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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Up to their old tricks

Portland's favorite civic-minded developers are now proposing to condo-ize San Diego City Hall. A million square feet, with three towers of condos, retail, even a hotel.

Some of the locals down there are a little skeptical, however. "They continually manipulate numbers to benefit their case for building a new City Hall," one says.

No -- d'ya think?

Let's hope the deal goes through and the boys keep themselves fully occupied down there for many, many years. Go by streetcar, San Diego!

Comments (7)

Offering to build condos in San Diego is like offering to do a rain dance in Portland in March.

I used to work a couple of buildings away from SD city hall. What a dump. It definitely makes sense to replace than retrofit. Not sure I would want to be selling condos their until at least 2012/2014.

Developers, Planners and a few Architects are about Portland's only exports now.

Homer and Dames have been trying to move into downtown Tucson. There's an old warehouse district and they want to rail a trolley through the area and then rezone everything for condos, shops and Starbucks with high density. Guess who's dime it's on? The taxpayers of Tucson. But there's opposition, and the voters have turned it down. There are even some local planners, politicians and shop owners that see things differently. Matt Brown, Portland's former PDOT, Tram guru spearheaded Homer's Front, but the locals saw the other side. It's still playing out, but they have almost been kicked out.

Los Angles have been a little hard sell for Homer too. Gerding/Edlen are finding out the same in San Diego.

They can always come back to Portland. Sam will be waiting in stall no. 2.

As for "going by streetcar," San Diego has a great functioning light rail system, very similar in speed and type of facility to Portland's MAX system. And they were doing it well before Portland got on board - somehow they haven't gotten the credit from the national press. Perhaps because they haven't bought into the streetcar boondoggle to go with it.

Gordon, San Diego just doesn't toot its own horn like Portland does. Plus, their PR budget is much less than Portland's, and doesn't have a inferiority complex.

I guess when it's 75 degrees almost every day of the year people get more relaxed about things ...

I used to live in San Diego and it certainly does have its problems, the biggest being about 100 miles to the north. When asked to compare the two, I tell people I like everything in Portland better except the weather, and sometimes that's an awfully big exception.

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