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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 28, 2011 10:48 AM. The previous post in this blog was A moment of sobriety in Salem. The next post in this blog is Hales: "I did it for love" (or maybe not). Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

PDC is on suicide watch

Sam Adams's version of the Portland Development Commission is now killing off real estate development deals that the agency once championed. Suddenly, if the projects don't increase employment in the city's officially designated economic "clusters," they aren't wanted. Which means that the much-planned, much-ballyhooed Centennial Mills project is on its last legs.

Given that Portland has made a name for itself as being inhospitable to business, it seems unlikely that most firms would want to locate here, unless an obscene subsidy from the city was in the cards. (Speaking of which, are we ever going to find out where the solar panel manufacturing plant is going?) If no "cluster" businesses show up, and the PDC won't play ball with anyone else, there's no longer any reason to have a PDC.

Eliminating that dubious slush fund would be a great thing for the city. In any event, "cluster" seems a particularly apt expression for what's going on over there, doesn't it?

Comments (8)

Urban renewal revenue can only be used on physical real estate projects, by and large.

So using the PDC as an economic development tool is quixotic. It can only help businesses by subsidizing their real estate costs.

Sometimes this is quite effective, as in building a new facility for an incoming business. But in terms of general broad-based job creation, there isn't much they can do. Building offices doesn't generate office jobs.

I'll come to the PDC's wake! Where's the party gonna be? Free parking there, I hope.

Mojo - only for your bike.

From the PDC website:

"Created by Portland voters in 1958, PDC has played a major role in keeping Portland one of America's most livable cities."

Now what if the voters decided to get rid of PDC. What have they done for 50 years that benefits the average Portlander?

And here's where your money is currently being bled to:

http://www.pdc.us/currentwork/default.asp

And DOD properties ???? Seriously:
http://www.pdc.us/housing_services/programs/other_programs/dod_properties.asp

I live near Sears. Let the feds deal with it.

And here's a bit of sanity from a local development commission (Background Westover was a very large AF base in W. Mass. until Nixon ordered it closed in retaliation for the state of Mass to be the only state that did not vote for his presidency). http://businesswest.com/2011/06/profiles-in-business-29

This quote from Allan Blair, president of the Westover Metro Dev Commissioner is dead on:

"“I’ve given my definition of economic development to different groups over the years, and the more experienced I get, the more that definition morphs a little bit,” he explained. “Economic development, as I see it, is creating increasing investment in our region — and, ultimately, a city or town — that generates increased tax revenue to the municipality and the state and creates jobs; that’s my simple definition."

OK, can the PDC please show us the money for increased tax revenue for it's half baked projects. I don't think so.

You said it all, Jack. "...there's no longer any reason to have a PDC".
I'm with Mojo, let's have a wake! I like the idea of only a cardboard Don Mazzotti.

"Clusters". That about sums it up.

Re: "Given that Portland has made a name for itself as being inhospitable to business"

And the top 10 states that have "made a name" for themselves as being hospitable to business are, according to CNBC:

http://finance.yahoo.com/career-work/article/113031/americas-top-states-business-cnbc-2011

Notice MA.

PDC's economic (ecomoronic) cluster strategies is a cluster F#$%
They should be folded into an overarching,
tri-county development strategy


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