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Saturday, October 3, 2009

World without end

The Portland Convention Center hotel project may be down, but it's never out. It will always be dangerous and must be vigilantly contained. Scientists from Reed College recently placed the half-life of the hotel project at 12,000 years, as confirmed in this story yesterday afternoon:

Even though the PDC will now emphasize the renewal area’s other projects, the Convention Center Hotel will likely reemerge in the future, Jacobson [Eric Jacobson, a PDC project manager] said.

The city has been stymied on the project in the past and was able to rebound. Discussions of developing a Convention Center Hotel of 500 rooms or more have taken place since the early 1990s. The city has grappled with ways to appear more appealing to the lucrative convention industry.

Williams [Rick Williams, president of the Lloyd District Transportation Management Association] said due to the longtime plans for the hotel project, he still expects it to be completed at some point in the future, even if other projects are emphasized first.

Comments (10)

Good planning requires that you continue building stuff that you don't have the money to maintain or that there is demand for. This is just because that is all planners know how to do.

Once society realizes the enormous genius of these planners and fills these buildings in about 30 years, then they'll be self-supporting. Plus there will be large plazas for the teenagers, who will only have 3 school days a year, to hang out in.

Not a surprise. After all, Sam Adams had this to say when the deal was announced as "dead" a couple of weeks ago:

"We don't have enough money to go forward to the next phase," said Adams, who had been the project's chief supporter. "I'm absolutely supportive of the decision to stop. It would have been unwise to move forward at this time."

"They" just watch and wait and then when "they" think no one is paying attention....BAM! the so called sleeping giant is reawakened.

Understand that the PDC has a tremendous conflict of interest in that their own cozy jobs rely upon the skimming of borrowed millions from every Urban Renewal scheme.
In just one 5 year incremental budget for SoWa the PDC took $18 million under the line items "Management" and "Administration".

And do you all get the borrowed part?

That's right, the PDC pays itself with borrowed money in the tax increment financing sham.
Then property taxes are skimmed to service the debt with interest.

So here we have a government agency who borrows money to pay itself then self assesses their job performance.

Which results in taxpayers, (property taxes plus interest) paying for government employees to cook up self promoting propoganda and promote projects that fund themsleves.

In normal times that would be called corruption.
But here we are in Creepy times and it's called planning.

If this project is a sleeping giant, it's a Cardiff Giant and (at least for the present) an example of growth for growth's sake (i.e. a cancer).

The Convention Center Hotel is dead? That means it's a zombie. As we know from zombie movies, the zombies always win in the end ...

PDC's Management and Administrative costs for SoWhat has been running around 12% of the TIF dollars spent. That is similar to the other 10 urban renewal districts. On top of that PDC gets taxpayer monies from property taxes-a typical home is taxed $120 dollars per year to help keep PDC running. This is beyond double taxation. PDC takes your tax dollars before you get them in TIFs, then gets your tax dollars through your property taxes.

You wonder why some taxpayers, schools, police, fire departments, roads, social services are complaining about the potential voting to rescind the two state legislature's tax hikes. They are complaining about the wrong things first-its not just that we don't have enough taxes, its how they are spent-especially in regards to PDC.

Weird -- the Oregonian has a crimp in the Intertubes, as a story about Greenspan's view that unemployment goes to 10% (and no more stimulus is needed) has these "Business update headlines" noted -- these are from 2008:

# A South Waterfront progress report 10:42PM

# Berkman tells his side of investment story 5:31PM

The SoWhat one is especially interesting -- Bill Mikesell is the byline but a "by Ryan Frank" at the bottom. Interesting to travel through the Oregonian's wayback machine in this way:


Well, you knew it was too good to be true:


The CC Hotel lives on. These guys just don't give up! They'll take this bad idea and make it worse yet.

If only they applied this level of tenacity to useful things....

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