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JordanL
Dec 5, 2009, 9:27 PM
Actually I am for an urban Target! Just maybe not at South Waterfront. I am thinking on that lot between 9th and 10th/Alder and Washington.

And remove those food carts? Heathen!

urbanlife
Dec 5, 2009, 10:46 PM
And remove those food carts? Heathen!

They could just turn OBryant Park into a food cart park.

JordanL
Dec 6, 2009, 8:00 AM
They could just turn OBryant Park into a food cart park.

Or the architects could get really creative and make the first floor an open air food cart market with elevators to the store at the center.

erinkg
Dec 6, 2009, 8:57 AM
Did anyone else experience the tar truck explosion that happened yesterday? The truck was on Bond Ave between the Ardea and the Riva and the lid (at least 2 feet in diameter) blew off and landed a block south in the parking lot. Luckily, it was after the construction guys left, so none of their cars was damaged. The whole thing was pretty scary - it sounded like a bomb went off at the Riva and it really could have caused some harm if it had happened at a different time of the day.

Erin

sowat
Dec 6, 2009, 7:19 PM
^you're talking about Friday afternoon, right? If so, I definitely heard it here in the Meriwether East. I knew right away something unusual just happened.

tworivers
Dec 7, 2009, 3:23 AM
Am I alone in thinking that this seems like good news, if only because it seems like the last thing you want across the street from your brand new urban park is a hulking multi-story parking garage (regardless of whether or not it is a podium for a tower or two)? And especially if the cash-out results in the affordable housing on Block 49 going forward?

OHSU delays parking lot, scraps affordable housing
By Ryan Frank, The Oregonian
December 06, 2009, 5:00PM

Amid a financial crunch, Oregon Health & Science University is close to a deal with the city of Portland to again delay construction of a big parking garage in the South Waterfront District.

The agreement would also scrap a proposal for two affordable apartment towers above the garage. The apartments had been central to the city's push for lower income housing in a neighborhood dominated by expensive condos.

As part of the new deal, the city could lose one-third of the $6 million it spent on the proposal so far.

Lew Bowers, central city division manager for the city's urban renewal agency, said his goal is to quickly cash out the taxpayers' investments in the site -- known as Block 33. The money the city recovers in the deal would go toward the construction of a separate affordable apartment project down the street, Bowers said.

"It's the best deal we can get at this point in time," Bowers said.

The board of the Portland Development Commission is scheduled to approve the deal at its Wednesday meeting.

The delay is another setback for South Waterfront. The neighborhood has battled cost overruns, delays and a crippling recession since 2005.

The parking garage was a small piece of the $2 billion real estate deal that launched South Waterfront's development.

In 2003, then-Mayor Vera Katz and the Portland City Council endorsed a plan to turn a largely vacant former industrial district into a riverfront high-rise neighborhood.

City Hall pledged local, state and federal tax money to build parks, streetcar tracks and an aerial tram. In exchange, OHSU and investors led by Homer Williams agreed to build medical offices, condo towers and apartments.

OHSU was originally supposed to start building the garage at Block 33 in 2005 to serve its expansion from Marquam Hill into South Waterfront.

The city, under pressure from housing advocates, wanted to use the garage as a podium for the neighborhood's first affordable housing towers.

The 2003 agreement required OHSU to build the parking garage only if it could afford it.

But Mark Williams, who has led OHSU's South Waterfront development, said the university couldn't afford the garage in 2005 and can't afford it today. It was estimated to cost about $75 million, with 1,100 parking stalls.

OHSU also hasn't needed the garage. The university, which has battled financial setbacks, delayed its expansion into South Waterfront after its first tower, the Center for Health and Healing.


City pays toward garage

Despite the delays, the Portland Development Commission has spent $6 million to nudge the garage along. That money came from property tax revenues.

It included $3 million the commission paid OHSU in 2005 to reserve parking spaces for the future apartment renters. At the time, the League of Women Voters of Portland, a watchdog group, criticized the payment as payback to OHSU for covering most of the budget overruns on the aerial tram.

Before the commission could build apartments above the garage, it had to buy control of the air rights -- that is, the right to build into the airspace over the site -- that Williams' group, North Macadam Investors, had purchased previously. In 2006, the commission paid Williams' group $3 million for those rights.

The city made the deal despite an appraisal that valued the air rights at half that amount, $1.5 million. A more recent appraisal done for the PDC pegged the value of the rights at $1 million.


Repayment plan?

As part of the new agreement up for a vote Wednesday, OHSU would repay $3 million to the city over the next year. That refund includes no interest accrued since the city made the payment four years ago.

The city will also sell the air rights to OHSU for $1 million in credits toward future transportation system development charges.

Those two payments will provide the commission $4 million back on the $6 million it has spent.

If OHSU happens to sell Block 33 in the next five years, the city would also collect 10 percent of the profits.

Despite the delay, Bowers said, the OHSU parking garage will probably get built at Block 33.

"There will be a need for additional structured parking," he said. "The timing on that is fuzzy because of the financial markets."


-- Ryan Frank

http://media.oregonlive.com/business_impact/photo/southjpg-6a7ca2152e6c195e_medium.jpg

bvpcvm
Dec 7, 2009, 6:05 AM
Unfortunately, it now seems to me that South Waterfront is nothing but a symptom of a case of Vancouver-envy. It's an attempt to be Vancouver by means of pure political will, without the economic fundamentals in place. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that Vancouver was able to build such an urban environment because of an influx of "refugees" who left Hong Kong before it was handed over to China. These people brought money and a willingness to live in a high-density environment, and consequently there's demand for these buildings. With Portland, it seems like we're kind of talking ourselves into believing that there's more demand than there really is - which was pretty easy to do during the real estate boom. But now reality has come back to bite us. Every time I drive by it I think of tworivers' comment that it would have been better to direct all that development to downtown.

urbanlife
Dec 7, 2009, 10:54 AM
Unfortunately, it now seems to me that South Waterfront is nothing but a symptom of a case of Vancouver-envy. It's an attempt to be Vancouver by means of pure political will, without the economic fundamentals in place. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that Vancouver was able to build such an urban environment because of an influx of "refugees" who left Hong Kong before it was handed over to China. These people brought money and a willingness to live in a high-density environment, and consequently there's demand for these buildings. With Portland, it seems like we're kind of talking ourselves into believing that there's more demand than there really is - which was pretty easy to do during the real estate boom. But now reality has come back to bite us. Every time I drive by it I think of tworivers' comment that it would have been better to direct all that development to downtown.

I would say you are close with this but missing an important factor...for Vancouver, the influx came from Hong Kong...for Portland, our "refugees" were coming from California.

cronked
Dec 7, 2009, 6:35 PM
Yes, I would agree that the city and developers did get a little ahead of themselves in developing South Waterfront. But you have to consider that 2005-2006 was one extreme end of the spectrum and 2008-2009 is the other extreme. Somewhere in the middle lies a sustainable medium. Things are gradually improving in the neighborhood. The John Ross just hit 75% occupancy and I see new people moving in all the time. The Meriwether's rental ratio has dropped dramatically which says to me the people who are buying the resale and foreclosures there are living there rather than using it as speculative investment property. But at the end of the day it all comes down to price. That is the one variable that is easily controlled. With the banks taking over the John Ross and Atwater Place, prices have been cut almost in half and condos are moving again. I suspect that prices will rise in the next couple of years but we may not see 2006 pricing for a number of years beyond that. Overall, the neighborhood is gaining more residents all the time, which is good. Now we just need more retailers!

mmeade
Dec 7, 2009, 9:30 PM
It's unlikely that any of that development could have happened downtown. Land prices in South Waterfront were dramatically reduced from the prices being offered in downtown. As Portland seeks to increase it's density, it needs to provide more housing near the core and I feel that SW is a great location for it. It may take fifteen years for the rest of the neighborhood and services to fill in around it, but eventually the neighborhood should be a success. All the bones are there, and time should bring the meat of the neighborhood. Unfortunately, I don't feel that everyone that bought down in SW understood that it could be ten years before their neighborhood is actually cool. That more than anything has to drive down enthusiasm for the neighborhood.

PacificNW
Dec 7, 2009, 10:16 PM
▲ I couldn't agree more, mmeade. Patience... :)

ProTram
Dec 7, 2009, 11:14 PM
Hey Cronked, your webcam link is down...

bvpcvm
Dec 8, 2009, 1:58 AM
It's unlikely that any of that development could have happened downtown. Land prices in South Waterfront were dramatically reduced from the prices being offered in downtown.

I don't think I really agree with this part of your comment; after all, there were projects - the Allegro, Roosevelt and Manhattan, for example -- which were more or less ready to go. If the 300 units of the John Ross, for example, hadn't come online, those buyers would have gone somewhere else, and the aforementioned projects would have been more viable.

cronked
Dec 8, 2009, 5:58 AM
Thanks for letting me know, ProTram. My IP address changed again.

The new address for the Mirabella Cam is:

http://98.246.157.173:8080/

Enjoy!

RoseCtyRoks
Dec 8, 2009, 9:18 AM
SOWA was created to be it's own community, close enough to downtown to enjoy all it has to offer, but away enough to really experience the river, trees, & a unique neighborhood feeling. Picturing these highrises right in downtown is interesting, but I'm glad the reality is---they're in SOWA.

The area has taken a lot of hits lately, no doubt. The Vestas pullout, Block 33 no-go, slow unit sales of existing buildings, the list goes on. Most of the metro area has experienced the same synerios that SOWA has. It doesn't mean that any given area with construction delays, slow sales, etc. is a failure because of a rough economy. I think most of us were suprised when someone like Mr. Moyer had to halt construction of PAW, for example.

IMO, with Mirabella's units close to being sold out, and completion in 2010, Caruthers Park, a steadily improving economy(yes, slowly), and some retail coming into the picture in the future, I see nothing but a success story here with this area. In a year or two, a lot of us will have SOWA envy. ;)

ProTram
Dec 8, 2009, 4:00 PM
I don't remember, has there been another highrise in SOWA that has been cleared to start construction?

ProTram
Dec 8, 2009, 4:02 PM
HAHA, yea I went on there yesterday to see the progress and panicked! :haha:

dkealoha
Dec 9, 2009, 9:56 PM
Email from SWF Community Relations:

SOUTH WATERFRONT HOLIDAY BALL

It’s the annual South Waterfront Holiday Sidecar Ball & Auction! This year South Waterfront Community Relations, the Community Action Committee, the Art, Culture and Science Committee, Umpqua Bank, The Ardea and Heidi McBride Gallery & Art Consultancy have teamed up to bring you a holiday ball with a mission: to make merry AND benefit five local non-profit organizations while you’re at it.

Don’t forget to visit each penthouse to collect all four of your raffle tickets! These are your chances to win a fabulous prize!

WHEN:
Thursday, December 10
6:00 – 7:30 PM – Penthouse Tour
7:30 – 10:00 PM – Holiday Sidecar Ball

WHERE:
Start at The Ardea, Atwater Place, John Ross or Riva on the Park:
Tour the Penthouses, sip on some wine, bubbly or beer and meet with local non-profits.
* Big Brothers Big Sisters – John Ross 3003
* CASA – Riva on the Park 2215
* Sunshine Division – Atwater Place 2302
* DoveLewis – Ardea 3000

Ardea Sidecar (entrance on SW River Parkway):
Once you complete the penthouse tour, head down to the Ardea Sidecar for food, music and a silent auction to benefit Neighborhood House.

COST:
$15 per person (cash or check only)

Admission can be paid at the entrance of each building or the entrance to the ball. Includes entrance to the penthouse tour AND holiday ball, raffle tickets (available in the penthouses), food, entertainment and your first drink.

FEATURING:
* Penthouse tours of Atwater Place, The Ardea, John Ross and Riva on the Park

* Meet and greet with a local non-profit in each penthouse, including Big Brothers Big Sisters, CASA, Sunshine Division and DoveLewis

* Music and entertainment by DESIGNBAND

* Hors d’oeuvres and no-host bar from Bambuza (your first drink is included in your admission!)

* Silent auction and wine wall (benefiting Neighborhood House)

* Raffle prizes, dancing and interactive district art project

RESIDENTS AND THEIR GUESTS ARE WELCOME

To RSVP: communityrelations@southwaterfront.com or call 503-972-3289

Artist
Dec 10, 2009, 8:19 PM
Mirabella posted an update
http://www.mirabellaretirement.org/portland/2009/120409.htm

cronked
Dec 11, 2009, 7:41 AM
Here are a few shots from tonight. There was a party going on but I was busy taking advantage of the view!

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2531/4175505297_a29e209ff0_o.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2620/4176265528_63b530282f_o.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2671/4175505255_301bd660d8_o.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2614/4175505231_40dcb8238a_o.jpg

2oh1
Dec 11, 2009, 7:06 PM
Good lord man, a round of applause for some great shots! Do you have a flickr account? I'd love to see more. I especially enjoyed the first photo.

Thanks for sharing!

Artist
Dec 13, 2009, 4:18 PM
Cronked, the web cam is continually focusing and refocusing. Can't see any mist on your window that would confuse it, but we don't want it to wear out.

sowat
Dec 13, 2009, 5:33 PM
^there's extremely dense fog out, and the camera is/was constantly trying to find something to focus on. I tried to pan it to a spot where it stopped refocusing, but now I see it's doing it again.

Not a lot of outdoor construction last week while it was 16 degrees. I think mid-Jan for topping off is optimistic with the holidays coming up.

cronked
Dec 13, 2009, 5:50 PM
Yea, the camera is having a hard time with the fog. I panned it over to the Mirabella which is the closest object and it seems to be focused for now. It is almost 10 am and this fog hasn't lifted at all!

cronked
Dec 13, 2009, 6:03 PM
The autofocus is now turned off. It wasn't necessary anyhow.

sowat
Dec 14, 2009, 11:04 PM
28th floor pour today

cronked
Dec 16, 2009, 9:54 PM
A few shots from the South Waterfront Holiday Party that was last weekend. There was a great turnout. They had a live band who did a great job. There was a silent auction, interactive painting and a wine wall as well. I hear over $6,000 was raised. Overall, a great time!

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2766/4191290516_a6dd2e0744_b.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4007/4191290824_45319fc80c_b.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2605/4190527419_2cc31fc6f5_b.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2746/4190526701_3927af6da0_b.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2652/4191289134_7bcf34fd6c_b.jpg

Okstate
Dec 17, 2009, 1:33 AM
That place looks crunk! :)

JordanL
Dec 17, 2009, 10:40 AM
A few shots from the South Waterfront Holiday Party that was last weekend. There was a great turnout. They had a live band who did a great job. There was a silent auction, interactive painting and a wine wall as well. I hear over $6,000 was raised. Overall, a great time!

That's enough for a homeless person to live in that tower for two months!

:haha:

sowat
Dec 18, 2009, 11:36 PM
friday update, this mild, silvery-gray day

http://img693.imageshack.us/img693/7547/m01.jpg

they're working on the brick paving and landscaping in the alley way

http://img693.imageshack.us/img693/5990/m02l.jpg

http://img693.imageshack.us/img693/2869/m03r.jpg

http://img193.imageshack.us/img193/2136/m04j.jpg

http://img193.imageshack.us/img193/7517/m05z.jpg

http://img193.imageshack.us/img193/1716/m06x.jpg

http://img193.imageshack.us/img193/3206/m07bx.jpg

http://img193.imageshack.us/img193/9781/m08u.jpg

http://img193.imageshack.us/img193/5184/m09j.jpg

sowat
Dec 19, 2009, 12:06 AM
Matisse update

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/5225/mat01a.jpg

note the siding for the rest of the whole block project

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/4315/mat01.jpg

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/2185/mat02z.jpg

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/8747/mat03.jpg

I'm looking forward to the small balconies being hung, they should help give it more visual interest, depth and dimension.

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/8002/mat04balcony.jpg

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/8990/mat04.jpg

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/9354/mat06.jpg

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/7112/mat05.jpg

the framing on the curtain glass wall looks pretty good, it's very thin, and almost flush with the glass

http://img121.imageshack.us/img121/6020/mat07.jpg

http://img121.imageshack.us/img121/3696/mat08.jpg

Artist
Dec 19, 2009, 6:47 PM
Thanks for the photo updates. Mirabella is beginning to look like part of the community, and the community itself is so different than when I first saw it. Then it looked bleak with just a couple towers completed, and one or two more under construction, and lots of bare dirt. Now, it looks like an inviting place to be. I wonder at what point the cranes come down and sidewalks open up. That will surely make SoWa residents happy. Merry Christmas, all.

Artist
Dec 19, 2009, 10:43 PM
What happened to the beautiful expanse of lawn in Carruthers Park?

ad hoc
Dec 21, 2009, 8:51 PM
what a beautiful building. thanks for the photos...

bvpcvm
Dec 22, 2009, 5:16 AM
http://blog.oregonlive.com/business_impact/print.html?entry=/2009/12/zidell_ponders_future_of_portl.html

Zidell ponders future of Portland barge-building business

By Ryan Frank, The Oregonian

December 21, 2009, 6:17PM

http://media.oregonlive.com/business_impact/photo/zidellworkersjpg-602283eb0ecda40e_large.jpg

View full size
Torsten Kjellstrand, The Oregonian

Zidell’s workers are scheduled to launch their latest barge in January.The question makes Jay Zidell uncomfortable.

When will he stop building barges on the waterfront and start building high-rises?

The room goes silent.

Heads turn.

Zidell, the third generation to captain Zidell Marine Corp., shifts uneasily in his chair.

"That's something that we're constantly weighing," he says finally. "Part of it will be driven by the market for barges. Part of it will be driven by the market for development."

Oregon power brokers have nudged the Zidell family for decades to do more with their prime Portland real estate. With 30 acres, the family is South Waterfront's biggest landowner. Zidell's clean-up would finally make it possible for earth movers to roll there, but the timing of any construction will be at least partially dictated by the future of Zidell Marine Corp.

In the 1970s, Gov. Tom McCall called Jay Zidell's late father, Emery, to suggest he stop adding industrial buildings. As Jay Zidell has told the story, McCall said: "We have big plans for the waterfront."

But even today, Zidell Marine Corp. remains a going concern.

The yard has a little more grit than the glassy, 30-story condo buildings to the south. But Zidell employs 30 administrative staff and 55 workers along a river that's regularly losing those jobs.

Zidell's clean-up plan would allow him to continue making barges. All signs, though, point to an inevitable end for the corporation at that spot. By 2015, it will be wedged between condos, a university building and a light-rail bridge.

The question of "when" remains for Zidell.

The company has work to keep busy through 2011, said Len Bergstein, Zidell's lobbyist.

Then there's the question of how will Zidell develop.

The family has had hot and cold relationships with its South Waterfront neighbors.

At times, Jay Zidell sparked redevelopment talks.

In the 1990s, the family paired with the Schnitzers and former governor Neil Goldschmidt to lobby for a light-rail line. Jay Zidell then pledged $50,000 to recruit architects for the tram.

Other times, Zidell has been icy.

A Zidell family company sued Portland in 2004 to protest the company's $2.2 million contribution for the aerial tram. The company has since settled.

More recently, Zidell and his consultants took part in talks about how development will unfold between the Ross Island and Marquam bridges. Zidell and Oregon Health & Science University -- which was donated the land from the Schnitzer family -- own most of that area.

Zidell owns 30 acres but about half of it will be taken up by streets, a riverbank greenway and other public projects. Zoning allows for offices, hotels, apartments, condos or a school.

But it's impossible to predict what types of real estate will be in demand in three years.

Bergstein, the lobbyist, said one option would center development on the west edge of Zidell's property along Moody Avenue where the streetcar now rolls. That could allow Zidell to build barges to the southeast.

Zidell explored moving the barge work to North Portland, but he said it was too expensive.

Unless another site opens up, the blue-collar workers could slip away with the last barge.

-- Ryan Frank



© 2009 OregonLive.com. All rights reserved.

bvpcvm
Dec 22, 2009, 5:17 AM
http://blog.oregonlive.com/environment_impact/print.html?entry=/2009/12/zidell_unveils_big_willamette.html

Portland's Zidell Marine unveils big Willamette River cleanup plan

By Scott Learn, The Oregonian

December 21, 2009, 9:10PM

http://media.oregonlive.com/environment_impact/photo/zidellandtowersjpg-c4067c6fdd380541_large.jpg


View full size
Torsten Kjellstrand, The Oregonian

The grit of Zidell's barge building facility and the glint of South Waterfront condos provide a window on Portland’s past and its present within a few blocks. Zidell, the longtime Portland barge builder, is pursuing one of the biggest Willamette River cleanup plans to date, a $20 million project that would address decades of contamination, improve 3,000 feet of rubble-strewn shoreline and open up highly prized South Waterfront land for development.

But federal biologists are questioning whether the company's long-awaited cleanup plan will help or hurt the threatened salmon and steelhead that use the area, considered critical habitat. They want Zidell to dredge out the contaminated sediment instead of capping it and leaving it in place.

Federal biologists, the city of Portland and local environmentalists also want a much more gently sloped bank and shallows that would add more habitat.

Both changes could jack up the cost but provide more room for riverside plants and ideal resting and rearing areas for salmon.

"It's a once-in-a-century opportunity to re-create the habitat that was lost," said Dean Marriott, director of Portland's Bureau of Environmental Services. "I don't want to see that opportunity lost for generations to come."
http://media.oregonlive.com/environment_impact/photo/zidelljpg-92ded7c1eae41b34_medium.jpg

View full size

Zidell filed for federal and state permits on the plan last week, despite the city's preference for hashing out an agreement beforehand.

To meet the terms of a court settlement with Oregon regulators, Zidell's contractors must be working in the water by summer 2011. The company also wants to tie the work into TriMet's construction of a light-rail bridge that will cross Zidell's land.

The work would free up about 15 acres in the upscale South Waterfront neighborhood for development and set the stage for construction of the neighborhood's greenway along the river.

Zidell and its consultants say they believe the draft plan -- endorsed by Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality -- will significantly improve the river and the bank. It includes planting thousands of native shrubs and about 200 trees, cutting off 2,100 old dock pilings, and capping 16 acres of contaminated sediment and soil.

Zidell is wary of adding costs and risks to what would be the largest privately financed cleanup project on the Willamette to date. But the company will work with regulators on improvements, said Len Bergstein, Zidell's public relations consultant on the project.

"We're trying to figure out how we can accommodate them," Bergstein said. "The difficult position for us is we can't be left down the line without a plan that can satisfy DEQ."


Part of legacy is toxic
Like many industrial sites on Portland's stretch of the Willamette, Zidell's carries a legacy of ample production and extensive contamination.

Industrial activity began in 1916. During World War II, Zidell's predecessor helped build ships for the Navy. Afterward, Zidell transitioned to dismantling ships on a long string of docks.

Since the 1960s, the company has built more than 300 huge ocean-going barges, slicing steel panels with plasma torches and welding them to make ships that slide on rails into the river once the work is done.

There were dozens of oil spills on the site from the 1960s to the 1980s. Fires burned docks and buildings.

Ship dismantling included salvaging transformers full of toxic PCBs and burning PCB-laden wire insulation to salvage the underlying copper. Debris was buried in open pits. The riverbank was shored up with scrap metal, asbestos, basalt ballast blocks from salvaged ships, and other debris.

The contaminants, toxic to fish and people, now lie in soil along the bank and in sediment up to at least 10 feet deep. The bank, a steep cliff in some places, is lined with blackberries and butterfly bush.


Clean fill or sand?
The federal government will cover up to 35 percent of cleanup costs. Zidell sued the government, successfully arguing that the Navy should share in costs. Zidell will still pick up the bulk of the tab.

The plan includes improving and reducing the rock "armoring" of the shoreline, dredging hot spots of contamination along the bank and capping contaminated sediments and soil with 194,000 cubic yards of fill.

The company would replant four acres along the bank with more than 15,000 shrubs and 200 trees. The rock armor lining the banks on the northern half of the property -- valuable shallow-water habitat in quieter waters near the Marquam bridge -- would be covered with clean fill, Zidell says.

The plan is to use relatively small, round rock, six inches or less, to anchor the cap in that part of the river. Clean sediment washed down the river should quickly cover the rocks, making it better habitat for salmon, said Paul Fishman, Zidell's environmental consultant.

"We're isolating contaminants so there are no pathways for them to get in fish," he said. "We're also adding a tremendous amount of native vegetation that will benefit salmon."

Zidell has filed for permits with Oregon's Department of State Lands and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The National Marine Fisheries Service, which oversees the Endangered Species Act, advises the corps.

The rock that Zidell will use to anchor its sediment cap is more likely to attract small mouth bass, pike minnow and other fish that will compete with salmon for food, said Ben Meyer, chief of the service's Willamette basin habitat branch.

The service would rather Zidell dredge the contaminated sediment, then top the dredged area with clean sand.

"The salmon are going to like that a lot better than a bunch of rock," Meyer said.

The fisheries service, the city and Bob Sallinger, the Audubon Society of Portland's conservation director, would also like Zidell to make shallower slopes, adding more space for trees and salmon-friendly beach habitat.

"What's been proposed is completely inadequate," Sallinger said.

The contamination is widespread, which would make for a large dredging project -- earlier estimates put the cost of dredging the sediment at 10 times the cost of capping it.

-- Scott Learn

Building barges to building towers: When will Zidell switch to development?





© 2009 OregonLive.com. All rights reserved.

mcbaby
Dec 23, 2009, 7:41 PM
the buildings are nice but as a collection, they look more like compound and less like a neighborhood. all the buildings look alike. same colors and materials. would be nice to see something planned that just stood out. the pearl has the benefit of older pre existing buildings and retrofitted structures that add interest. when i look at all the new development in the south waterfront, it looks like it not only could have been designed by the same architect but part of the same complex.

ProTram
Dec 24, 2009, 4:05 AM
I just hate how all the buildings now and planned are all essentially the same exact height. How BORING! Change it up a little!

Sioux612
Dec 24, 2009, 4:33 AM
I agree. A PAW type of tower, in terms of height, would definitely break up the row of 325-footers.

Okstate
Dec 29, 2009, 2:45 AM
Updates?

sowat
Dec 29, 2009, 11:06 PM
white stuff 12/29/09

30th floor slab prep underway

http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/193/whitestuff.jpg

PacificNW
Dec 29, 2009, 11:29 PM
▲▲ Impressive! Thanks, sowat!

Sioux612
Jan 4, 2010, 10:06 PM
This is obviously dead due to the market but what block was this (Ankrom) tower slated for?

http://www.zafiro.us/mixed-use/south-waterfront/tower2.jpg

bvpcvm
Jan 5, 2010, 1:55 AM
Given that the thing in the rendering is 30 stories, I'll bet it was planned for directly south of 3720, since that's the street where all the 30-story towers go.

sowat
Jan 5, 2010, 6:13 AM
This is obviously dead due to the market but what block was this (Ankrom) tower slated for?

looks like an old concept, and/or something they'd do in Seattle, or CA. where'd the rendering come from?

Given that the thing in the rendering is 30 stories, I'll bet it was planned for directly south of 3720, since that's the street where all the 30-story towers go.

Prometheus owns the 4 major blocks south of 3720/Ardea including Block 42 which is designed by GBD architects,
see "Housing" and "Block 42" at http://www.gbdarchitects.com/

I believe they were ready to start construction in the summer of '08, right before the crash, & pulled the plug when the Ardea switched to rentals.

see also earlier discussions about Premetheus & Bl 42
http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=128270
http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=152887

RoseCtyRoks
Jan 11, 2010, 7:45 PM
Marabella has a new construction update (as of Dec. 24th) :

http://www.mirabellaretirement.org/portland/2009/122409.htm


Also, keep checking Cronk's cam. This tower is ever so close to topping out!

http://98.246.157.173:8080/

AndrewK
Jan 18, 2010, 4:29 AM
was driving down wilshire blvd in los angeles today and noted how much this building looks like the fairly new solair at wilshire and western:

http://www.solairwilshire.com/

sowat
Jan 21, 2010, 9:43 PM
roof was poured last week, and they are taking down the main tower slab forms

http://img638.imageshack.us/img638/9762/m2img4881.jpg

Artist
Jan 22, 2010, 1:47 AM
Beautiful photo! Thanks.

sowat
Jan 22, 2010, 3:25 AM
Marabella has a new construction update (as of Jan. 18th) :

http://www.mirabellaretirement.org/portland/2010/011810.htm

cronked
Jan 26, 2010, 5:45 PM
The Mirabella cam is down temporarily. I should be able to fix it this weekend some time. I got a new iPhone dock and it messed everything up!

cronked
Jan 27, 2010, 7:59 PM
The Mirabella Cam is back up at the same address:

http://98.246.157.173:8080/

If your USB ports suddenly stop working, don't waste your time reinstalling drivers or troubleshooting. Unplug your computer for a half hour, that did the trick for me.

sowat
Jan 27, 2010, 10:16 PM
A couple of big panoramas this balmy winter day

http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/9894/mirahood2.jpg

http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/774/mirahood.jpg

sowat
Jan 27, 2010, 11:02 PM
Matisse 1.27.10

did I say I was a lousy editor…?

http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/5205/matissecourt2.jpg

http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/1844/matissese.jpg

http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/4050/matissepanorama.jpg

http://img691.imageshack.us/img691/7042/matissepanorama2.jpg

http://img691.imageshack.us/img691/2965/matissepanorama3.jpg

http://img718.imageshack.us/img718/8584/matissepanorama4.jpg

http://img691.imageshack.us/img691/9263/matissepanorama5.jpg

http://img685.imageshack.us/img685/6091/matissesw.jpg

http://img685.imageshack.us/img685/5287/matissesw2.jpg

http://img685.imageshack.us/img685/6775/matissecourtw.jpg

PacificNW
Jan 28, 2010, 12:29 AM
Terrific! Thanks! Mt. Hood has got to be one of the striking peaks in the Cascades, IMO.

sowat
Jan 28, 2010, 1:45 AM
^ thanks for the cam Cronked :tup:

my 1.27.10 update:

http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/2628/miratram.jpg

http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/2536/miraohsu.jpg

http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/8763/miranorth.jpg

http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/1/miracourt.jpg

http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/4736/mirafront.jpg

http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/8154/miralane.jpg

http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/1919/mirapark.jpg

http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/1844/mirapark2.jpg

I don't know what's up with the park. I guess that's what you get when you accept the lowest bid.

http://img69.imageshack.us/img69/4117/mirapark3.jpg

rsbear
Jan 28, 2010, 4:04 AM
Terrific! Thanks! Mt. Hood has got to be one of the striking peaks in the Cascades, IMO.

It is THE most, IMEO. :)

(E = expert)

Room 606
Jan 28, 2010, 5:57 PM
I was down there a few days ago and thought the park was looking good. So I'm curious to hear what you don't like about it.

I think the designers did an effective job creating distinct spaces in a relatively small park without it feeling cramped (not that I've actually been able to set food in it). Considering the senior housing going up across the street, I'm a little surprised that the elevated walkways doesn't have rails. But from my younger perspective, I love that feature.

My only real complaint is the artificial and oddly geometrical mound of dirt.

That said, I think the park will grow in very nicely and in 5 to 10 years could be one of the nicer urban parks in the city.

Keep in mind that right now the plants are all new and it's the middle of winter.

MarkDaMan
Jan 28, 2010, 6:03 PM
Thanks for the pics sowat.

Although, I hate it.

sowat
Jan 28, 2010, 7:05 PM
no, I like the park design too, I was just making a vague statement about how nothing seems to be happening right now. They did some repair work to the lawn at the base of the mound, drainage issues, I suspect.

I agree the elevated walkway looks a bit hazardous. The designers are some of the best in the country, so I am sure they know what they're doing, but kids will clown around and shove each other off, stomping on the shrubs. Large dogs will jump off into the bushes, dragging their owners with them. The first wheelchair that rolls right off, with someone's face in the dirt and ass up in the air, the city gets sued, railings are installed...

PacificNW
Jan 28, 2010, 7:42 PM
▲▲ I agree, rsbear..

Artist
Jan 28, 2010, 7:48 PM
The first wheelchair that rolls right off, with someone's face in the dirt and ass up in the air, the city gets sued, railings are installed...

Just so long as it isn't mine. Thanks for the photos, Sowat, and for the cam, Cronked. This park is incredibly beautiful. In my little town parks are rectangles of lawn.

Mirabella is scheduling first move-ins around September 1.

ue
Jan 28, 2010, 8:17 PM
Hey, does anybody have any good pictures of that new Caruthers Neighborhood Park under construction in South Waterfront recently? thanks if you do.

tworivers
Jan 28, 2010, 9:09 PM
I'm also not crazy about it, but I appreciate the change in scale height-wise. I like the shot below as an illustration of that. I'm hoping that the current glut of condos and apartments compels Sowa developers to re-approach the plan to line up towers in rows of the exact same height. A wider palette of materials would be nice, too, as well as some opportunities for smaller local architecture firms. The monoculture down there is stifling.

http://img691.imageshack.us/img691/7042/matissepanorama2.jpg

PacificNW
Jan 28, 2010, 10:56 PM
▲▲: edmontonenthusiast: check out the recent postings in the Mirabella thread...you will find some very recent pics of the park.

ue
Jan 28, 2010, 11:19 PM
^thanks. it is looking great!! not as flashy as jamison square but a nice "community" park, kinda like the fields but with more of an urban feel it seems (and smaller). i like the clash of modern sidewalks and benches against greatly placed plants. pretty gardens. it'll be done for my next visit to portland, so i'll definitely want to check it out. now it's just when i get back to pdx :).

MR. Cosmopolitan
Jan 29, 2010, 10:47 AM
No way! you can sue a city for that?
Now I understand why American cities don't have much public parks.

mmeade
Jan 29, 2010, 4:47 PM
Building code allows a drop of 18" before a handrail is required, but it is seldom seen installed. I like that there is a bit of free space between the plantings and the boardwalk. I'll have to get down here and check out the park soon, it looks like it could grow up very nicely.

sowat
Jan 29, 2010, 5:54 PM
^ before anyone makes a special trip, don't forget the park is still closed, with chain link fencing around it. Which is why we haven't been able to get good photos yet. The fountain and bocce area look great, from a distance anyway. It's supposed to officially open this spring, but has anyone heard a date? By late summer it should look much nicer with everything having a chance to grow in.

MarkDaMan
Jan 29, 2010, 6:10 PM
^I agree, I like the scale, but this was to be a signature smaller building on a superlot. To me it just looks like a grey cloud hugging the ground. Very drab.

Sioux612
Jan 29, 2010, 7:44 PM
What will REALLY break up the rows of 325' buildings is a building taller ;)

Artist
Feb 1, 2010, 10:26 PM
January 28 update on Mirabella's site http://www.mirabellaretirement.org/portland/2010/012810.htm

PacificNW
Feb 4, 2010, 9:13 PM
Dumb observation/comment on my part..

dkealoha
Feb 4, 2010, 11:38 PM
Anyone else viewing the cam notice the water pouring out the open window (immediately below the white trimming)? Quite the waterfall....

I think you're looking at the clear plastic they have covering the balconies. It looks like a "waterfall" on the camera but it's plastic in real life.

PacificNW
Feb 5, 2010, 12:14 AM
:cheers:

sowat
Feb 5, 2010, 6:23 PM
forms removed

http://img708.imageshack.us/img708/1222/mir2510a.jpg

http://img708.imageshack.us/img708/989/mir2510b.jpg

by the way, the new children's hospital wing construction crane (on the hill) came down last weekend

WestCoast
Feb 7, 2010, 3:12 AM
crane is coming down this weekend

urbanlife
Feb 7, 2010, 6:52 AM
wow, it is really getting built up down there...kind of funny that it has been well over a year since I have been down to the SoWa area and I live right down the road from it.

JoshYent
Feb 8, 2010, 9:27 PM
I cant wait for this area to be built out.

dkealoha
Feb 8, 2010, 9:51 PM
Took this on Saturday when the crane was coming down. Siding is up on some of the N and W sides now. Roof is almost finished.

http://i486.photobucket.com/albums/rr227/keal2312/photo.jpg

MR. Cosmopolitan
Feb 10, 2010, 4:19 PM
:yuck: this is starting to look lyke the typical European road-side hotel, who is responsible for this!

crow
Feb 10, 2010, 6:22 PM
was there a designer?

MarkDaMan
Feb 12, 2010, 5:29 PM
South Waterfront planners in tough spot
POSTED: Thursday, February 11, 2010 at 04:49 PM PT
BY: Justin Carinci

To prepare the South Waterfront District for new jobs, homes and rail service, planners will have either time or money.

If they get the money to improve roadways and streetcar tracks, they’ll be on a tight schedule.

If they don’t get the money, they’ll have some hard choices, but a little more time to make them.

From the north, there’s only one road to the South Waterfront: Southwest Moody Avenue. It’s a slow, two-lane road that winds past brownfields and under bridges.

With the planned Willamette River transit bridge landing nearby, and with the district continuing to grow, Moody Avenue will become increasingly important. City planners expect traffic to increase more than fourfold over the next two decades, in a district with 5,000 homes and 10,000 jobs.

Portland put out a design-and-engineering solicitation Wednesday for improvements to Moody Avenue and the Portland Streetcar route. The roadway, sidewalks and bike lanes would be widened, the roadway realigned and the grade raised to meet the new transit bridge.

Streetcar tracks would be realigned and doubled in some sections, allowing for eventual connection to the new bridge.

Getting there will cost $66 million. So far, the city has $24 million available, from a mix of state, federal and system development charge sources, said Chris Armes, project manager for the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

City officials hope to obtain the rest of the money through a competitive federal stimulus grant. That grant is driving the project’s tight timeline, Armes said.

Under the grant, all construction must be completed by winter 2012. But Portland transportation officials still don’t know if they’ll get the grant.

“Initially, we thought we would hear back at the end of last month,” Armes said. Now, they’re expecting to find out by Wednesday.

Responses to Portland’s solicitation are due Feb. 25. To meet the 2012 completion deadline, design work would start immediately after City’s Council’s approval of the contract. Construction would need to start this fall.

“We’re going to be very busy,” Armes said. “But we’ll just need to make it work.”

If the grant doesn’t come through, transportation officials would decide how to use the $24 million, and see if they could find more money elsewhere, Armes said. They would decide which parts of the project need to be done first and which could wait.

“We’d look at the different segments, and what is needed in the district in the shorter term,” she said. “Maybe that’s a roadway without onstreet parking. Maybe it’s temporary streetlights.”

Separately, city transportation officials have been working with TriMet to bring MAX trains over a new bridge, between the Marquam and Ross Island bridges. That line would connect downtown Portland with the Oak Grove area of Clackamas County.

That project would cross over Moody Avenue, requiring some street improvements. If Portland doesn’t get the federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant, some of those improvements would be made as part of the light-rail project, said Rob Barnard, TriMet project director.

“If we didn’t get the TIGER, it wouldn’t delay the project, but it has cost implications,” Barnard said. “Some of the things TIGER would do, the project would have to do.

“But we’re not building out 3,000 feet of Moody just because we’re crossing it.”

The planned OHSU Schnitzer campus would be built between Moody Avenue and the Willamette River, relying on streetcar and light rail for many of the trips the campus generates. Long-term plans call for an extension of Bond Avenue north through the campus, said Mark B. Williams, vice president for campus development and administration. Until then, however, there’s just Moody Avenue.

“It’s a critical pathway for developing not just the OHSU campus but also the private property that’s down there,” Williams said. “It’s going to be a long time to have the wherewithal to create other major streets.

“Getting Moody in the right place and built in the right way is pretty critical to the development of this district.”

http://djcoregon.com/news/2010/02/11/time-or-money-tight-for-sowa-trpn/

RoseCtyRoks
Feb 19, 2010, 9:43 AM
Mirabella just posted their latest construction update (Feb.15th) :

http://www.mirabellaretirement.org/portland/2010/021510.htm

MarkDaMan
Feb 19, 2010, 7:49 PM
OHSU Child Care Center is proposed by the Tram in an existing warehouse.

http://www.portlandonline.com/bds/index.cfm?c=42263&a=285550

dkealoha
Feb 19, 2010, 11:00 PM
OHSU Child Care Center is proposed by the Tram in an existing warehouse.

http://www.portlandonline.com/bds/index.cfm?c=42263&a=285550

The only part of this that bothers me a bit is the proposal to remove one lane of Whittaker and turn it into a play area. That's a pretty major entry into SoWa from Macadam and I5... taking away one of the two lanes seems like it might create a bottleneck, especially when there is a stop sign right at the bottom of that hill. Also, isn't that kind of a safety issue to put the play area next to a busy road? Even if there is a fence or barricade, I'd be nervous that someone would plow through it on accident.

Other than that, I've long thought that if they're not going to build any more towers right now they should utilize these empty warehouses all around us. Even if it is a child care center and nothing too exciting, I'm still glad it's being used.

Now if only we could get a New Seasons in one of the other empty buildings :-)

sowat
Feb 19, 2010, 11:10 PM
The only part of this that bothers me a bit is the proposal to remove one lane of Whittaker and turn it into a play area. That's a pretty major entry into SoWa from Macadam and I5... taking away one of the two lanes seems like it might create a bottleneck, especially when there is a stop sign right at the bottom of that hill.

you're thinking of SW Curry St. see map

http://img41.imageshack.us/img41/1111/whitaker.jpg

dkealoha
Feb 19, 2010, 11:13 PM
You're right! Sorry... bring on the play structures!

Artist
Feb 20, 2010, 3:50 AM
What did the warehouse house in its previous lives? Any toxins or asbestos present? I, too, want to see the warehouses used, especially in ways that benefit the community. But their past lives have to be part of the consideration.

cronked
Feb 25, 2010, 10:32 PM
This is no big surprise given we have already seen the plans.


PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Portland Development Commission approved the sale Wednesday of more South Waterfront property to Oregon Health & Science University.

The PDC will sell its rights to Block 33, which is bordered by Curry Street, Macadam Avenue, Moody Street and Gaines Street.

Terms of the sale included the refund of $3 million from OHSU after the city paid to reserve parking spaces. PDC will also receive $1 million in transportation system development charge credits.

In addition, the city will receive 25 percent of the proceeds if OHSU sells Block 33 in the next seven years.

The development commission originally planned to build an affordable housing project on Block 33. Chair Scott Andrews said the PDC and the Portland Housing Bureau plan to move ahead with the project at a different South Waterfront location.

http://www.kptv.com/money/22659307/detail.html

MarkDaMan
Feb 26, 2010, 4:57 PM
Friday, February 26, 2010
Price cuts up sales at John Ross
Discounts are deepest in Portland
Portland Business Journal - by Wendy Culverwell Business Journal staff writer

Deep price cuts have jump-started sales at one of Portland’s most troubled condo projects.

The John Ross condominiums are now 74 percent sold out after an uptick in sales in the second half of 2009. Seven units sold in both December and January.

The project has been closely watched since it opened more than three years ago. It was the residential backbone of the highly touted South Waterfront development, which has since ground to a halt. At one point, the city projected development in the area would create 10,000 jobs.

The $130 million, 303-unit project was co-developed by Gerding Edlen Development and Williams & Dame Development.

Prudential Real Estate, which issued the original construction loan, took control of John Ross in March 2009 after the highly touted South Waterfront development stalled. Prudential cut prices by approximately 33 percent in mid-2009. At the time, there were 110 unsold units.

According to Multnomah County property records, 84 units in the John Ross remained unsold earlier this week, with the highest concentration occupying the expensive upper floors.

Todd Prendergast, principal director for Realty Trust Group Inc., listing broker for the John Ross, said the actual number is 78, with pending sales accounting for the difference.

John Ross offered the deepest discounts of any project in Portland. In comparison, the 104-unit Westerly in the Uptown Shopping Center discounted prices by an average of about 24 percent and sold 30 units in 2009.

Like the John Ross, the Westerly is about 74 percent sold. Unlike the John Ross, it is one to three sales away from being able to partly repay its original investors.

It’s unclear if the current pace of sales is fast enough for Prudential, which holds a $32 million note on the John Ross.

Rumors are circulating that many unsold units will be auctioned off much the way units at its sister project, Atwater Place, were sold last September. Forty units sold during that auction. All were advertised at about half the initial list prices.

The company that conducted the Atwater auction declined to say if it has been booked to sell the John Ross. Prendergast has not been told about an auction and is operating as if sales will continue.

Examples of recent sales include a 12th-floor unit with 631 square feet and one bath that sold in November for $184,000, or about $291 per square foot. A third-floor unit with 1,970 square feet sold in November, for $450,000, or $228.42 per square foot.

The Regional Multiple Listing Service has John Ross units listed between $156,800 for the smallest floor plan and $2.49 million for a four-bedroom, four-plus bath penthouse with more than 5,000 square feet.

A spokesman for Parsippany, N.J.-based Prudential could not be reached for comment.

Ben Andrews, owner of Willamette Realty Group, has represented buyers in five recent sales at John Ross. He has heard rumors about an auction, but nothing substantial.

A John Ross investor who wrote off $10 million in bad debt on the project said an auction could make sense. Discounting prices by a third should have yielded more than 32 or so sales, said Bob Scanlan, chairman of Portland’s ScanlanKemperBard Cos.

“I wouldn’t expect to have 75 units left,” he said.

SKB provided more than half the equity for John Ross and wrote off the investment in 2008.

Scanlan, who also provided more than 60 percent of the equity for the Westerly project, said John Ross has suffered from the recession and collapsing demand for condos, but also from a lack of neighborhood amenities in the immature South Waterfront district.

The economy has prevented more office and residential project growth, which in turn has either deterred retailers from entering the area or hampered businesses looking to attract foot traffic.

The lack of activity marks a slow start to what the city once called the largest economic development project in Portland’s history. Some $2.5 billion worth of projects were scheduled to dot the neighborhood by 2014.

The John Ross itself has struggled to find tenants for its 21,400 square feet of street-level retail space.

Last summer, it leased 5,000 square feet of unfinished space to entrepreneur Carolina Olsen for her temporary “pop-up” imported teak furnisher business, Greentoko LLC.

wculverwell@bizjournals.com | 503-219-3415

http://portland.bizjournals.com/portland/stories/2010/03/01/story2.html?t=printable

sowat
Mar 3, 2010, 1:00 AM
SIGNING OFF

No more roving photo updates from me. Tomorrow I move back east. I have enjoyed my brief, two-year stint in Portland, but decided to build a house on 20 serene acres that I recently purchased.

I hand the photo updates off to you guys, and will check in from time to time to see how things progress. Unfortunately it looks like it will be a while before anything new gets off the ground, but this delay will help the city and developers rethink and re-assess future projects.

cheers,
T

PacificNW
Mar 3, 2010, 3:20 AM
Good luck, sowat.... I will miss reading/viewing your posts. Don't forget about us.

JordanL
Mar 3, 2010, 7:58 AM
SIGNING OFF

No more roving photo updates from me. Tomorrow I move back east. I have enjoyed my brief, two-year stint in Portland, but decided to build a house on 20 serene acres that I recently purchased.

I hand the photo updates off to you guys, and will check in from time to time to see how things progress. Unfortunately it looks like it will be a while before anything new gets off the ground, but this delay will help the city and developers rethink and re-assess future projects.

cheers,
T

You ever coming back to Portland?

Shilo Rune 96
Mar 3, 2010, 9:21 AM
SIGNING OFF

No more roving photo updates from me. Tomorrow I move back east. I have enjoyed my brief, two-year stint in Portland, but decided to build a house on 20 serene acres that I recently purchased.

I hand the photo updates off to you guys, and will check in from time to time to see how things progress. Unfortunately it looks like it will be a while before anything new gets off the ground, but this delay will help the city and developers rethink and re-assess future projects.

cheers,
T

Man, this is such a sad first post. I'll miss reading your info and viewing the photos. Good luck! If you don't mind, did you own a condo in the South Waterfront area??

Artist
Mar 3, 2010, 4:37 PM
Sowat, thank you for all the images and information you provided us and others on our future home and community. You have made our transition much easier. Best wishes to you and your family in your move.

cronked
Mar 3, 2010, 6:18 PM
Thank you Sowat for all of your contributions! You will be missed. The best of luck to you and your new home!

Bob

RoseCtyRoks
Mar 3, 2010, 7:40 PM
sowat--- Thanks for all of your updates & opinions the last couple years. If you ever get tired of all that acreage, come on back to a nice highrise in PDX, with no upkeep!
We'll leave the light on for ya.

Artist
Mar 3, 2010, 8:53 PM
New update on Mirabella's website http://www.mirabellaretirement.org/portland/2010/022610.htm
Nothing spectacularly new.

MarkDaMan
Mar 4, 2010, 10:07 PM
South Waterfront tackles housing void
POSTED: Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at 12:10 PM PT
BY: Nathalie Weinstein
Daily Journal of Commerce
Tags: Ankrom Moisan Associated Architects, Block 49, Margaret Van Vliet,

Portland’s South Waterfront has been nearly a decade in the making. But to date, a vital portion of the neighborhood’s master plan, affordable housing, has been conspicuously missing.

That’s something Portland Housing Bureau director Margaret Van Vliet wants to remedy this year with $23 million in tax increment financing from the Central City Urban Renewal Area for an affordable housing project on Block 49. The only problem is that the TIF money is available over the next five years, and Vliet needs it in two.

“I need that money sooner,” Vliet said. “There has never been enough money to get an affordable housing project out of the ground at South Waterfront. We’re seeing a lot of homeless veterans coming back and struggling with housing and employment.”

Vliet plans to resurrect an Ankrom Moisan Associated Architects project for affordable housing for veterans at Block 49, a chunk of land bordered by Southwest Bond and Moody avenues and Lowell and Bancroft streets.

Walsh Construction was scheduled to start work on the project, on the boards for nearly two years, in summer 2008; construction was put on hold when private financing dried up due to the recession. Later attempts to get the project, now called The Tamarack, under way were thwarted when developers failed to obtain enough housing vouchers from the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development to make the project pencil out.

Though the Housing Authority of Portland and Portland Housing Bureau now have 105 vouchers, and the Portland Veterans Administration has applied for 300 more from the federal government, a funding gap still exists for the $49.85 million project.

“The land is very expensive down in South Waterfront, so trying to get a project built that is genuinely affordable is difficult,” said Kip Richardson, business development director for AMAA. “I’m hoping the city will step in like they did on the Resource Access Center.”

“The Housing Authority of Portland has helped us make connections with the VA, but there are still far more veterans in need of housing than we have vouchers,” Vliet said.

Now, the Housing Bureau will enter negotiations with the Portland Development Commission, South Waterfront developer Williams and Dame and the city’s debt management office to see how they can close the gap and get a crane on the site by late summer or early fall. Vliet said the stakeholders will begin meeting this week to see what lines of credit are possible. Once a funding plan is approved by the city and the PDC, the Housing Bureau will take The Tamarack’s existing plans back to Williams and Dame and decide how to move forward.

“I’m hoping this will culminate in a development agreement approved by the PDC this year,” Vliet said. “The bedrock of these negotiations is making sure the city can do this in a fiscally responsible way.”

In 2006, a deal was struck between Williams and Dame Development, Oregon Health and Science University and the city for construction of 430 units of affordable housing in the South Waterfront District. But affordable housing projects planned at both Block 49 and Block 33 have fizzled over the last few years due to a lack of private financing.

The PDC recently approved the sale of Block 33, bordered by Southwest Curry Street, Macadam Avenue, Moody Street and Gaines Street, to OHSU after plans for an affordable housing project atop an OHSU parking garage fizzled.

“We’re at a point where housing advocates are worried that the sale of Block 33 means we have lost ground,” Vliet said. “But I’m a longtime housing person, and I’ve never thought the Block 33 project would be viable. Right now I’m focused on using the money we have for Block 49 to get something built.”

Getting boots on the ground is a concern for AMAA project manager Jeff Hamilton, who was a project manager for the Tamarack.

“There could be so many jobs created by this one project for Walsh Construction and all of its suppliers,” Hamilton said. “Work has gotten so slow for everyone. It seems important to keep this project going.”

The design and name of the Tamarack project could change as it enters the construction phase. Presently, the mixed-use project includes retail and office space on the ground floor and five floors of housing, as well as a private green space for tenants.

http://djcoregon.com/news/2010/03/03/south-waterfront-tackles-housing-void-redv/