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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Portland State real estate empire built on backs of students

And we mean that literally.

Comments (22)

...it makes no sense to me that we’ve been deferring maintenance funds to build something in the future when we could have been improving what we already had.

Sounds very familiar.
Get educated. It is all about building here, not about maintaining what we have.
The University is way too closely aligned with the City of Portland and their policies.
It is not about what is best for students anymore than city policies are about
what is best for the people.

Absolutely, clinamen!
And I bet those are the same desks and chairs I sat on 40+ years ago! They were not comfortable then either!
It is indeed sad that our so called public universities in Oregon are no longer the economical gateway to an education and a decent job that they once were.

It's scandalous how PSU created its own "blight" by hoarding millions earmarked for maintenance of existing facilities. Sounds like PSU has been intentionally overcharging students for years for facilities maintenance that's never going to happen.

When I took night classes in the SBA building the restrooms were filty due to the garbage that accumulated during the day. Took some classes in Shattuck where the desks had PSC stamped on them. Portland State College.

PSU, City of Portland, PDC, and Metro increasingly behave as though they've become one development corporation. Why bother with the charade? Let's just have one big kahuna real estate developer for emperor and that way he won't have to employ hordes of parasites.

Your title is misleading. The new Viking Pavilion will not be financed through any student money, nothing from tuition or student fees. The article also doesn't discuss the recent renovations of Lincoln Hall, Science Buildings 1 and 2, or Shattuck Hall. All 4 of these buildings have gone through recent substantial upgrades.

It's another example of "reporting" only the facts that support the author's position, and not disclosing the entire picture.

Another bubble that needs to pop. The out of control cost of higher education is mostly about a captive consumer that is bad at math.

The Banks and builders with yet another scam. They even made sure (thanks to our corrupt Federal reps) that student loans could never be written off as a bad loan!

It is just coincidental that as soon as the housing bubble collapsed and people stopped borrowing as much money for buying a house they couldn't afford, are now borrowing money for an education they can't afford?

Your title is misleading.

No, it's deadly accurate. Portland State is a real estate development firm now. It cares less about education than it does about political patronage and construction pork. It has become to higher education what Tri-Met is to public transit.

"It's scandalous how PSU created its own "blight" by hoarding millions earmarked for maintenance of existing facilities."

Learned it from the City of Portland. Think Parks Bureau. The past Park levies are always about getting on top of deferred maintenance. Then, some capital project comes up and the money for maintenance is gone. (Naughty mixing of colored monies...)

When the Parks Bureau was preparing the below market value sale of 14 acres of Mt Tabor Park for private development, (Hey! It's a big park anyway!), several documents received in the public records requests addressed the issue of the city not fixing/building the things identified and voted on in past Park Bureau levies. The city attorney chimed in and said that the Bureau is not required to do the things that sold the public on the levy in the first place. (My language) One example: Buckman Pool. And I'm not talking about the threat of the latest closing. Fortunately, the community prevailed, but not without years of pursuing city officials to get it done. Then, if I remember correctly, Comm. Saltzman came to the rescue. Beware the next Parks Levy and what it holds for the future of our fair city and it's fading green and open spaces. It won't be what it appears to be if the past is any indicator.

John P: first, Jack is better at reporting than most of the reporters at the professional papers in this town.

Second, blogs in most cases do reflect personal points of view -- that's why they were invented. If you're not expecting that, then you are not as sophisticated as you think you are.

Having said that, after years of reading this blog, I know where Jack is coming from. Still, he finds out more about what's going on than the newspapers here do.

I appreciate that and factor in any bias he might have accordingly.

As for PSU, well, it reminds me of an urban university I reported on an as a young reporter. Same crap, different state.

There is absolutely NO reason for PSU to be in an urban renewal district -- other than to enrich the development cabal. There's no true blight there. Heck, most students live in better apartments than I did at their age.

talea: I completely understand that this is Jack's blog and he is entitled to his opinion. When I said the article didn't represent all the facts and just picked and chose which to discuss, I was referring to the article that Jack's post linked to. The post's title would be better as "empire built at expense of local services" since the buildings that are proposed to be developed (in the article) have URD funds as part of financing, but not necessarily tuition or fees.

I also agree that PSU (and Lincoln High) should not be part of an Urban Renewal District. Matter of fact, very little of the city of Portland should be an Urban Renewal District (maybe NW industrial district, parts of 82nd and 122nd in SE, Rockwood area) and that URDs are just shams for developers to make money.

Saying "not financed through student moneys" is silly. My wife and I have all of our paychecks deposited into the same account. I can't go buy something and say "Well, I didn't use any of *your* money, I just used mine!"

They might have different lines in the ledger book, but it's the same pool of funds.

And the crappy old furniture is hurting the students' backs.

Think Water Bureau.
Deferred maintenance there at the expense of shiny new projects not needed.

Fortunately, the community prevailed, but not without years of pursuing city officials to get it done.

Why do people have to plead with the city?
Disgusting it is when they do not represent us!

There's no true blight there. Heck, most students live in better apartments than I did at their age.

That may very well be the case as Nick Fish is for housing here. More public subsidized housing that is "so affordable!!"
The controls over our finances/well being of our city are unacceptable. People can see there is no blight here, but that term can be misused and is now all about redevelopment.

Is it any wonder then, why local papers only do stories on candidates who are already committed to continue the same scams?

How corrupt Portland is behind all the marketing and hype.

talea: Absolutely correct!

Back when I attended PSU, it was actually geared toward education, but scraping together $280 a month for rent was tough, and I lived in a hovel - heck, the plumbing was on the outside of the place. OTOH, I didn't go the "student loan" route, and Mommy and Daddy weren't paying for their Snowflake's studies.

Forbes was excellent in graduate biology, though - it was worth it.

Peter Stott? The same guy that put Crown Pacific in a death spiral? The same guy that was part of Portland Family Entertainment (along with Mr Mary Nolan and Glickman Jr.) that made Vera spend $35M on PGE Park and then walked on that debt after one season?

Then again, how appropriate.

It'd be really nice if PSU developed students instead of real estate.

It'd be really nice if PSU developed students instead of real estate.

It would be really nice if PSU were a University independent of city ties.
I am afraid much propaganda may be going on there concerning city planning,
city directions regarding our water, who knows what else?
Didn't Vera Katz teach there, Gretchen Kafoury?
Next thing you know Sam and Leonard will be teaching at PSU!!

I started at PSU in 1997. They still have some of the same desks they had when I went there.

This isn't a problem really, but in light of the other spending it seems odd.

As for the Stott Center they are rebuilding. They rebuilt it while I was there in the early 2000's. So they rebuild it every 10 years? Great!

If the local media would do its job,(rather than regurgitating PR handouts from it's friends) we might not be having this discussion.

Jo: The Stott Center was renovated in 2000 to change the direction the basketball court faced and change the bleachers (thanks to a donation from Peter Stott, which is how the building got its name and also the practice field out front). There was also renovation to update offices, the locker room, install an elevator, and add student services all in the last 4-5 years. None of these renovations are close to the scale of the rebuild being proposed.

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