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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 5, 2012 5:56 PM. The previous post in this blog was Strange corporate gyrations at Einstein Bagels. The next post in this blog is Match report: Timbers 0, Crew 0, paint almost dry. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Couplet's done -- time for some apartment bunkers!

Why Portland blew $20 million on the goofy Burnside-Couch traffic "couplet" on the east side may seem like a mystery at first, but if you've watched the city government for the past decade or two, there's usually a simple explanation for everything: It's all about building god-awful apartment towers. The construction boys make their bundle, the real estate sharpies make their bundle, the union bosses get theirs, and the only losers are the homeowners in the neighborhood who lose light, air, and precious parking spaces in front of their homes.

And so it seems to be going in Coupletland, where an alert reader points out that they've started ripping up the parking lot near the Foursquare Church at 11th and Burnside. The trees and the landscaping go first, of course:

What's going in on that site? Why, 132 apartments for senior citizens, brought to you by the friendly folks at Walsh Construction. Which means it's going to be "green"! And "smart"! Oh, joy!

One can only imagine how much taxpayer dough is being funneled into that kind of deal.

It seems like an odd place for elderly folks to live. Drivers are so confused at that intersection any more that they go plowing into the sides of buildings with alarming regularity. Some night some drunk or confused motorist could take Grandma out, right in the lobby. That is, if she doesn't fall into a bioswale first.

One neighbor suggests that the city paint its famous "sharrows" on the streets all around the place -- but instead of a bicycle, they should show an old person on a walker.

Comments (14)

Nah! It is the job of the cars to get rid of the old folks...we are after not hip, or cool nor will we be riding bikes! And we are expensive to boot!
These horrible and tragic accidents to be will prove that cars are dangerous and should no longer be allowed within the city limits of Portlandia.
Then the apartments for the seniors can be converted at taxpayer expense to condos for the hipsters...
Oh wait...there are no taxpayers left? Details!

This intersection used to work just fine, for those of us who actually pay attention while driving. Any slight increase in accidents at that intersection came about at the same time cell phones came into play. As for bikes and pedestrians, yeah it was tough to be sure, but easily avoided. Of course that requires common sense. It was a fully functioning transportation hub moving goods and services throughout the city. Now it’s a testament to the weasels driving and steering our elected leaders.
http://vintageportland.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/e-burnside-and-sandy-blvd-1965.jpg

I am told that the Walshes know how to play the city . . . perhaps Tom picked up some skills as Fred Hanson's precessor; he was general manager of TriMet from 1991 to 1998. Neighbors watched Walsh keep the City on tenterhooks for months re. the apartments they own on NW Upshur. The city's section 8 contract was running out (one of several around Portland) and at one point, all tenants on the property were given a lengthy notice - just in case. We heard hints that the Walsh brothers might find it more lucrative to tear everything down and erect new condos. But wait, the City, wanting to keep the arrangement made a contract deal with Walsh regarding the updating and repair of low income properties in the Northwest. Guess which one they started with? Neighbors got to see new siding, doors, sidewalks, playground areas, repaving of the parking lot, etc. go on for months as the Walsh's revamped the property. Just as the property had been built originally in tandem with the City of Portland in expectation of low-income housing opportunities. Sure, some of the improvements were necessary, but some were clearly make-busy and icing jobs that didn't appear to result in any significant change. You have to see this kind of thing happening in your neighborhood to really internalize it.

Always remember that Tom Walsh is Patricia McCaig's arm candy.

It explains much.

Politicians and developers sleeping together is dangerous for taxpayers/

See, Nolan / Gardiner.

Looks like a tiny plot not good for much of anything, but now a place to put the Seniors to sit in little cells until they die. Why open windows with exhaust fumes continually surrounding them? I know of places for Seniors where there is garden space for them to be outside, a flower garden and bench for them to sit outside and walk around. There isn't room here except 132 little cells and what would be the point of sitting in that triangle?
This small plot looks like a better place for one of their little "parklet" ideas.
Do do think Vera Katz would live there?
I've got an idea, lets call it "The Royal Condos" and have developers and elected officials live in it as an example of what they are capable of.
If one cell won't do, better get two.
I imagine the building would quickly be converted to lofts and penthouses, tiny units
only being used as office spaces, but good enough for now for those Seniors to "live" in.

I tried to resist, but it's just too appropriate that the old folks condo tower is going up in close proximity to Old Wives Tale.

portland native,
Sounds like we better escape before we end up there.

I got another idea, why don't we turn it into "The Royal Mausoleum" where we can put the royal ones as symbolic as to who put to death the City of Roses?" Since they like these plans so well what better place for them to finally rest?
Downstairs we can have a little museum imparting information about these individuals.

Clinamen: it does look like there will be some walking-around space on the roof, also there's a decent-sized courtyard in the center:

Not very fond of the design though.

Aaron,
Do you know the size of the units in sq. feet?

Googled around a bit clinamen, found this press release.

The community offers 110 one-bedroom, one-bath homes with approximately 600 square feet and 22 two-bedroom, two-bath homes with approximately 900 square feet. Both plans offer a flexible, open layout and have either a private patio or balcony.

There isn't room here except 132 little cells and what would be the point of sitting in that triangle?

This property is actually quite big, you may have mixed it up with one of the triangle-shaped properties to the west. This is the big parking lot block between 12th, 13th, Burnside, and Ankeny. It's mostly square except the NW corner is chopped off.

Thanks for the information.
I also noted in that press release:
A future trolley line is planned along Burnside Street, which will provide convenient transit for residents across the Willamette River to Downtown Portland

You can read about the proposed streetcar lines in the concept plan. I think the Burnside thing is not too likely anytime soon (if ever), as Adams gave up on the big changes for Burnside.

Are these considered more upscale housing for Seniors? How much will the units cost?


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