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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 21, 2011 5:41 PM. The previous post in this blog was Somebody's got photos. The next post in this blog is Presenting the poster children.... Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Congratulations, Portland taxpayers

You're about to "invest in" another 15-story apartment bunker in the Pearl District. "The developers will be meeting city officials next month to determine if the project is feasible, an early step in the development process." Too funny. Palms will be greased, legally or illegally.

Comments (14)

Ooooh and right next to the 405 freeway too. How scenic! And livable!
And the site is currently used for parking...begone the evil cars!!!
I wonder when the first liars budge will surface.

I guess I just don't get it. The market is good now for construction of apartments, especially in locations with very low vacancy rates. It is my understanding that Trammel Crow and others are building again in the metro area, but I have not heard anything about them getting handouts from government nor discussing whether or not a project would be feasible. That is their business -- it is the essence of business. I just don't get why the city would be involved in the business affairs of private entities, as long as theybare following the law.

The Manhattanites are here and more are coming soon.

It appears there is a need and market for additional apartments in NW.

So this should be market rate housing built by the free market.

But alas there are two major red flags.

One is the fact that the City of Portland alwasy dangles UR money or other incentives in front of these developers. So it's expected that their will be some incentives because heck they always hand out money. It's the City that Works.

The other is the undeground parking. That's the linchpin excuse for getting tax money. It's easy to show how it just won't pencil out unless tax payers "invest".
And there's the opportunity to use the parking for some payoff. If it's needed for any other "transaction" some of the parking spaces can be sold, (money laundered) with a PDC loan through a non-profit to the developer and/or General Contractor at a price as high as the "deal" needs to be.

I'm referring to the 100 parking spaces in The Strand at Riverplace.
The PDC loaned 6.3 million in borrowed UR funding to a non-profit created by the developer to buy 100 parking spaces from the same developer and no one is responsible for the loan repayment.

Everyone get that?

A $6.3 million loan that no one is responsible for. The non-profit entity is required to pay the loan at whatever pace parking proceeds from the 100 spaces allows.
Imagine how that could be manipulated.
The developer could then make a deal to lease all 100 spaces back at a bargain that doesn't even cover the loan payment, rent them for a profit and no one would know or care if the loan was never paid.

Suippose the payments to the PDC are not high enough to cover the interest. The principal would grow forever. Funny huh?

Yet the PDC (taxpayers) have to pay back the UR money the PDC borrowed to loan the non profit.

Public-Private cronyism at it's finest.

INFO,
I sense the force is strong in you. Please continue to explain this kind of stuff.

The Jack Bogdanski Institute can always use more faculty members to teach the rest of us.

Nolo, your assessment of Trammell Crow would have been accurate if Trammell himself (a good and decent man, and sorely missed around here) were running the company. Unfortunately, the company is run by his walking dingleberry of a son Harlan, and Harlan does for real estate what fellow Dallasite Tom Hicks did for pro sports. Harlan doesn't do squat unless he's able to get municipalities to pay for his ego projects: here at home, he's the poster child for the mantra "privatize the profit and socialize the risk."

Trammell Crow(now Mill Creek Residential Trust) brought us Tupelo Alley, a space ship looking 200-unit monstrosity on otherwise understated and tasteful Mississippi Ave.

They acquire property, then build to its absolute maximum height and density, neighborhood and architectural sensitivity be damned.

They are about to atart another project on NW Savier - 180 units of apartment bunker schlock. They own or control several other parcels in close-in areas and will surely be dumping hundreds more hipster bunkers on the market -- whether we need them or not.

I don't mind some development, but Portland is setting itself up to be overbuilt with apartment bunker towers brought to you by corporate nimrods like Simpson and Mill Creek.

...And the City of Portland doesn't mind our built environment being destroyed; they collect $15,000 per apartment unit in city fees.

Bill, the effort of get The Strand parking scam out of PDC's Cheryl Twete was a long, arduous process. A record request had to be made and then all was not divulged, and further inquiries had to be made.

It would be interesting to have an outside accounting of how the "loan" is being paid off. At last PDC inquiry, a couple of years ago, they didn't know except that they generalized that receipts weren't enough to pay back any of the principal and even some of the interest.

Thanks to INFO in bringing this up again. It is an excellent example how corruption can slightly be hidden from the general populous and maybe evade outright prosecutable offenses. Thanks Jack Bogdanski Institute, and no thanks to the O and Jeff Mapes, Jeff Manning and Brad Schmidt.

We have not heard from this developer. It may in fact be market rate housing which would add to the tax base.

Nick Fish, I've discussed with several developers how working with CoP/PDC/Metro/TriMet to receive all the subsidies that are available for subsidized housing in any fashion means an additional 20% to 25% additional cost in doing business. That may be why it takes awhile for developers to make a business plan. Many developers elect not to work with the city, especially if they are not one of the chosen ones in CoP's favored list.

It also explains why we have subsidized "affordable housing" like Block 49 that costs close to $400 per sq/ft while true private enterprise developers can build housing for less than $100 per sq/ft.

While it is possible this will get public funding or a tax exemption, I fail to see where in the article this has anything to do with public funding. It appears to be just a notice about a pre-application process that every development has to go through. Not certain what the fervor is over.

I don't mind some development, but Portland is setting itself up to be overbuilt with apartment bunker towers brought to you by corporate nimrods like Simpson and Mill Creek.

...And the City of Portland doesn't mind our built environment being destroyed; they collect $15,000 per apartment unit in city fees.

$15,000 per apartment unit in city fees?
I did hear where a group wanted to build a project and just to get to first base in meetings with the city for a Go or No Go towards the next step would cost $30,000-$40,000.
I think we need to be much informed about matters here!
So our built environment is being destroyed why? Oh yes, for the millions more to be coming!
...or do they have to keep destroying the character of neighborhoods to put these developments in to keep our city afloat from bankruptcy or to keep money flowing for the perks?

I do wonder why the neighborhood associations would not be up in arms over this as single family homes are being taken and areas infilled with these huge apartment bunkers? Are they not concerned with neighborhood character, or do they believe that "million more" coming mantra and that they agree with or must accommodate the city plans?

This just in...

No, we're not:

http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2011/11/developers_call_off_pearl_dist.html

Ding Dong the deal is dead...

Without a public-private partnership:

"the company decided the return wouldn't justify construction.
The cost of construction, permitting and other fees can tip the scale against big apartment projects"

However, the PDC & Metro have many tools in their incentives' tool box to build a partnership that makes the project feasible.

Waived fees, low interest loans, Transit Oriented Development tax abatements, various grants, green/eco credits etc etc.

The PDC could even buy the site and re-sell it at a fraction of the price to the friendly developer.

When Simpson Housing LLLP of Denver canceled the meeting they were saying, "show me the money".

They know there are many opportunities.

Development Services
http://www.pdc.us/dev_serv/default.asp

http://www.oregonmetro.gov/index.cfm/go/by.web/id=28446
COMMUNITY INVESTMENT TOOLKIT
VOLUME 1
http://library.oregonmetro.gov/files/financial_incentives_toolkit_final.pdf

The deal is not dead. It's merely getting treatment.


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