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Monday, October 8, 2012

The sustainability center is dead, for now

The City of Portland's wildly extravagant plan to build a super-green office building -- where everyone would pay premium rent to sweat in the summer, freeze in the winter, enjoy the aroma of compost toilets, and drink rainwater and recycled pee all year long -- was pronounced dead by Mayor Creepy last Friday. The official tab of money blown: $2.3 million, but hey, this being Portland, that number's probably lowballed.

Think of all the good that could have been done with that dough. Heavy sigh.

It's probably the last we'll hear about the project for a while, but since it's a Mark Edlen special, it's almost a certainty to come back at some point. Taxpayers, keep your money belts zipped and covered.

Special thanks once again to this fellow from Roseburg for stopping the insanity.

Now, readers, as we leave this topic, please swallow your coffee before you read the mayor's goofball epitaph for the boondoggle:

The OSC itself will not be built, but the effort has paid dividends to local firms involved in its planning:

-- Last year, Interface Engineering landed a huge five-year contract for work in Qatar to transform a city center into a cohesive, energy- and water-efficient district using the knowledge they developed during the OSC design.

-- Skanska Construction’s part in the OSC gave them the skills set to land other large green building projects, with two projects under way on the east coast.

-- GBD Architects have found themselves in demand for large scale redevelopment in Portland applying the strategic energy and water conservation techniques they developed doing design work for OSC.

-- SERA Architect’s OSC experience focused on climate responsive design has helped them to expand to regional and national markets.

-- Participation in projects like the OSC enabled Gerding Edlen to raise an equity fund focused on green, transit-oriented projects despite extremely challenging times in the real estate market.

Just the planning process of the OSC has created new opportunities for the city, the country and the world.

Sure. Sure it has.

Comments (18)

Its as dead as dead can be, just like the Convention Center Headquarters Hotel.

I wonder which of the above firms Sammy will be a consultant for next year?

Let's be fair about the design: Yes, it looks like a toilet with the lid halfway up, but a really nice, futuristic toilet.

Sadly, those wasted dollars could have been used to build another 60 feet of light rail track.

Oh of course. The planning arena with all it's crony capitalists, consultants, racketeers and bureaucrats have Adams declaring the planning alone provides a major benefit.

How swell. So as Metro and "partners" spend $10 million in fed gas tax dollars planning the Barbur/99W Southwest Corridor a bunch of people who are paid the $10 million are benefiting?

And that's just one of many planning of plans underway.

"OSC enabled Gerding Edlen to raise an equity fund focused on green, transit-oriented projects"

Someone should remind Gerding that large 0% loans from PDC to fix up G-E's buildings (the soon to be vacated Vestas) didn't hurt either.

The more of these green funds I see, the more the stank.

"Just the planning process of the OSC has created new opportunities for the city, the country and the world." Well, yes, if you consider giving legions of interns opportunities to pad their resumes with endless, pointless videos, sure it does. And as soon as Sam leaves and either new mayor fires everyone but his own annointed, they'll be spreading the contagion to other cities. "Sure, it's insane to put in a bike rental kiosk in Fort Worth or Phoenix during the summer, but you know what? It worked in Portland, because I was there."

So howzecome you don't like Republicans?

You don't like the boondogglers you have.

Let's dissect Sammy's epitaph.

Interface Engineering is headquartered in Sacramento.

Sanska is a major international firm based in Sweden.

GBD Architects have been involved in energy and water conservation long before this proposed project.

SERA Architects have been involved in regional and national markets for decades.

Gerding and Edlen's involvement in the Green Equity Fund was prior to the OSC.

Sam, you batted zero. Bring it home Sam.

"Let's be fair about the design: Yes, it looks like a toilet with the lid halfway up, but a really nice, futuristic toilet."

Bill, I thought it was supposed to look like a giant, compost bucket crossed with R2D2.

And speaking of a big ridiculous project that made somebody money but would have left the city holding the tab, be thankful Sam wasn't able to shove this down your throats. This little story, from our own Jack analogue Jim Schultze, is about what happens when people start chirping "But PORTLAND is doing it!" without ever bothering to finish the project:


I have to admit that I'm so disgusted by the idea of having any contact with the waters of the Trinity River that I'd pay to haul out the alligator gar (about the only thing that can live in this ridiculously polluted river) and relocate them to someplace less foul. Like the Gowanus Canal in New York, for instance. As far as I'm concerned, anyone who wants to paddle, swim, or conduct full-immersion baptisms in the Trinity is welcome to do so, just so long as they don't kvetch about how they now look like supporting characters in a "Toxic Avenger" reboot. The problem was that this whitewater project was idiotic, it was approved by a slew of people who had no accountability, and it's a problem that will cost a lot more to repair than it cost to make. Just keep that in mind, and when some goofball in the Adams Administration starts making noises about Willamette swimming areas and kayaking centers in Portland again, just respond back "But DALLAS has one!"

Co-Speaker Hanna and the 29 other House Republicans deserve credit for locking down 30 votes against this absurd project, but Sen. Betsy Johnson, a Democrat, was also an outspoken critic and withheld the deciding vote last September in subcommittee.

By some miracle, leaders in both parties managed to get this one right. Maybe now they can turn their attention to PERS reform.

"...new opportunities for the city, the country and the world."

This guy has been drinking his own pee, mixed with Red Bull.

I can't stand behind a project that doesn't at least create opportunities for the galaxy.

dg for the win.

I agree with other posters. It's as dead as the zombie Convention Center Hotel that's supposed to finally make Portland a "world-class city".

Make no mistake: It Will Be Back. And no, you won't get to vote on it.

$2.3M in tax dollara wasted all to feed Sammyboy's ego.

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