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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 14, 2012 3:43 PM. The previous post in this blog was Dirty business. The next post in this blog is Gangster teenagers running wild in Portland. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Welcome to the Hotel SoWhat

The Usual Suspects want to buy a parcel of land in Portland's failed SoWhat District and put a hotel on it. No word yet on how much public subsidy they'll get, but given the track record for them and the Portland Development Commission, it will no doubt be huge. And who would want to stay there when the Nines, another PDC special deal, is giving away luxury rooms as it goes under?

Comments (16)

It's only a 25 minute ride from there to downtown on the streetcar (or a 20 minute walk).

I bet a Fred Meyer store would actually attract more traffic, more revenue, more economic benefit, more jobs, than anything else proposed.

I'd say Target but they're building one in the heart of downtown. I'd say WalMart but Portland won't allow such a success story to be built in town. And I'd say Costco, but a Costco would be a bit incompatible with the Streetcar.

And I don't think Freddy's has ever asked for a city bailout - despite being a home-grown business. (True, they're owned by Kroger now, but Freddy's headquarters is still in Portland.)

The projects seem to be escalating.
This is sounding like a little kid's wish list before Christmas...
I want, I want.
The adults of this community that care about good fiscal management have to just say No. We have had enough and some things are just not needed or affordable.

If it is such a fantastic location, let the developers bid for the property without public funds and let it proceed under the normal city permitting process. Otherwise, there should be NO taxpayer's dollar involvment.

What pdxjim said.

I quit reading the DJC article when I got to the headline: 3 development teams vying to build either hotel or apartment complex in South Waterfront. Meaning, apparently, there's no need to add a public subsidy to this project. Unless, of course, the competition is really to get the subsidy itself as opposed to the actual right to develop.

That sound you hear is snorting, snuffling, and grunting at the Portland development money trough.

Myabe they should drive about 3 blocks south and look at the Avalon (I think) next to the restaurant. It's only been bouncing around near bankruptcy several times.

Nah, they wouldn;t want reality to intrude.

Looks like a win-win to me, either the soon-to-be Innovation Quadrant (with its innovative 19th century rail transit) will get a hotel for all the public official junkets from Liechtenstein or we'll have more much-needed crackerbox rat cages for the million more hipsters expected to flood the region by the year 2135. As far as I can see, we can't afford not to give the crony developers public money hand-over-fist.

Amazing - PDC can get hotels built in an area with no food, drink or entertainment close by. Meanwhile, we keep waiting for them to pave the sidewalks with the multi-millions they've spent on studies and admin fees out in Lents.

Ban URA's!!! No more PDC trough feeding!

Re: "I bet a Fred Meyer store would actually attract more traffic, more revenue, more economic benefit, more jobs, than anything else proposed."

Erik H.,

But a Fred's there would interfere with the Brady/Amy plan:

"Apparently the fix is in for a New Seasons or Market of Choice grocery store on SW Fourth Avenue near the real estate development company known as Portland State University. It will be right on the streetcar line. The city subsidies will no doubt run into eight figures. Then Charlie Hales from Camas will tell you that the streetcar made it happen. It's the linchpin, don'tcha know."
http://bojack.org/2011/10/portland_city_halls_next_trium.html

A nomenclature question: Where exactly is South Waterfront? I've assumed it was that jumble of oversized buildings south of the Ross Island bridge. The parcel described in this article appears to be north of the Marquam Bridge in RiverPlace.

Steve wrote: Maybe they should drive about 3 blocks south and look at the Avalon (I think) next to the restaurant. It's only been bouncing around near bankruptcy several times.

My thoughts exactly -- plenty of vacant rooms, and it's just around the way from the concrete redoubts of SoWat. The Avalon (also the many iterations of the restaurant there) should serve as a cautionary tale for anyone attempting hospitality in Portland.

Between I-5, Macadam, and the steep little access road, it's not exactly scenic. Parking isn't always easy (the neigboring business centers are tow-happy), but that's true at many hotels. SoWat won't be any better, and the view is yet worse.

It's not a bad place, but it shows you what happens when a business plan meets the waterfront. IIRC the developers had to keep shrinking the riverfront side back as the floors went up in order to meet some new setback requirements.

Oh, and I think somebody stole the beautiful Chihuly installation that used to sit in the lobby... just grew legs walked right out the door... this is why we can't have nice things, Portland.

somebody stole the beautiful Chihuly installation that used to sit in the lobby

While they are left out in the plain open in Tacoma of all places and are left untouched???

The Avalon is in bankruptcy. SoWhat is near bankruptcy since its TIF dollar revenues are less than it's debt service costs. The Subway, and the other two restaurants in the URA can't generate enough property taxes to pay for all the other OHSU, PSU, Affordable Housing non-paying properties.

lw,:......Affordable Housing non-paying properties.

"Subsidized" affordable housing - what is it all about? I am for people having housing, but as I have written before, it seems like the real affordable housing has been deleted from our city by various factors, - the little bungalows, duplexes, older apartment buildings torn down, and apartments that were affordable turned into expensive condos.

What my concern is that a market is being created and perhaps an agenda to drive more people into publicly subsidized housing.
One of the reasons the "red flag" is up for me is because of the language used calling it affordable housing. I remember Katz and others saying we need more affordable housing, I think the public took it to mean housing that is affordable for people, which is different than public housing. I can foresee more people being transitioned into public housing.

Clinamen, you're exactly right. We should stop using CoP/PDC's terminology of "affordable housing" and use "subsidized housing". Slowly, those who are in competition with their own tax dollars being used for "subsidized housing" are speaking up so their own modest rental properties can stay in the market place.




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