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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

PDC office sites narrowed to four, it says

Supposedly the Portland Development Commission has cut the number of potential sites for a future headquarters to four, including just staying put where it is now. But since the latter alternative would be cheap, and it wouldn't help pad the unrealistic projections of any tax-subsidized construction projects, it seems unlikely to prevail. They keep talking "jobs," and that's Mayor Creepy's code for construction pork for friends and family. I'd bet money on an oversized, one-sided lease in the so-far-doomed Moyer tower -- currently an embarrassing hole in the ground that should never have been dug to begin with.

Comments (17)

Jack, you're absolutely correct. In the end, it will be Moyer's building. PDC and Creepy will paint this as "job creation" in the construction sector and the developer will (once again) come out ahead. In order for Moyer to re-ignite his financing, PDC will have to sign a heavy-handed lease instead of getting a good deal on space that already exists.

But, what does PDC care...they don't run like a business anyway.

If this goes through, somebody needs to examine the terms of the PDC lease to see just how bad they're getting spanked.

Jack: Your work is excellent. How come the various mainstream media can't do this with full time staff, when it appears you do and still hold down a fulltime job doing something else?
In addition, why does the unfunded pension and healthcare never get any attention from anyone except you? It seems to be the nuclear bomb that everyone overlooks.

In addition, why does the unfunded pension and healthcare never get any attention from anyone except you?

Because white-collar crime is much less interesting to report on than what Beau Breedlove is up to. Especially for TV reporters - lots of math (ewww!) and complex, politically-fraught issues (boring!).

$9900 per person in long-term debt -- and about to bounce *way* over $10,000 with new sewer bonds. You can't make it any simpler than that, can you?

Well, then maybe your suspicion is correct that any story that threatens the political and business (especially advertising) status quo is spiked . . . But maybe the problem is not the media per se but its readers and viewers; much like the federal deficit, this sort of thing is going to be too abstract and disconnected from the day-to-day, practical things they have to worry about.

Not defending it, just trying to understand it.

I guess I'm still puzzled by the pension and health care thing. Shouldn't our politicians have been setting aside money to pay these expenses each year as the liabilities are incurred? A policeman works, and the city then has an obligation to fork over cash in the future for his/her pension and healthcare. And the city has not been setting aside money equal to the present value of the cash needed in future years to meet the obligation?

"I guess I'm still puzzled by the pension and health care thing. Shouldn't our politicians have been setting aside money to pay these expenses each year as the liabilities are incurred?"

Yes it would have been fiscally prudent and moral thing to do. But who gets elected? The guy who says save money for a rainy day or the guy who says "Let's build 200 miles of bike paths!"

Meanwhile 20 years later when the bills come due .....

Voted in unanimously by Council in 2004 (including Saltzman and Leonard) that any city bureau including PDC will locate in historic buildings when City property is full. I don't see how a hole in the ground is a historic building.
If only Council would play by it's own rules.

Resolution No. 36267 AS AMENDED
Direct City bureaus to prioritize location of City offices and operations in historic buildings
WHEREAS, City Council, through the Comprehensive Plan, enumerates goals and policies that
seek to establish and enhance liveable neighborhoods, a strong economy, historic
resource protection, citizen involvement, and quality urban design; and
WHEREAS, the Comprehensive Plan guides the future development and redevelopment of the
City; and
WHEREAS, Chapters 33.445 and 33.846 (Historic Resource Protection Overlay Zone and
Historic Reviews, respectively) of the Portland City Code were adopted in 1996 to
protect historic resources as directed by the Comprehensive Plan; and
WHEREAS, The Historic Resources Code Amendments Project (HRCAP) introduced a number
of financial and regulatory incentives that are intended to promote the preservation and
rehabilitation of Portland’s historic resources; and
WHEREAS, the HRCAP amended the zoning code to require demolition review of historic
resources listed in the National Register of Historic Places and resources classified as
Contributing in National Register Historic Districts; and
WHEREAS, the City Council is committed to continuing efforts to reaffirm the value of
Portland’s historic resources and promote their continued vitality and preservation; and
WHEREAS, The City can support historic preservation and lead by example by adopting
policies that prioritize historic structures as locations for public services and operations.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the following City services location preferences
will be implemented by the responsible City bureaus and offices:
(a) Cityowned
or controlled buildings will be given priority for the location of City
offices and operations.
(b) If Cityowned
or controlled buildings do not have available space or cannot meet
locational or space requirements, nonCity
owned buildings may be considered.
(c) When evaluating nonCity
owned buildings that equally meet locational, cost and
space requirements, preference will be given to buildings that are individually listed
in the National Register of Historic Places or classified as contributing in National
Register Historic Districts.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this resolution is binding city policy.
Adopted by the Council, October 27, 2004
Mayor Vera Katz / Commissioner Dan Saltzman
Nicholas Starin / Brendan Finn
October 27, 2004
Auditor of the City of Portland
By /S/ Susan Parsons

You can't make it any simpler than that, can you?

It's crystal clear for anyone who cares. Hard to see how this will end well.

Isn't that hole in the ground precisely the location where Neil Goldschmidt's only known victim spoke with Nigel Jaquiss for the pulitzer article, in the old Virginia Cafe?

That seems somewhat historic.

only known rape victim, I mean. There are over 3.5 million others who can claim some other sort of victimization, from the whole machine politics thing.

Just to be clear.

Hi Jack:
Glamour and Glitz is all part of the current PDC shell game. However, right across the Willamette is a PDC URA project called Burnside Bridgehead and right in the middle of that is a saved from demolition building called Convention Plaza. Guess what, PDC owns the former office building which has approximately 90,000 S.F. of usable space. PDC has already spent +/- $9.5 million to acquire it,move out the existing tenants and clean up the site. So in essence, if PDC moved into that building, it would be free rent, or whatever they wanted to pay the URA for rent. Granted it's a lot less glitzy, but basically ready to go for occupancy. Some fresh paint and new carpet are probably needed?

Hi Jack:
I forgot to mention in my blog above that Convention Plaza will probably be nominated as a historical site after the restoration work is completed. The building was originally built as a Sears and Roebuck warehouse. The original drawings were found by SERA Architects and presented to the BBH-CAC about six months ago. When that building is restored. it will be the best looking and probably oldest building on the close in East side industrial district.

Uhh , it seems obvious that we
can save the Customs House by
putting PDC in there. They can raise money any ol time they want , and can happily over-pay the feds for it }-:

I think Mike's idea is perfect. The reason for moving into the Mason Ehrman Building was because they were paying a master lease for an empty building. Why not recoup some of the money for the CESURA. It will be many many moons before the Burnside Bridgehead project is ever developed anyway.

Jack, do you ever know what happened to that embarrassing hole left at SW Third and Oak? The hole that was supposed to be a high rise apartment building until Randy Leonard killed it with his spite and hubris.

Mary Volm - it may be that PDC is not considered (for purposes of this resolution) a "City Bureau" - which would explain their commiting to the Moyer project, and BES being pushed out of the Portland Building (where they already own two floors) to the Kalberer building.

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