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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Next Portland handout: Spanish windmill outfit

The O buries the lead on this story, a followup to yesterday's announcement of 25 layoffs in Portland by Iberdrola, the Spanish wind energy firm:

Mayor Adams traveled to Spain a year ago to try persuading Iberdrola to stay in Portland. He said Tuesday that the city is doing everything possible to retain the company. Asked whether incentives have been offered, Adams said he was "not willing to talk about that."

Scott Andrews, board chairman for the Portland Development Commission, said the agency remains in discussions with Iberdrola. He's confident the company's headquarters will stay in Portland. With layoffs out of the way, company officials are expected to solidify plans in a matter of weeks, he said.

Andrews expects the company to keep its Brewery Blocks location, where it's been since 2003. As recently as last year, Iberdrola officials considered expanding at the U.S. Bancorp Tower or in buildings not yet built. Iberdrola's local leases, for about 85,000 square feet in two buildings, expire in 2013.

Some form of public subsidy for Iderdrola [sic] has been widely expected, especially after the PDC in 2010 issued a no-interest loan to help fund construction of a new headquarters for turbine-maker Vestas. That will cost taxpayers $2.6 million.

"It's not going to be of the same magnitude as a new building or a new location with a promise of 'x' number of jobs over a period of time," Andrews said of an investment for Iberdrola.

But some financial contribution is likely to keep Iberdrola in Portland, he said, adding: "I think that's worth something."

Secret deals, handouts of public money to private corporations... foreign corporations, at that... Ain't that the Portland way. As long as it's "green," nobody's supposed to ask any questions.

According to this story from a year ago, Iberdrola had 350 jobs in Portland. Apparently, that's down to 325. How big a perfectly legal bribe should they be offered to stay here?

Comments (5)

Asked whether incentives have been offered, Adams said he was "not willing to talk about that."

Oh, I'm willing to bet. In fact, I'm willing to bet that the hotel room used for the incentive negotiations looked as if Hunter S. Thompson had been camping out in it for a month.

In pesos, euros, or dollars, Jack? Should we just leave it in an envelope at the city reception desk, show it as a multi-million-dollar credit on their water bill, or just wire it to a Swiss account from one in Paraguay?

Jose Feliciano - The Windmills Of Your Mind
(Academy Award-winning song from "The Thomas Crown Affair" (1968))

"the U.S. Bancorp Tower"

One of my favotire Urban Renewal stories.

The PDC swept up the planned tower into an UR district before it was built. Where it has remained it's entire life having all of it's property taxes go to UR debt.

Worse yet the PDC claims to have generated that assessed value from their UR investment and TriMet claims their rail tranit leveraged it's development.

Crooked is as crooked does.

Did none of you learn anything from Don Quixote? Tilting against windmills is futile.

Does that mean the Portland political machine has become a malignant tumor that only the state can stop, and the state won't or can't?

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