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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

In Beaverton, condos for "educated people"

Don "The Don" Mazziotti, ushered out of Portland to become the economic development director of Beaverton, is a one-trick pony. What's he got to revive the economy out in that suburb? The only thing he seems to know: condos, and more condos.

Don Mazziotti, community development director for the city, noted that businesspeople are saying there is a need for more housing for the workforce of "educated people."

"The 320-unit development will create the opportunity for highly-trained individuals to make their home in Beaverton," he said.

The city offered an incentive to developers when the property was annexed by incrementally instituting property taxes on the property. Mazziotti said the move was justified by the project’s "economic value."

The project is pitched as a mixed-use development, where walking paths and parks will connect houses on one side of the site to commercial development on the other.

Oh, boy. It sounds like Mazziotti's failed South Waterfront district in Portland, only a little smaller and laid on its side. The guy's always got a sales pitch, though. The "creative class" was a bust, and so now it's on to "educated people." A condo farm, in this economy? Will it be a "linchpin," maybe even "iconic" or a "catalyst"? And of course, nowadays no real estate boondoggle in Oregon is complete without this:

MLG is pursuing Earth Advantage certification for each of the homes, he added.

You can almost hear the Portlandia sheep baaa-ing their approval. We're surprised they left out "social equity." Go by streetcar, Beaverton. You asked for it.

Comments (16)

Hey Don! Beaverton already tried mixed-use development at "The Round". It was an EPIC failure, despite massive taxpayer subsidies and proximity to light rail.

Your planners have no idea how "smart people" want to live: mainly because there is no homogeneous housing preference amongst smart people.

Does Earth Advantage require locally produced wood in construction? From small tree farmers like those in Oregon Small Woodlands Association? I doubt it.

With all of the empty condos, depressed housing prices and crumbling infrstructure it seems like the last thing that is needed is increasing the housing inventory.

Condos, I remember those being cool... In the 90s.

"noted that businesspeople are saying there is a need for more housing for the workforce of 'educated people.'"

I wonder if he just made up that anecdote. It has the element of 'truthiness' to it.

Like "in the future, people will want to live in dense urban environments, near rail." Really, how do you know that? "Oh, lots of people say that. It's just something that is 'known.'"

Do people buy this is in other parts of the country,
or is that why these types stay here?

The Don should ask the high number of "educated people" condo sellers around Quatama Lightrail station need more competition. And they'll be subsidized competing against those in the free market world.

It is interesting that developers who aren't a part of The Don's "partnerships" don't become more vocal on the absurdity and unfair competition of his urban renewal schemes. It is time to speak up, even at public meetings. At least they are in Clackamas Co.

Hey, but studies show that millions of refugees will be flocking here someday to escape climate change. If we don't build now we won't have anywhere to put them all. Honest!

I just now read a comment by an Alec Jensen at the bottom of that old thread.

He has a couple of stunning omissions that rebuke his entire pitch.

See his comment here


Alec began with "At the risk of being castrated by my fellow U/R opponents" so he must have suspected someone would be able to perform that duty.

I volunteer.

As Alec talks about the purity of the process used to advance Beaverton's "model" plan he fails to acknowledge how it was then presented to the voters for approval.

Beaverton's shameless and unethical officials told voters it was free. On the ballot itself and in all of their campaign material. This most egregious UR lie that has been perpetrated so many times is disputed in the plan's own documents that detail how 3 of the 4% growth is natural. So 3 out of every 4 dollars will be taken from the natural occurring property taxes. This will result in a cold blooded taking of over $100 million from essential services including the fire district he represented.

Perhaps Alec can explain how such a despicable presentation is needed if the plan is so worthy? The identical lie and unethical campaign was used to pass UR plans in Wilsonville and Tigard. "It's free and it's spectacular".

I also disagree with Alec's assessment that the plan is mostly legitimate investment.

Although proud of the process that weeded out much of the municipal projects that do not encourage private investment or increase assessed value Jensen misses entirely the elephant in Beaverton's UR plan, The Round.

The Round is the poster child for failed Transit Oriented Devlepment and is the covert focus of Beaverton's UR plan. The rest of the new UR plan has been used to obscure the city's intention to throw millions more at this failure.

In fact, any mention of The Round was purged from the campaign and most of the plan documents. It's easy to see why read this. http://tinyurl.com/RoundMoneypit

Contrast that story with this recent one as the election approached. The Round debacle was reinvented in this October 20th story. http://tinyurl.com/Roundisgreen

"With its MAX light-rail station and central plant operations already in line with proposed EcoDistrict goals, Tatham sees The Round as a potential magnet for grant money and an urban model for green-friendly development.
“I think the city’s headed in the right direction,” Ryerson says.
“The potential is obviously right here,” adds Tatham. “It’s all in the package.
“I like to call it a diamond in the rough.”

Jensen claims "if it's an inclusive process, void of ridiculous projects that voters wouldn't otherwise support in a GOB, / then maybe the voters will say yes"

The Round is a ridiculous project voters never have and would never support. How in the world can Jensen possibly omit the "it's free" lie and the ridiculous Round from his assessment?

What he is sugesting is that the best way to use UR is to lie about it.

I suggest Jensen gets back to Salem to encourage a total prohibition of Tax Increment Financing.

Do you have to provide your college diploma when you make an offer?

Swell. I hope they plan on fixing the traffic problems there, because that is already the worst intersection in the city at rush hour.

History repeats itself because somebody always comes along who thinks they can implement a bad idea or sell a scam better than their predecessors, sort of like a remake of an already bad movie.

And this is good...

The mixed-use “vision” comes from the site’s zoning and its location near the TriMet MAX line, said MLG Vice President John O’Neil. The phased project will start with only residential units.

Near the MAX line? Easily a 30 min walk to the nearest one.

Flattery is a primary weapon used by a con artist to disarm an "educated" mark's intuitive defenses. Exclusivity (and playing "hard to get") is another tool utilized to attract and isolate succulent marks.

"Smart people don't live in houses, you dummy!" -- Joe Q. Swindlevictim

And maybe they just can't afford it anymore, either. Bank on that.

Lookout Joe

I don't know if all of South Waterfront is "failing," but at least one building isn't. Some older friends are moving into the MiraBella "continuing care" building, and it is 90% full.

When the taxpayers of Portland were sold that particular bill of goods, the promise was thousands of biotech jobs. It's nice that at least we got a nursing home out of it.

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