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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Did you know Portland had a "resurgent retail core"?

Now, that's the kind of fantasy journalism that endears our local daily to all of us.

This latest wad of malarkey was tossed at us in a brief story about the city's new park, downtown where the Nordstrom parking lot used to be. Across from where the Aero Club used to be, and Hamburger Mary's, and the Vat, and Alligator Records, and the IHOP. Up the street from where the Virginia Cafe used to be. Across from where the abandoned construction pit is now.

The new place isn't really a park by any traditional standards. It's a granite and concrete plaza with the mandatory glass roof over part of it. Kind of like Pioneer Courthouse Square, only smaller, and with a multi-story parking garage underneath. Decidedly not green.

But maybe all green-ness is not lost. Many years ago, when I used to park my car on that lot, the parking lot attendant used to sell pot out of the little shack he worked in. The deal was that you gave him the money in the morning, along with your parking fee, and the herb would be in your glove compartment when you picked up the car in the afternoon. Given the climate downtown these days, maybe similar activity will be observed on the property.

Comments (21)

Sweet. Bring back the parking lot.

We have a "resurgent retail core" in the same way that "the streetcar has inticed billions in private development along the line."

Just keep repeating preposterous things until people accept them.

If these blow-hards want to plunk down $1M + to contstruct something out of ego to slap their name on it, why not spend that money on propping up one of our schools? Is it time to start selling naming rights for PPS buildings?
This "park" is utterly retarded, and only exists as a concession for being allowed to burrow down under the city and quadruple the number of parking spaces and revenue. We already have Pioneer square two blocks over.

Dang! I missed that little weed trade!

The article insinuates that this amazing park will be the driving force of some amazing (if not miraculous) economic revival getting set to burst forth within days.

I don't think so.

Gee - just what downtown needs - yet another "Bum Magnet" for the lowlifes. Did the schmuck who wrote this story notice the number of vacant storefronts on Broadway lately? Or that Pioneer Place is very vacant once you leave the main level?

In response to RANZ, the park is named after two persons who are long deceased, not after anyone who contributed land or money to build it.


You didn't inhale did you?

Downtown is dying. I walked to Powell's, then Dan & Louis, then back to work. I was spang'ed three times. There are many more empty storefronts than just a few months ago and the bums outnumber the well-heeled two to one. I walked past plenty of available on street parking, and very few people with shopping bags.

I was going to buy a Swatch, but it appears they closed their store across from Pioneer Courthouse Square. I needed to withdraw a large amount of cash from the Wells Fargo ATM, but given the sketchy characters hanging around downtown, I decided to wait until returning to SW Barbur Blvd. this afternoon.

I'm moving to Tigard next month: I'll cut my property tax bill in half for a bigger house that cost $100k less. I'll just have to spend an extra half hour a day listening to the radio in my car. Keep Portland Weird and keep it away from me!

the park is named after two persons who are long deceased, not after anyone who contributed land or money to build it.

The park is named after Jordan Schnitzer's grandparents. He contributed money to build it.

Maternal grandparents...the Directors.
For those of us ancient enough to remember those folks ran a furniture store. One of their daughters, Arleen, married Harold Schintzer and the result is now Harsch Investment.

My wife & I were in downtown last weekend, Jenn is spot on with her description. O'Bryant Square looked like County Detox on a busy night.

The new park will be overrun by late stage alcoholics and drug addicts within a month.

I've seen that park. How did they spend $9.5 million?

I call downtown the "For Lease" district because some many locations display a sign that says so.

I've had occasion to do business and pleasure down by Auditorium in the past month or so. The place that haunts me is that new CyanPDX Building on Fourth. Completely empty retail spaces on the lower level, and one day it seemed as if there were just two lights on in the entire residential portion.

Makes those SoWa condos seem full.

Hows that new Transit Mall working out for business?

AND...coming very soon street cars on MLK and Grand. Not being content to totally destroy the "downtown retail core" the developer weasels and the Goldschmit toadys are now about to destroy what is left of business on the east side of the ditch by digging up the major streets over there and charging the taxpayers for the privilege.

Ummm...that Transit Mall is a disaster and only contributes to the decay of the downtown core....

No worries, though, Mayor Creepy is busy dreaming up a repackaging effort...as in "resurgent retail core"...

The park is named after Jordan Schnitzer's grandparents. He contributed money to build it.
Jordan Schnitzer's grandparents are long deceased.

I walked through the park yesterday and was struck by two things: how many more vacancies there are and how there seem to be more vagrants than ever downtown. I noticed that two high-end women's shops on Broadway next to Pioneer Square are closing or have closed. The number of panhandlers and drugged out people with dogs is staggering.

We need city leadership to clean this up. Unfortunately, we have city leaders who don't really see a problem. I wrote recently to the council members about the blight of shopping carts on our streets. The only reply I got was from Amanda Fritz and her reply was, to paraphrase, what do you want the street people to do with their stuff other than to use shopping carts?

Ummm...that Transit Mall is a disaster and only contributes to the decay of the downtown core....

The addition of light rail to the bus mall actually reduced its capacity. Light rail trains require larger headways because the lumbering trains take so long to come to a complete stop. Because the "trains" consist of only two cars, they only have about twice the passenger capacity of a bus (usually the high passenger capacity of multi-car trains, assuming it is used, makes up for increased headways on rail lines). Buses you can pretty much run bumper to bumper, at least at the speeds they're operating them at on the mall. The fact that the trolleys weave back and worth, impeding bus movement, probably doesn't help either. But the cuts in bus service should take care of this problem.

I'm in the downtown core every day. The only thing resurgent is the smell. There are as many bums as workers some days.

Every self-respecting enterprise knows that the city is uniformly anti-business, and already took off. What's the benefit to having your employees get attacked?

So that leaves some crummy chain stores and restaurants, coffee houses, non-profits, PSU, and the government itself. It's all self-serving.

The transit mall is an accident waiting to happen. All I hear all day is bus and train horns. The traffic rules are too complex for a reasonable person to obey.

I'm surprised that my employer is still there. We must be getting KILLED on the taxes. I think we should move everything to Washington County.

In a few more years, downtown will be a Potemkin village, suitable only for Belgian urban-planning geeks to take pictures from their eco-friendly pogo stick transports.

Missing from the picture: People who aren't moochers or civil servants.

I miss the Vat. Best place to eat in Portland, hands down. All the tipsy attorneys and judges were amusing to watch, too.

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