This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 10, 2009 11:08 AM. The previous post in this blog was Your tax dollars at work. The next post in this blog is Shack attack. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Singing a different tune

Flowers by Dorcas moved over the weekend, into part of the site vacated by the ill-fated Rock and Roll Cafe on Sandy Boulevard in Portland's Hollywood District. And with that, they are out of their downtown location on Broadway. Good luck to them in their new location in these tough times.

Comments (13)

And yet another business flees the central core.

And nobody on the Council at City hall, or the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, or the Bureau of Transportation, or the Bureau of Development Services, will either pay attention or notice the trend.

Instead, they will celebrate half empty office towers (or incomplete office towers) partly occupied by law firms and banks whosew personnel eat lunch at food carts and shop in the malls near home.

As a famous philosopher (me) once said: "Portland gets exactly the government it deserves."

I am not a rock fan, yet I really liked that cafe. Sorry to see it go, and I hope Dorcas does ok.

Has anyone actually asked Flowers by Dorcas why they moved? I doubt it has anything to do with "fleeing the central core".

As a matter of fact, Willy Week recently had a blurb about the move:

“Our old store was too big and only had one window,” says Melinda Watzig, one of the store’s owners. “This new spot is beautiful and has lots of windows.”

Doesn't sound like a rant against downtown to me.

None -

Downtown - the central core - is replete with vacant retail space, both smaller in square footage and larger in square footage - than the old Dorcas shop.

If they wanted to be in downtown, finding smaller space would not be a problem.

Florists are in large part a delivery business. What do you think the parking comparison for the absolutely necessary and vital delivery truck is between the central core and the east side location?

Not to mention parking (yes, I know you'll shudder at the idea) for employees and customers.

I wish Dorcas well in new location. They had a lovely shop downtown and it was my go-to place when ordering flowers, back in the day when I worked in 'core'. Best of luck to them. Think I will swing by the new digs.
I could swear I read something not too long ago about them moving because Broadway was such a mess, parking, etc. Wish I could recall where I saw that....

None -

Well, whether or not they were "ranting", they did in fact sour on downtown. As noted in an article Jack linked to in this post, the owners complained about parking, gridlock, and construction. They also noted somewhere else -- I think in the Hollywood Star, which is unfortunately not online -- that by moving they were following their customers out of downtown.

Like Nonny Mouse said; they could have stayed downtown if space was the only issue. In fact, they probably could have gotten a screaming deal right now. My employer just negotiated millions of dollars worth of free renovations from its downtown commercial landlord in exchange for renewing the lease at the old rate.

To be fair, the Dorcas owners also live in Roseway, so getting to Hollywood will be a much shorter commute for them. I live near Hollywood, and so am happy to see Dorcas come to our 'hood.

I also don't revel in the demise of downtown-I work there and feel sad whenever a small, unique downtown retailer is forced to close or move. Unlike other commentators here, I don't think this is necessarily or even substantially the fault of our civic leaders. There are larger macro-economic forces at play. But so much of the economy and charm in this mid-size city of ours rests on the shoulders of small businesses. I wish our leaders would go to the bat more often for them instead of neglecting them at best and working against them at worst.

Ooops, didn't do that link tag right in my previous post. Here it is.

This is the quote from one of the owners from the story about Portland's plan to increase bike lanes.

“As a matter of fact one of the reasons we are moving is our customers complain with the lack of parking, the gridlock, and the construction. They don’t come downtown anymore,” said co-owner Gerhard Watzig.

Oddly, none of the reasons cited have the first thing to do with bicycles. Parking is a car issue, gridlock is a car issue and construction is, I thought, a good thing, signifying economic growth. (I guess we don't have to worry about construction too much for the time being.)

I'm a big believer in an active, urban core, but driving and parking downtown is such a huge aggravation that I really don't do it that much anymore. I took a trip downtown last week to pick up something for my wife, and it literally took me 5 minutes to drive from my office to the downtown area, and then 30 minutes to get close to where I was going. Constant aggravation, closed streets, closed parking spots, etc. etc. etc. Just a non-stop headache. I feel bad for the businesses that are there and that are losing customers. I'm sure in four years or so the construction will be gone, but by then the businesses might be as well.

construction is, I thought, a good thing, signifying economic growth

No, it signifies out-of-control government borrowing and spending. Most of the relentless ripping up of downtown is being done at public expense.

Another reason for moving might be the latest taxes on the downtown properties from or for the transit mall, which were about 70% more than originally forecast by the crooks and liars in city hall.
By moving to the Hollywood district Dorcas escapes the latest scam.

They probably forgot to mention the huge "Retail Black Hole" (PSU) south of the old location.

No, it signifies out-of-control government borrowing and spending. Most of the relentless ripping up of downtown is being done at public expense.

After a little drive through downtown, which is a very common activity for me, I see your point (clearly). I was thinking more about things like road repair and construction related to responsible business growth than the rest of it.

Still, I don't think that it's impossible, or even difficult, to get around or park downtown.

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