This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 9, 2007 7:19 AM. The previous post in this blog was Survivor Portland Bureaucracy: Day 7. The next post in this blog is Something is terribly wrong. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Another urban renewal "success" story

Here's what we've all been waiting for -- a huge 24 Hour Fitness club on MLK. The city's appraised the property at $2.2 million, but the Portland Development Commission would sell it to the developers for $600,000. The reason? A fitness club needs a parking garage.

Make sense to you?

Me neither.

But hey, this is urban renewal, where nothing ever makes sense except the private profit.

Oh, and there'd be some sort of shrine to Magic Johnson attached. Maybe that makes it o.k.

Comments (16)

Why are we opposed to a Wal-Mart, but cool with a 24 Hour Fitness? (I'm opposed to Wal-Marts, but would at least like to see some consistency as it relates to huge chains.)

It's no wonder Portland is going broke. When are we, as a city, going to join together and elect some decent people?

I'm much more in favor of Wal-Mart's than 24 Hour Fitnesses. At least people with low SES factors can benefit from low cost goods.

From the article - "With the parking garage as a requirement, appraiser PGP Valuation of Portland said $600,000 would be a fair sale price to ensure a reasonable profit to developers."

My question - since when is the city in the business of ensuring profits for private companies?

If that is now city policy, I can't wait to see all the Fortune 500 companies pouring into the area...

Only trendy chains are ok...(ie: Ikea)

And I cannot imagine them giving a break to someone because of a parking garage. Doesnt that break some "cars are evil" planning commandment or something?

And "reasonable profit for developers"??? Huh? Too bad other businesses in the city arent given such elegant considerations. Like the Schumachers.

The nonprofit Planned Parenthood doesn't need a subsidy because it's not in the business of making money.


In today's O a commentary defending the status quo PDC says that the current "independence" has the PDC commissioners taking "responsibility" for the agency spending whereas the city council would not.

What a completely concocted farce.

"Responsibility"? Yeah right. How is that? It aint the PDC commissioner's money, they approve millions for spending on anything without any consequences and no one ever gets a full accounting of who gets the money or what it actually buys. This must be one of those imaginary things.
Like "accountability" that we hear so much about but rarely witness in action.
There is either some seriously entrenched corruption in this town or wholesale group incompetence, or both.
Whatever the mix there certainly is not a shred of fiduciary responsibility demonstrated by ANYONE at the PDC.

26-92, taking the money reigns away from the anointed and appointed PDC commissioners, should pass by a huge margin if there is any sanity left in Portland at all.

If something so obviously dysfunctional can be sustained by such blatant disregard for the truth then we have reached a point where our institutions are so saturated with conflicts of interest that any opposition to the status quo is futile.
Hopefully Portlanders will slap real hard at those perpetrating the status quo and pass 26-92 by a wide margin.
Yes 71% No 29% = Oregonian, shut up.

How is a powerful mayor any better than a powerful commissioner?

Just curious how we think that putting all the power in one person is better than all the power in a few people.

Either way - they have all the power!

JK: What about an ordinary, low cost, surface parking lot like Freddies and that natures’s clone over on Interstate?

Note: structured parking is many times more expensive than a surface lot. That is why it is not normally built outside of core areas and why PDC has to give away land to encourage such economically bad construction. It is just another of the many little costs of high density that is forced on all of us.

Increasing the cost of every element of driving, including parking, is part of Metro’s plan of turning up the heat on drivers in their nutty scheme to get us to waste time, money and energy on toy trains and buses. (Of course they are too deep into their religious, delusional zealotry to actually look at the data to show what a bad decision this is.) See DebunkingPortland.com

Put PDC budget under city council and this crap will stop. If it didn’t, it would be a prime topic at every public appearance of every council member: “Hey, Eric how come you voted to give another million to Homer?”


Hey, you PDC-haters! All is not lost. You didn't read all the way down to the end of the story:

If the project's profit exceeds 15 percent, then the developers may have to repay the city up to the land's $2.2 million market value.

Beneficiaries of such public largesse will no doubt be scrupulously checking the books. That way, when it's time to make that repayment, the check will be in the mail the very next day.


The developers will charge so much in phony overhead costs this project will never make a profit that increases the PDC's revenue from the property beyond the phony appraised (and sale) price of $600,000.

Regardless of all the usual stuff, isn't anyone else cheesed off about putting up a monument to a former Los Angeles Laker?

Oh, come on now! Haven't you guys been paying attention?

Big boxes are only evil on the WEST side of the river, where PDC's expensive taxpayer-funded consultant studies confirm that they suck the wind out of the nearby locally-owned and operated small businesses which are our primary source of jobs. On the EAST side of the river, PDC's expensive taxpayer-funded consultant studies say they will NOT suck the wind out of the nearby locally-owned and operated small businesses which are our primary source of jobs.

These are the best consultant studies our tax dollars can buy. Show a little respect, here, will ya?

Regardless of all the usual stuff, isn't anyone else cheesed off about putting up a monument to a former Los Angeles Laker?

Why? The owner of that establishment can idolize whomever he wants, right?

You know, I heard a rumor today that this place is actually owned by Magic Johnson. Or he is involved somehow with building it...anyone know of any truth to that? Because if its true...why the heck should taxpayers help out some millionaire ex ball player make some more money?

"..why the heck should taxpayers help out some millionaire ex ball player make some more money?"

Because that's what the movers and shakers at the PDC think they are supposed to do.

Play like they big developers themselves with the taxpayers money. It's a wonderful life. They can play with taxpayer's money as if it were theirs but they take no personal risk or responsibility for anything.
And with their lavish salaries and benefits the PDC hierarchy also enjoys the fruits of the taxpayers labor.

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