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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Portland's about to get "sexy" condo bunker

And here you thought paying for sex is illegal. No way -- the taxpayers will no doubt be paying for this in one way or another. Tri-Met Tiffany's in on it, and you can bet old Char-Lie Hales will bend over backward for Daddy Homer, who owns him.

Not only do the real estate boys get to wreck Portland, but they always get the taxpayers to chip in a few mil. And they tell you it's going to be just like the condo towers in Vancouver, B.C., and so that will make it all wonderful. We seem to recall that the bunkers in the SoWhat District were going to be like that, too -- "needle-thin" and "preserving the view corridors" toward the mountains. Instead, that place is one giant, impenetrable wall of Graggalicious crap.

Comments (10)

Even Tri-Met Tiffany doesn't sound convinced that the tower condos will sell at high prices with high HoAs...but what the hell....
What Homer wants Homer gets.

And I'll bet money that the next Pearl Project is where Gann publishing is now. Steve died in Feb and the kids will want the dough for the real estate.

It seems we've been here before with real estate - unbounded optimism, people are ready for this new living concept, market is going nowhere but up, overbuild the retail spaces because of transit nearby, residential price point at $500 per square foot or higher.

I forget, what comes next?

Jack, it's sad but good that you remember some of phrases used for the promises of SoWhat. Katz, Sam, Char-Lie, Sten, and other Commissioners, plus all the PDC/CoP bureaucrats and Planners continuously used all kinds of descriptive words that totally obscured what the true changed zoning laws for SoWhat would bring. And they knew they were lying.

SoWhat has become a urban planning learning laboratory, but PDC, CoP and PSU are spinning it the wrong way. Your blog has helped tell the real story, and it will be sorely missed.

how many on-site parking spaces are in this project?

You know SoWhat went under water financially even before the ink on the plans went dry; but I think this place could be prone to flooding (and maybe some of the superfund issues have been hidden underneath and along the nearby shore lines). There's a reason the place was low cost warehouse milling type operations for most of its history.

And to add a little more napalm to the fire, you have stupid ideas brought to Portland because "they were so successful in Dallas." These stupid ideas are brought back to Dallas because "it worked so well in Portland." Case in point, a huge reconversion of a nearly-dead shopping mall in the North Dallas area into a "urban liveability zone", where everyone SWEARS that no city funds will ever be involved:


Gondola trams, urban liveability, and lots and lots of yammering about walking to available shopping. Okay, who the hell let Sam Adams out of his cage?

Think again about these "point tower" implications. CoP Planner Troy Doss (as mentioned in NW Examiners story) was one of those that said point towers in SoWhat won't block views and sunlight, like in Vancouver BC. In fact after Council accepted 325ft heights and narrower buildings of 100 ft with smaller footprints in SoWhat, a few months later it was Doss that advocated for a 25% increase to accommodate for the John Ross tower design review variance. How many can say SoWhat is one big sunlight and view sieve?

Portland is one big variance granting machine for the right developers.

There's also a wall o'condos planned to go up along the Vancouver, Washington side of the Columbia opposite Hayden Island. The developer's architectural aerial view shows this massive Berlin wall of multi-story condos sitting between low-lying Vancouver and the waterfront. And a few rightly point out that getting to these new condos will prove problematic with CRC construction.

Am I missing something? How did this get funded? I thought the bottom had fallen out of the condo market some time ago.

I noticed a restart of huge McMansions being built in Happy Valley, hillsides that had trees cut almost completely off the hill and a winding paved road leading to nowhere was what one viewed for years until now. Erosion is not a problem? I must say it seems a bit strange this was allowed by the 1000 "Friends" of Oregon? Also, seems out of sorts to have built in areas in flood plains.

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