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Friday, April 30, 2010

A scoundrel goes back on the hook

This one's a real beauty: The Oregon Supreme Court has unanimously reinstated the felony indictment of Portland real estate mogul Tom Moyer on charges that he lied about his campaign contributions to the Portland mayoral campaign of Jim "the Scone" Francesconi in 2004. Moyer got the charges thrown out on free speech grounds, but the state's highest court turned aside his constitutional claims.

Now Moyer has to decide whether to cop a plea or face trial just as he's got the city's current mayor twisting the arms of the Portland Development Commission crew to move their headquarters into Moyer's embarrassingly mothballed office tower project -- the big pit over where the Virginia Cafe used to be. The PDC needs to move like it needs a hole in the head, but Moyer and his latest City Hall marionette want to make it happen, and so the train is on the track. This is how the city "leaders" create "economic development" -- they build a huge bureaucracy and move it around from one landlord to another.

Anyway, maybe they could hold a ceremony in which Moyer and the PDC sign the new lease just as the sheriff puts the handcuffs on Moyer and takes him off to jail. The curse of the Virginia Cafe continues! Portland's a hilarious place if you're paying attention.

Comments (17)

This how the city "leaders" create "economic development" -- they build a huge bureaucracy and move it around from one landlord to another.

Didn't PDC's last move pull Portland out of the post-9/11 recession?

"Didn't PDC's last move pull Portland out of the post-9/11 recession?"

Just like PoP's building themselves a palace will pull us out of this one.

If he'd been in a strip club when it happened, the Supreme Court might not have had a problem with it.

Vera always held a grudge if someone like Moyer had supported her opponent in the mayor's race - he would have never gotten any future business while she remained at the reins. Didn't she pass on this order to Sam?

PDC should stay put at their current home and help the financials of the Old Town district they're located, plus Kalber offered a 30% reduction in rent.
Another option might be to move into Convention Plaza which they own outright and have already spent +/-$9.5 million purchasing. It's located in the star crossed PDC Burnside Bridgehead(BBH) project. A move there would definately give the PDC-SE-URA a financial boost and maybe kick start the BBH?
Moving to the Moyer "hole in the ground" is risky at best.

Moyer isn't a developer in the traditional sense because by and large he has built his buildings with his own money. I don't know about his political shenanigans, but I understand that we are talking about a couple thousand bucks that was donated through questionable means. Hardly the kind of money that buys influence of any significance, as opposed to all expense paid trips for legislators to luxury hotels/golf resorts in Maui courtesy of the liquor lobby. Moyer has created hundreds of living wage construction jobs on his own dime for this city, and it strikes me that it's a little over the top to label him a "scoundrel" before he's had his day in court.

He's had five years in court.

His current project is dead because he can't get financing.

He "donated" a block to the city for a park, so that he could build a deep parking garage underneath.

It isn't the size of the campaign contributions. It's the fact (alleged at this point) that he lied about who was making them -- buying influence and trying to hide it.

That's a felony.

He's a scoundrel.

He could have built the garage underneath the block without giving the surface to the city.

Damn (and Homer) were doing business with felons again. Go by bike

"He could have built the garage underneath the block without giving the surface to the city."

Yes, but it would have cost more. IMHO, that surface bought a deaf ear to the complaints of the surrounding businesses, as well as waived traffic/ noise/ construction time rules, fast track permits, etc. How many businesses around there folded during that time? How many would have survived if the city adhered to its own commercial construction rules?

I don't give a rat's a** about Moyer, except for his status as a citizen. NO ONE should be required to report their campaign contributions, or details of any lawful expenditure, or of any other form of speech. This is an unconstitutional infringement on speech. Tag, you're it.

From what I understand, the depth and amount of parking on the park site exceeds the parking limited regulations for the site as well as this part of downtown per the Downtown Plan. Plus the taxpayers paid for the $17 Million dollar Slab of Park on top. Do you think a little favoritism played in this game? Moyer knows that a major skyscraper is more successful with a lot of parking. He gets his reward and the city gets some open space. He's cool.

Portland used to ration parking downtown and set maximum limits on it, but the city repealed the limits some years ago mainly because of complaints by downtown businesses. Underground parking is now limited only by the water table (that's why there's less of it closer to the river) and the cost of construction.

pdc couldn't possibly be considering a move after this felony revelation. there's just too many unknowns with a move at this point. west's planned tenants need to line up, building needs to be built, loan secured and moyer needs to erase his past and stay out of jail. too many variables. if one goes wrong, they all go wrong. kalberer has a solid building, generous lease and is willing to accomodate to meet needs of tenant.
kalberer is a solid, smart company/family, doesn't make mistakes and can guarantee pdc a peaceful night's rest.
yes, steve straus, it's a "no-brainer."

Isaac, aren't the Clean Air regulations of feds as well as the state's considered by the City in all it's review processes when parking is proposed in the downtown air-shed? If not, we'll be back to where we were back in the 70s, 80s and 90s in not meeting air shed standards. I thought we were Green.

Unfortunately for PDC their current building is dump that they are stuck with. I looked at leasing in that building right after it was renovated; and not only were they attempting to charge Class A rents at the time, but there is no onsite parking and no ammenities of any kind in the building. And the local "color" leaves a lot to be desired.

Mike says that PDC owns outright Covention Plaza , my godd it would make way too much sense for them to move there and stop paying rent with our tax dollars. Plus jumping up the BB project and the eastside streetcar loop , my good lord , logic and reason are flying around recklessly!
go by EastSide Couplet !

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