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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Businesses to Portland City Hall: Cut the crap

The folks in the central eastside industrial district are telling the Tweeting bureaucrats at the Portland Development Commission that they don't want a bunch of p.r. hoo-ha, they want the city to stop nickel and diming them to death.

Hey, come on, businesses. Earl the Pearl has given you a streetcar. Put a bird on it.

Comments (12)

"PDC officials would love to spend money to lower the cost of doing business but they have less these days." Huh?

This is more about the PDC finding something to do than promoting business.

Both my wife and I own separate businesses located in the CEID. I couldn't agree more that the government shouldn't be wasting one nickle on "promoting" the district. Almost every business I know of in the district has a specialty clientele and they don't want or need walk-in type customers, etc. We know our customer base and don't need or want anyone's help in that regard. There is almost no retail in the area. It's a good place to do business because you get lots of low cost square footage in a convenient location. Adding window dressing to the area through some kind of gentrification program will just encourage landlords to raise their lease rates and undermine the very reason people came there to begin with. The next thing coming down the pike is the Eastside Street Car LID assessment which our landlord intends to pass onto us when the bill comes due in 2012. We won't use the street car, and the people who do business with us can't/won't use it. So we are paying for something completely useless to us, and we aren't very happy about it.

Whatever happened to the "industrial sanctuary" in that the CEID was supposed to be preserved as light industrial?

The Streetcar Loop seems to fly in the face of well-entrenched public promises; not to mention what is the sense of a Streetcar that goes around in circles? Most people don't travel in circles...just proves the Streetcar has nothing to do with transportation and everything to do with payoffs. If I wanted to travel in circles, I'd ride the Disneyland Railroad.

I'm willing to look the other way on streetcar projects in the Pearl and downtown. But yeah, the streetcar in the industrial Eastside?

Dumb. Yeah, someone's going to buy a role of carpet and tiles for their home and ride the streetcar.

To Usual Kevin, I have to admit, there's a beautiful renovated industrial building in the shadows of the Morrison bridge. I see what you're saying about keeping rents low, but it's that nice.

The CEID is morphing into a playground of nefarious downtown/Pearl district castaways, the homeless, and a ton of bars. It is already rebranded as a "seedy" and "interesting" place for Pearl district trendy trustafarians to go sluming on the cheap. The toy train panders and promotes this greatly.

The city could care less about the quality of the neighborhood when you look at Hooper and the mental health add-on. The Clifford building is full of extremely mentally ill people on probation with severe drug problems. You also have the Clark Center under the Hawthorne bridge which is a medium length housing center for probation clients. You have City Team Ministries pimping out services to those that cannot or are unwilling to access services that assist with long term solutions to their poor choices in life.

So this will continue forth and get worse as time moves forward and the toy train is a LID move by the real estate crowd.

This is going to be an awesome chapter in the hood.

Good luck to them with that.
Outward evidence would indicate that the public-private Frankenstein monster of development and planning that governs the area treats Portland as though it were sited in a geographically priceless location whose market potential is not to be trusted to the citizens and residents who currently occupy the property.

Translation of PDC response: "We have to stay in business. Crap is easy and cheap, so we make a lot of it. No discount for you."

"Please leave us alone" is not a phrase the PDC understands.

Yes, I'm so glad PDC and Patrick Quinton want to "brand" everything. I wouldn't know what to do or where to look without brands, like the "Sex Triangle" off W. Burnside. I run around Portland not knowing where to go without "brands". Now we need labels like "MovieLand", "TrolleyLand" and "EcoLand".

I'm still waiting for PDC's "BioTechLand" with its 10,000 jobs in "South Waterfront". Talk about a doozy "South Waterfront" brand that PDC foisted on us. It was always known as North Macadam. It had historical connections and has its major street with that name. But no, even with objections from the neighborhood, PDC had to re-brand it to a nothing name that many cities have, and even today people confuse it with RiverPlace that already had that PDC "South Waterfront" designation. I'm more confused (and broke) by all this "branding".

What is happening to CEID is a good example of what will happen to SW Macadam if the Portland/LO Trolley is built. PDC/CoP first tells you it will help traffic/congestion. Then they plan for a few years then spring the LID on you. Then they say we'll retain the existing fabric of the area, zoning won't change. Then when reality sets in, they change the zoning, increase density, put in parking meters, and all the essence of before is gone. You're now the 4th incarnation of The Pearl. You're just another nondescript, new age "Brand".

"The Pearl", formerly known as Old Town before rebranding.

Next each themed zone will have it's own meaningless and incomprehensible logo designed by a crack team of award winning, high priced graphics designers on the newly created Bureau of Neighborhood Identity Images.

The PDC needs to go away and have its functions absorbed into the city's finance office. There is a role for the city to play in promoting economic development and urban renewal, but having a separate large agency (with a correspondingly large staff) funded by taking a cut from all urban-renewal projects means that it's (naturally) dedicated to its own preservation, making up busywork for itself and pursuing development for development's sake simply so that it can justify its continued existence.

Amen! to all of the above comments.
CESID should be left alone, but PDC just sees it as one more place to spend(aka line the developer's pockets) and receive money. The toy train is not new; the plans were on the drawing board in 1999! It is supposed to be a cash cow and by the time the fees are collected for all the LIDs and BIDs and all the other stuff the lier's budget will be just like the west side at 70% above the original estimate!
Notice to all small start up businesses: MOVE OUT NOW!

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