreal.

Ah, there's that 'brownfield' to 'greenfield' thing again. Reminds me of the solution to this pollution problem that they implemented in the Pearl District. Just cover everything in concrete and asphalt and call it good.

I mean, has anyone ever seen a blade of grass in the Pearl, with the one exception of Tanner Springs, where people are encouraged not to leave the concrete paths?

I am just surprised that the City of Portland has even acknowledged the history of massive pollution in the SoWhat District.

Don't forget, they are "family wage jobs" as Vera promised! So, the OHSU fitness club is open, now, only 9,990 jobs remain to be created.

What the City is saying, in other words, is that the "family friendly" South Waterfront has approximately 1 resident per unit sold.

At the last SoWhat URAC meeting, PDC consultants are attempting to name the "poodle poop park" the "GRAND LAWN". No kidding.

There is a representative from the SoWhat condos serving on the URAC as well as a representative and a alternate representative from the South Portland NA (formerly the Corbett/Terwilliger/Lair Hill NA).

Notice that the Meriwether Condos 245 units are stated as "sold", but how many are occupied and not investor owned, speculation or rentals?

Also note that the projected 40% transit usage for SoWhat is not even close to reality.

10,000 employees and only 14 of them will be living there. :-)
Despite the so-called "Affordable Housing".

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