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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The next thing you'll pay for

Looks like the taxpayers are about to pitch in -- like it or not -- for the Usual Suspects to build another huge apartment bunker for students at the Portland State Patronage Center. Here's the press release:

Capacity chose Phoenix Development because of the latter company’s success with developing student housing projects in the past, Owendoff said. Additionally, the company has access to large sources of public and private capital, which would be useful in developing a project that could cost upward of $50 million, he said....

Additionally, the building would be the first large-scale project completed within the city’s newly created Education Urban Renewal Area. It could provide $500,000 of real property tax revenue annually to the city, and some of that could be used toward other future projects in the URA, though it is unclear how much would be devoted....

The project’s site is currently owned by the Portland Housing Bureau. Earlier this year, Commissioner Nick Fish said the PHB would negotiate with developers of student housing projects within the URA to potentially add affordable housing units to their projects. However, even though Capacity Commercial will be acquiring the site from the housing bureau, there have been no talks about adding affordable housing units, Owendoff said.

We love the smell of scam in the morning.

Comments (8)

"It could provide $500,000 of real property tax revenue annually to the city, and some of that could be used toward other future projects in the URA"

It could, it could, it could

It wont.

You'd think the influx of public money would motivate at least the appearance of addressing real student housing needs. But no -- it's only going to be about exclusivity and convenience, not providing housing to students that need assistance.

"The unit prices would be on the high end of the student housing scale, which means most of the students living in the building would be upper classmen or graduate students, Owendoff said.

Those students would be in close proximity to both the streetcar and campus, which is three blocks away from the project’s proposed 16,860-square-foot site, located between Southwest 11th and 12th streets.

Even with higher rents, Owendoff thinks the building would address the needs of PSU students looking for housing. The Ladd Tower, a project Owendoff helped develop in the area in 2009 when he worked at Opus Northwest, has succeeded despite the lofty prices of its units, he said."

Once again, Portland shamelessy flaunts its propensity to use public monies to subsidize the elites.

"Owendoff said"

Isn't Owendoff the guy who was griping under a pseudonym about all the developer ripoffs a few months back? He got fired when the NW Examiner unwound the postings.

I guess I don't get what the big deal is here. Portland owns a piece of property which they apparently paid $2.6 million for in 2001 (and which has a listed "real market value" of $7.8 million -- but, really, who would pay that for this building). Portland is apparently going to sell it to a development company for an unknown price, and the developer is going to build apartments for PSU students. PSU does not own the building, pay for the building, or subsidize the building. And whether Portland subsidizes the building depends on how much below market price they sell the property to the developer -- the willing seller, willing buyer market price, not the listed "real market value" on Portland Maps. The money from the sale will then be used by Nick Fish for low income housing, housing that would at least partially replace some that they hoped to insert into this housing project. And as far as property taxes, Portland gets $0/year for this property now (and $35k before they bought it) so any development here would seem to be a positive -- whether it is $500k/year or not. Until we know what the sale price is, it seems to be too early to yell shenanigans. What am I missing?


The city is not pitching in to build student housing for PSU. There is no public subsidy for this project. The DJC reporter got it wrong and has corrected the mistake. See here: https://owa.portlandoregon.gov/news/2012/07/17/downtown-portland-student-housing-project-

The truth is that the old PDC cut this deal years ago and Portland Housing Bureau inherited the property and the development agreement when the city and PDC merged housing functions. PHB is now simply completing an old deal under contract. It is not a deal the city would have made today.

The Portland Housing Bureau is selling the land under an old contract and will use the money to build homes that are affordable for people of low and modest income in Portland.

Thanks for setting the record straight.

Mark Larabee
Public Information Officer
Portland Housing Bureau

Mr. Larabee - houses, or more of the crap infill Soviet-era apartment bunkers with no parking?

The project’s site is currently owned by the Portland Housing Bureau, which is selling the property to finalize a deal it inherited from the Portland Development Commission. Once the property is sold to Capacity Commercial Group, the PHB will use the money toward affordable housing projects in the downtown area, according to PHB officials.

Would be nice to get some financial facts here on the property, who owned it before PDC?
If site is owned by Portland Housing Bureau, what is the property selling for?

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