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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 14, 2008 6:44 AM. The previous post in this blog was Blazer curse continues. The next post in this blog is New Oregon biathlon. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

"Linchpin" alert! Peterson's garage to go 30-story condo tower

Hard to believe that they're still saying the "L" word over at the Portland Development Commission, but there it is. They'll cut 200 parking spaces out of downtown permanently, take 800 out of commission for a good long time (sending the frustrated shoppers over -- cha ching! -- to Tom Moyer), and of course, the taxpayers are on the hook for around $30 million in the preliminary liars' budget for the condo tower. Just what we need -- more condos! Another stunning economic development coup for the city government.

Comments (20)

I would like PDC prove to the Portland taxpayers that just a block away from Pioneer Square and Nordstrom we have "blight". The parking structure is not "blight". And using $30 Million of taxpayer dollars is corruption.

Joke's on me: I thought you were just kidding about the word "linchpin."

An "emergency latrine?" If that isn't Portland-speak in an attempt to puff up and justify this project that has the City's blessing, I don't know what else is.

I didn't catch why the City needs to kick in $30M to actually lose 200 parking spaces to a private developer . . . can I get them to pay me to tear my house down, build a new one, sell it, and keep all the money?

I think the budget cuts at the Oregonian made them sell the word "linchpin."

As of Saturday, the Oregonian has opted for the more parsimonious word "cog."

The Portland Development Commission is working with a private developer on a plan to remake the parking deck to attract more upscale stores. They view improving the neighborhood around Peterson's as a vital cog in the health of downtown's retail scene -- and the store as a major detriment to those efforts.

Cog, linchpin. There all vital underpants to me.

Boy, Potter will do anything to get Petersen's out of there!

I'm sure that the Galleria MAX stop will be much nicer once they replace Petersen's with a huge hole in the ground and construction fencing.

Gotta go deep before you can go high!

Wasn't this garage the reason why they could replace a parking lot with Portland's living room?

It seem only logical that if the parking garage goes then Pioneer Square must be torn out and replaced with a 'vital cog' of cheap parking.

The Park Avenue West (around 30 stories above ground) will be a very narrow across-the-street distance away from this 30 floor tower. And with 8 levels of parking, it sounds like at least half of it will be above ground. Not a good use of air space. I agree it's a stretch to say there is blight here, and I'm not happy about 30 million of taxpayer dollars going to anything on that block. Another block (North of Galleria, for example?) YES.

I just can't get past the fact that two 30 floor towers are going to be that narrow street apart from one another.

"I just can't get past the fact that two 30 floor towers are going to be that narrow street apart from one another."

Well, if the pearl is "Fake Greenwich Village" perhaps downtown is turning into "Fake Manhattan" ?

It's sort like they're all sitting around thinking up ways to screw up the downtown retail environment even more than they already have. The typical American shopper goes to the store in their car to buy stuff and they need a place to park it when they get there. If yet even more stores are built while taking away more parking in the process it makes the entire shopping experience that much more undesirable for the vast majority who do not live within walking distance of the downtown area. The entire Peterson's/urine in the stairwells thing is nothing that hiring a few $12/hr. security guards won't cure.

So now we know the real reason for going after Peterson's. It wasn't because there was all that much trouble, it was simply because he was in the way of building a bunch of Condos that no one will live in. Has no one at the PDC looked recently at the vacancy statistics for condo developments? Perhaps the city shouldn't invest any money in this boondoggle and let the developer decide if it is worthwhile to spend their own money and time to build them.

Since we're on the subject, what are the plans for the Greek Cuisina's block? Another 30 floor condo tower? The city is going after them as hard as they are going after Peterson's

I am so glad that I live in Southeast and no longer work Downtown, not that I could get there very easily once the Sellwood bridge falls into the river and the roads continue to fall apart while the PDC spends tax-payer money on condo's that no one will live in because the great Tri-Met rebuild (read:destruction) of the transit mall makes it nearly impossible to get to their new condo digs. The thought of all of this and the other useless projects that my money has paid for just gets me incredibly angry.

How long has it been since the heavy traffic had been moved off of the Sellwood Bridge?

Yet there still is no plan in place to replace the Sellwood Bridge?

How many cars a day still go over the span?

Yet there still is no plan in place to replace the Sellwood Bridge?

I see that the Hawthorne, Broadway and Burnside bridges all were rebuilt and/or repaired recently.

Yet there still is no plan in place to replace the Sellwood Bridge?

Best Regards,
Stefan

34,000 vehicles a day cross the Sellwood bridge.

Whatever is happening it's a model for the nation planning. If you have any doubts just ask Admas or Metro.

I can't really cry over less parking downtown. Maybe it will encourage a few more people to take transit or bike to work instead of clogging up the streets in single passengers vehicles at rush hour.

The timing on this one is peculiar.

My understanding is that the Andrews family (ie, Scott Andrews - the newly appointed member of the PDC Board) is very friendly with the Goodman Family (the family that owns 90% of the parking spaces in downtown).

This seems to be a nice bit of timing. I saw a short piece in the Oregonian business section the other day. It was an interview with Greg Goodman in which Mr. Goodman denied rumors that the parking business was falling off downtown because more people are taking the MAX to work and gas prices were driving down commutes.

There is a pretty severe economic slowdown in the works. We are seeing the very begining of it. And the monied downtown interests will start hunkering down and consolidating as best they can.

This coordination of efforts (cancelling out 600 available spaces for a year or so while more condos are built) is a nice double benefit for the Andrews/Goodman team. It's a win-win for them - less parking to compete with Goodman's spots for a few years on the front end; cash to Andrews and the developers on the back end. And just for good measure - a nice $30M F.U. to the tax-paying citizenry.

Never mind that there's already an extreme glut of condos downtown. Just keep building them on taxpayer funds anyway. "Something about sustainability..." said the PDC as they laughed all the way to the bank in a drunken haze brought on by reckless borrowing and profligate spending.

Watch for events like this in the coming year. Some people just have it wired.

Reggie Theus.

Unbelievable. Can't repair the Sellwood Bridge, or put sidewalks on Cully, but we can afford to give away one of the choicest blocks in downtown along with a deal sweetener of $30 million (add a zero, probably) for an "incentive".

The public officials that approved this should be in jail.

I can't really cry over less parking downtown. Maybe it will encourage a few more people to take transit or bike to work instead of clogging up the streets in single passengers vehicles at rush hour.

Or, maybe it will encourage a few more companies to take their jobs, get the hell out of downtown, and save thousands of dollars in taxes. Maybe it will encourage a few thousand people to give up shopping in downtown altogether and take their disposable income to the 'burbs. And maybe it will cause more of those linchpin condos to sit empty because fewer and fewer people want to deal with the city's vision of utopia.

These indoor ski mountains are the coming thing. They've already got a freakin' huge one in Dubai, of all places:
http://www.skidubai.com/

"Since we're on the subject, what are the plans for the Greek Cuisina's block? Another 30 floor condo tower? The city is going after them as hard as they are going after Peterson's."

Now that you mention it, there's a Peterson's next door to Greek Cusina. Hmm...

The blight issue needs to be tested in court. First, begin with an LCDC challenge, then Appeals Court, then the Oregon Supreme Court. It is a doable endeavor that can finally bring attention to the misuse of Urban Renewal by this city.

Why ruin the Urban Renewal concept that has it's rightful place? I'll contribute, are there others?


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