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  #901  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2010, 7:42 AM
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Yeah, that's the one I was talking about earlier! It looks a tad shorter, but with such a small block, it should still have quite an impact.
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  #902  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2010, 1:19 AM
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  #903  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2010, 5:08 AM
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man that looks sharp. Let's get 'er done!
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  #904  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2010, 8:21 PM
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^That would look quite ominous paired with our winter skies. I'm digging it.
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  #905  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2010, 10:06 PM
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That looks fantastic. The computer generated rendering is so good, it looks like it has already been built. It will be a great addition to the skyline.
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  #906  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2010, 10:21 PM
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The new 26-story plan approved Aug. 6 includes two stories of retail space, 24 floors for office space and no residential floors. The redesign eliminated 58 parking spaces and increased long-term bicycle parking to 80 spaces. There is a slight increase to the size of the bike parking locker rooms.

Read more: City panel approves new look of Park Avenue West - Portland Business Journal:
http://portland.bizjournals.com/port...wscolumn2.html

I very much prefer the previous design, but this is still nice. They say construction is supposed to begin again in early 2010. Let's just hope it gets built soon.
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  #907  
Old Posted Apr 30, 2010, 4:09 AM
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I don't want to see PDC abandon Old Town, but if their relocation into this beauty gets it off the ground ... I'm all for it! That's a sharp looking tower. Enough of this boarded-up hole in the middle of downtown.
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  #908  
Old Posted Jun 22, 2010, 2:21 AM
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DJC today:

What’s next for Park Avenue West?
POSTED: Monday, June 21, 2010 at 02:06 PM PT
BY: Nick Bjork

Construction stalled on the Park Avenue West tower in April 2009 when financial markets began to tighten. But a few real estate professionals around Portland believe the project is still well positioned to be completed and delivered to the market successfully.


Since construction on the Park Avenue West tower ground to a halt last year when the financial markets tightened up, the project has become perhaps Portland’s most visible symbol of recession: a fenced-up, 40-foot-deep hole in the ground with rusting rebar sticking out. But the project’s half-started status could end up helping it, according to some local real estate professionals.

“A lot of people paint this hole in the ground as a great tragedy. But the costs accrued on the project so far aren’t lost; they are sunk into the project,” said Gerard Mildner, associate professor of real estate finance at Portland State University.

Tom Moyer, owner of TMT Development, decided to start construction on Park Avenue West on a speculative basis, with no tenants or financing lined up. It wasn’t the first time he had taken such an approach to constructing a building in Portland. In 1997, he used his own money to start building the Fox Tower, relying on word of mouth to attract both financing and tenants. By the time the 27-story building opened in 2000, 93 percent of it was leased.

The Park Avenue West project, however, was plagued by bad timing and tightening financial markets. Law firm Stoel Rives pre-leased 11 floors, but that wasn’t enough to convince lenders to extend a loan for the project. As a result, Moyer stopped construction on Park Avenue West.

But Mildner thinks the project can still be successful, based on the makeup of the office market in Portland’s Central Business District.

“You would think First & Main being delivered would be a nail in the coffin for the Park Avenue West project,” he said of the First & Main building that recently finished construction. Several federal agencies moved from the Edith Green–Wendell Wyatt Federal Building - which is being renovated - to First & Main.

“(First & Main) doesn’t free up any space because most of it was absorbed quickly with long-term leases from various federal agencies,” Mildner said.

Mildner suspects the costs of keeping the Park Avenue West project stalled are actually low, relative to the overall cost. Other than fees associated with rental fencing and crane management, no other substantial costs are likely involved, he said.

Considering that foundation work has already started and that the permitting process has already been navigated, both the developer and the city have incentive to get this project moving again, Mildner added.

Based on state building codes, a municipality can pull the permits on a stalled project after six months if the developer doesn’t pay to have a full inspection performed on the project in that time period, said Ross Caron, spokesperson for the Bureau of Development Services. But the municipality also has the discretion to extend that time period.

“In the case of Park Avenue West, where the problem was a financing issue, BDS is willing to extend that time period as long as the developer is keeping the site safe and secure,” he said. “Both the developer and the city have an incentive to see this project through.”

The Portland Development Commission has an incentive, from an economic development standpoint, to see the project restart. But the city also has an interest in it from a financial standpoint, with the $1.3 million in property taxes that the tower is projected to bring in on an annual basis.

“The problem with Park Avenue West from our standpoint is that there is no money available to help them out,” said Shawn Uhlman, spokesperson for the PDC. The last year the project could borrow money against the South Park Blocks Urban Renewal Area was 2008.

Cities across the country are trying to come up with practical solutions for using property where construction projects are stalled. The Seattle Department of Planning and Development earlier this month announced legislation that would give developers a break on property taxes for allowing their unbuilt properties to be used as parking lots, or to house food carts or retail kiosks. Vancouver, B.C., is giving tax breaks to idle project lots turned into community gardens, dog parks or green spaces while waiting out current market conditions. But Portland hasn’t had enough halted construction projects to warrant looking into such solutions, Uhlman said.

Mildner doesn’t think the Park Avenue West site would be suitable for an alternate temporary use. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, he said.

“The fact that we have a motivated property owner with these sunken costs isn’t the worst thing in the world,” Mildner said. “And I suspect the added costs of having the crane there and keeping the site secure is pretty trivial compared to shutting the entire thing down and losing the sunken costs.”

The stalled status of Park Avenue West could actually end up benefiting the project, according to Brian Owendoff, managing director of CB Richard Ellis‘ Portland office.

If the project were to move forward soon, it would have a significant lead on any other similar projects, and have an edge in attracting tenants. Speed of delivery is a huge advantage, Owendoff said.

And considering that the foundation has been constructed for the specific project, there is no financially feasible way to build anything else, Mildner added.

In the meantime, Vanessa Sturgeon, president of TMT Development, is providing few specifics about the future of the project.

“There are some costs adding up, so we will have to make a decision with what we want to do,” Sturgeon said. “But it’s going to take us a little more time to make that decision.”
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  #909  
Old Posted Jun 22, 2010, 6:27 PM
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Grrr. I wish they'd just cap it and turn it into another Park Blocks park, but with underground parking accessed via Fox Tower. I'm in favor of this tower, but I'm sick of The PAW Hole. It's a scar on our downtown. Cap it and build a park there.
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  #910  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2010, 12:00 AM
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^^^ Totally agree with being sick of the ugly hole in the ground. It's a drag on the surrounding blocks and just a big old eyesore ... and just exacerbates the dumpy atmosphere of that damn Smart Park/Peterson's across the street.

BUT ... I would much rather wait out construction than have a park there. While I understand the desire to extend the Park Blocks, density would be much more beneficial here. This section of DT, as you're walking west towards 10th Ave., really loses its energy. Another park would break up what HOPEfully will be a revitalized Morrison Street with dense retail. Redevelop Smart Park; redevelop the former Carl Greve corner; complete PAW. DONE. hahahaha-- not holding my breath but I know it'll all happen eventually. THis recession is feeling like the spring weather this year ... little peeks at the sun, then 3 days of clouds and showers. Enough already.
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  #911  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2010, 12:10 AM
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btw: it sounds like we can thank Obama's stimulus when PAW resumes. Since federal employees are moving into 1st and Main while the stimulus-funded renovation of their current building is underway, the DT vacancy rate will remain lower and provide PAW some more ability to find tenants.
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  #912  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2010, 3:36 AM
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not to be political, but as the economy heads into another recession, do we have much hope for PAW going up anytime in the next few years?

I wonder if the crane will come down this fall (not that there is much demand for it elsewhere).

Hopefully some deal is struck and the thing starts rising. We could use the construction jobs and a nice piece of the skyline. It just doesn't seem very likely does it?
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  #913  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2010, 4:01 AM
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Originally Posted by WestCoast View Post
not to be political, but as the economy heads into another recession, do we have much hope for PAW going up anytime in the next few years?
Not to be political, but we don't know that we're headed into another recession. We're still finding out how bad of shape the other party left the country in. Not to be political. I find it amazing that Obama managed to avoid another great depression, but he gets zero credit. History will not be kind to the previous administration. Not to be political though.

I want PAW built as badly as anyone else, but it's going to come down to leasing. When they cross a threshold, it'll get built. Until then, we wait. I'd rather they finish the underground parking, then cap it and build a park, but that's not going to happen.
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  #914  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2010, 4:48 AM
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Quote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by WestCoast
not to be political, but as the economy heads into another recession, do we have much hope for PAW going up anytime in the next few years?
Not to be political, but we don't know that we're headed into another recession. We're still finding out how bad of shape the other party left the country in. Not to be political. I find it amazing that Obama managed to avoid another great depression, but he gets zero credit. History will not be kind to the previous administration. Not to be political though.
Originally Posted by 2oh1
I want PAW built as badly as anyone else, but it's going to come down to leasing. When they cross a threshold, it'll get built. Until then, we wait. I'd rather they finish the underground parking, then cap it and build a park, but that's not going to happen.
I'd like to see PAW go up (jobs, taxes, skyline-filler) but I don't see the hole as *that* much worse than all the surface parking lots and giant parking garages that fill our gutted city.

I also wouldn't mind another park block going in, but 1) it will leave me feeling like losing several historic buildings was not an equal trade-off and 2) I'd hope for something better than Director Park, which is growing off me --rather than on me-- the more I experience it, much to my dismay.
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  #915  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2010, 6:49 AM
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Originally Posted by tworivers View Post
I'd like to see PAW go up (jobs, taxes, skyline-filler) but I don't see the hole as *that* much worse than all the surface parking lots and giant parking garages that fill our gutted city.

I also wouldn't mind another park block going in, but 1) it will leave me feeling like losing several historic buildings was not an equal trade-off and 2) I'd hope for something better than Director Park, which is growing off me --rather than on me-- the more I experience it, much to my dismay.
I am not sure I would ever use the word gutted when referring to downtown...but thats just me I guess.

And personally Directors Park is growing on me, but again, that is just me. I was out there last week doing alittle sketching and the park has created some much needed energy. Kids were playing in the water, people were sitting at the tables chatting and eating food, I was sitting on one of the long benches enjoying the sun and sketching. For me the new park feels extremely welcoming and the light color stone and wood working of the canopy is a much welcomed feeling compared to the drab red brick sidewalks and the Nordstroms that looks like it is stuck in the 80s.
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  #916  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2010, 1:20 PM
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I don't know that it's a particularly political issue - whether the economy is getting worse or not. The most liberal columnists in the NYT think it's getting worse, and of course as long as Obama is president Fox will trash anything it can possibly connect to him. All that aside, the economy isn't doing well, vacancy is high, and in two years, when the federal building remodel is complete and all those federal employees move back, we'll have another new office building to fill up (the one they're moving out of). So I don't think PAW's going anywhere for a very long time, if it all. Unfortunately.

I think the park is fine, though. I like the end away from the fountains more.
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  #917  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2010, 12:22 AM
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Sorry, my use of the word "gutted" probably deserved more explanation. To my mind, all the vacant lots that used to hold old-city buildings, many notable; the amazing number of multistory parking garages (which also likely replaced many lovely old fabric buildings); the blocks at the west end of the Morrison; most of Naito Pkwy (I think our riverfront sucks); most of the "South Auditorium" District that used to be our Italian/Jewish neighborhood; Albina/Williams/Russell; the hideous pieces of 80's/90's corporate office architecture that replaced whole blocks -- all of this constitutes "gutted" in my opinion. I'm not a purist, either, I just think it is depressing that we ("we") replaced so much of Old Portland with junk. If the citizens who had enough foresight to preserve the cast iron facades of buildings set to be demolished back in the 40's/50's/60's had been able to actually save more of the dozens upon dozens of cast iron buildings that were demolished, we'd have a huge tourist attraction: the biggest collection of cast iron architecture outside of New York.

I collect Portland postcards and it is amazing to line up aerial views of the westside next to each other, sequentially, and see how quickly, over the course of a few decades, huge chunks of relatively-dense city were removed. Same goes for the east side in old Albina around the east side of the Broadway bridge -- where there were once intact neighborhoods of single family houses, apt buildings, corner stores, churches, etc, we now have parking lots, the PPS building, and of course the freeway. If anyone is interested I can try to scan some of my most illustrative cards.

In any event, the hole in the ground seems like a bit of poetic justice to me, even though I'd *rather* see it a hub of activity.

The park may feel more congruent to me when/if PAW goes up. Right now the quality of the streetscape around the park is subpar -- though it will improve if the Guild gets new life, PAW gets built and the parking garage gets transformed into a tower (which seems less than likely)... I don't know, I've spent a lot of time down there and I just haven't felt it, after going to all the open houses and workshops and presentations -- I was expecting "world-class" public space and instead it seems a bit pedestrian, especially the "Teacher's" Fountain with its stupid/cheesy inscribed concrete sphere. Things I like about it: Violetta and the plantings. The white brick and the canopy I like more in theory than in application. I wish Allied Works had gotten the commission, I think they would have aced it based on what I've heard Cloepfil say about his take on Portland's public spaces. I also think it's an example of too much "public process", where an undiluted vision might have delivered something more engaging and, ironically, more powerful from the standpoint of civic importance. Just my 2 cents.

Last edited by tworivers; Aug 3, 2010 at 1:07 AM.
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  #918  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2010, 2:41 AM
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Originally Posted by 2oh1 View Post
Not to be political, but we don't know that we're headed into another recession. We're still finding out how bad of shape the other party left the country in. Not to be political. I find it amazing that Obama managed to avoid another great depression, but he gets zero credit. History will not be kind to the previous administration. Not to be political though.

I want PAW built as badly as anyone else, but it's going to come down to leasing. When they cross a threshold, it'll get built. Until then, we wait. I'd rather they finish the underground parking, then cap it and build a park, but that's not going to happen.
What he said was a simple statement. What this post is, is a blatant attempt to troll. I'm not going to respond to the content, because I don't want to drag it down. But I did want you to know that this post was pure trolling, and that I personally don't appreciate it.
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  #919  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2010, 3:35 AM
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I'm not trolling. I just find it offensive when people try to slip politics in inappropriately. In this case, it wasn't needed at all.

"not to be political, but as the economy heads into another recession, do we have much hope for PAW going up anytime in the next few years?"

Those first five words unnecessarily turned a question about a building that's on hold into a political statement.

My biggest fear with PAW is this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by bvpcvm View Post
in two years, when the federal building remodel is complete and all those federal employees move back, we'll have another new office building to fill up (the one they're moving out of). So I don't think PAW's going anywhere for a very long time, if it all. Unfortunately.
That never even occurred to me. On the one hand, I hope that puts a sense of urgency in the situation for PAW, but I worry about what happens if that hole is still there in a year... or two. Like bvpcvm said, it could be there a very long time, and that's sad.

Last edited by 2oh1; Aug 3, 2010 at 3:48 AM.
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  #920  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2010, 4:25 AM
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^^^ I'm pretty sure I remember reading that most of the agencies that signed leases in 1st & Main signed long term leases and would not be moving back into the renovated fed building.
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