Wednesday, March 24, 2010

PDC – 13 RFBs (request for bailouts)

This is more followup to other posts on Portland Development Commission's potential move from their Old Town location of about 5 years. The Oregonian/Portland Business Journal – same company – had the stories. It apparently is of little concern to any other of the media. Not surprising, it is Old Town and Old Town never learned to market itself.

The best list is in the Portland Business Journal. These are all “please rescue me from my inability to finance my project” developers. Also, it is more of PDC's love affair with developers. The proposals are more welfare handouts to developers without a means test.

It is just plain wrong for property tax payers and their tenants and the consumers of their products and services to pay for the mistakes of developers. These developers are looking for bailouts.

It is doubtful from the information provided thus far that any of the proposals will match the one submitted by the present PDC landlord Kalberer Company. Nearly all of the others are of the “let's submit a proposal – what have we got to lose” variety.

It is not only the the terms of the new lease that will be important, but the Request For Information (RFI) spells out the other factors. E. g., location near transit is a factor if considered alone would eliminate some of the contenders.

But, look at five locations, other than the present one, that might qualify on the close-to-transit basis. 421 SW Oak contains the Post Office at the ground level and is directly across the street from the “big pink” U.S. Bancorp Tower. Within a couple blocks of those two buildings is the Commonwealth building at 421 SW 6th. Finally there are the SOHO building – East of Pearl – and the Sherlock building at 320 SW Oak. All of these locations are within ¼ of a mile from PDC's present location.

Pray tell – why would anyone move their headquarters less than ½ mile?

Hopefully more information will become available soon. PDC originally stated that the board would be apprised of the proposals at the March 24th commission meeting – but guess what, that has been canceled. Hmmm.

The next scheduled meeting is March 31. It is expected, based on a PDC statement, that the there will be a staff briefing of the commissioners with recommendations at that meeting. PDC also stated they expected a contract by May 12. We shall see – won't we?

The Oregonian's Ryan Frank sees the two favorites as Park West and the present Old Town location. He sees the “biggest economic payoff” coming from a move to Park Avenue West.

It is a project dead in the water mostly from the mistakes of the Mr. Moyer. He went ahead with a project without securing financing or tenants first – now he is in deep dodo crying for taxpayers to bail him out.

The PDC chair said that a relocation would need a compelling basis. Where is the compelling reason for PDC in the Moyer or any other proposal? Clearly, Mr. Moyer would be bailed out and that might just please the mayor who Ryan Franks indicates might benefit politically: “Just think of Mayor Sam Adams standing behind podium to celebrate work re-starting.”

And that may well be the determining factor – politics.

© 2010

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