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I hate to sound like a crab, but $40 million - that would almost pay for their tram...


At this point, with the vision of SOWA coming to life, the Tram is there, running, and worth it. Angie move on.

Frank Dufay

At this point, the tram has still not been paid for. Kalliope, who's going to pay for it?


Frank, you care to give us some inside info? The funding agreements are in place to finish paying off the bonds for the tram. In fact, here is a link to the funding agreement so this should answer your 'who's going to pay' question. Unless you find some glaring omission from the report, let is go man...just let it go...


In the meantime, the possibilities are now endless for OHSU. This gift gives them a little more breathing room to design not just for function, but also design. I hope this gift spurs other donors in the wings to step up and get this expanded medical school built both for the school and the state. It is important that as we continue to see manufacturing scale back in Oregon (Intel and Freightliner as of late) it is highly important we continue to grow a fairly new hightech/biotech industry in Oregon, through OHSU and in the South Waterfront.

Frank Dufay

Frank, you care to give us some inside info?

Mark, my man, it's not inside info, but the agreement specifically states that the Local Improvement District portion cannot be assessed until July 1, 2007. That's $30.5 that no one's started to pay. There's $8 million in Tax Increment Financing...but there's no TIF money yet. (And building another OSHU non-property-tax paying medical facility creates NO TIF funds.) There's a $2 million part of the puzzle that hasn't been determined who's paying...OHSU or North Macadam Investors.

I like the tram. I think it's cool. I rode it on opening day. I'd probably love a new Lamboughini too...but that doesn't mean having it in the driveway, home from the dealer, means it's paid for, or that I won't be facing some serious financial issues.

That's all I'm saying. This isn't over and done with. And since the citizens of this city have been asked to pony up HUGE, multi-million dollar subsidies not just for the tram, but for all the rest of the infrastructure that makes South Waterfront viable for development...well, OHSU gets a "gift" of $50 million, and instead of even thinking about paying some of its debt, get's ready to go on a shopping spree for another building. One that, presumably, won't be bringing us many of those promised 10,000 bio-tech jobs...sort of the Weapons of Mass Destruction of South Waterfront (we know those jobs are out there somewhere!)


A building which inspires in the way that The Salk Institute does - my vote would be for Tadao Ando.


Gifts are made to lead.

Gifts are made to make the less practical parts of excellence possible... like remarkable design.

As far as potential names I think SANAA would be good to consider... but it's almost too early to throw names around. It should be someone who can continue the design momentum of the tram. It's a kind of marketing device for OHSU as a research center that could more than make up for the expenditures involved in making design a premium feature.


Frank, thanks for that response to Mark DaMan's response, even though I don't really understand the situation. A lot of people probably don't understand it, never did, never will be able to, even though they're paying for it. That's probably one of the biggest problems with ventures like this.

The city leaders involved in SoWa and the tram should have probably exercised more of a firm hand in putting the development together. They didn't probably because they weren't sharp enough or far thinking enough to keep up with the slick developers whose eyes were on this very bright pot of gold. What we have now is a compromise. In exchange for invaded privacy, mediocre architecture, pots of gold and easy breaks for developers, OHSU stays.

Well at least some people like the architecture, and whoo-hoo!...now there's that $4 tram ride!

Dennis H. Coalwell

Geez....Sound Transit is spending over $40 million for the SeaTac airport light rail station and I haven't heard a complaint.


"and I haven't heard a complaint."

Maybe because Seattle is past the "goodness Dorothy, we're turning into a large city" stage and has full embraced becoming a great urban center.

We still have plenty of folks remembering the good 'ole days of Union Ave., a downtown that blew, and when you could buy a home in the urban core for 50K.


...the days when you could hang out with the bums along Burnside, or on the waterfront, drinking cans of beer and smokin' bud...

aah, those were the days. Damned yuppies. Go back to NY!

Frank Dufay

Maybe because Seattle is past the "goodness Dorothy, we're turning into a large city" stage and has full embraced becoming a great urban center.

With Westlake Mall the centerpiece? :-) A monorail that shuts down at 9pm on Saturday night?

The failed larger Seattle Monorial Project suggests the problems every urban center faces providing and financing transportation infrastruture. You really envy Seattle their traffic congestion?

a downtown (Portland) that blew

Yeah...Jazz Quarry, Luis LaBambas, Jazz de Opus, the Paramount, movies at the Fox, the Broadway. Totally blew!

Things change, sometimes for the better, sometimes not. It's important to keep a discerning eye.


"...the good 'ole days of Union Ave..." Lance

It's a bit before my time, but Union Ave at one time truly was good days where seriously good jazz and nightlife took place, not just the kind of sordid depravity that followed that era due in no small part to ruthless urban renewal (memorial coliseum district) policies of the time. Lots of people know the history, like Dick Bogel, but it's in the books too.

Perceived need for certain types of urban development often produces a response that is not natural or graceful, and even obliterates and destroy great tradition and culture.

The cost of SoWa and it's infrastructure comes as a kind of shock to many Portland citizens because of the rapidity with which it has come upon them. Seattle's considerably larger population and economic productivity probably explains in part why its citizens are less alarmed at the size of bills for infrastructure improvements that would upset Portland citizens.

Still, Seattle citizens have their budget threshold anxiety limits too. They screwed up big time by bailing on the monorail because of what seemed to them to be an alarmingly high bill for what they were getting. Looks like they may do the same with the viaduct. So their adjustment to embracing the reality of becoming a great urban center is coming with a little more difficulty than some people might be inclined to think. The problems of the present can make it hard to hold onto a vision for the future.

SoWa was a not particularly graceful solution for a seriously pressing problem of the present. The cost and financing of the project has been a shocker and a continuing source of dis-satisfaction for many Portland citizens, but fortunately in this case, the damage to Portland's great culture and tradition in the SoWa is not anywhere near to that having occurred to the neighborhoods surrounding Union Avenue in the good old days, in the South Auditorium Renewal area, or in the area that the I-405 freeway displaced.


Frank, I called and checked with the PDC (no easy task let me tell you) and indeed there is TIF money coming in on the SoWa development. You are correct that OHSU does not pay taxes on their land, but Williams and Dame, Zidell, and Prometheus Development do. The land values in the South Waterfront district have been increasing and TIF money has been rolling in. What I was told is that the initial developments took longer to start than planned and there was an initial shortage of TIF funds, but the PDC claims they are on track to meet their projections and that their commitment to the Tram is fully funded. If you disagree, or have further information they didn't provide to me, by all means give them a call, or even Sam Adams, and expose the hole in funding before the general fund, and taxpayers city wide, get stuck with the bill.

While you claim OHSU received a $50 million gift but didn't consider it for their debt, maybe you should check a little further into public university donations. By and large when a university receives a large donation it is specifically earmarked for project, development, new schools, or new programs. The university seldom decides how to spend the majority of the monies it receives in donations (like when the UofO built, essentially, the nation's best locker rooms).

Some person with big pockets is dedicated to seeing the South Waterfront development and OHSU campus come to fruition. You have been so blindsided by the biased negative blogging that you fail to see all the great things a strong and regional medical school can do not only for our city's economy, but also state wide. Now this can be done for $40 million less public monies, and generally, as donations go, one large donation is usually followed by other donations. This is great for OHSU and should be celebrated instead of the continued beating of a dead horse, over the controversy associated with the tram funding.


Frank and WS,

I've got to side with Mark on this one.

He pretty much layed it out there....

My guess? Ten years from now, nobody will care that the city pitched in 8 million for the tram. 8 million to catalyze a burgeoning BioTech center, an expanding mega-employer, an entire new high density district that will be pumping tons of cash into the city fund.

It pisses me off that even some of the people that recognize reality join the freak-shows by complaining about the tram costs, or SoWa's infrastructure costs. These same people never complain when the city spends a shit ton to expand another mcmansion fest in forest-clearcut or wherever.

Sorry Frank, but come on. Were spending how much on the Big Pipe? San Francisco is going to put in the subway and Seattle is putting in their first LRT lines. These projects' costs will dwarf any project costs in Portland, even a subway. All three cities are about the same size, and the only difference is the citizens of SF and Seattle are used to this stuff, and they make a bit more money. They know the costs of projects that are required to create a great, workable city. Some Portlanders seem to think they still live in the middle-of-nowhere.

Sorry, but jeeeez.... Gets me fired up

Frank Dufay

You are correct that OHSU does not pay taxes on their land, but Williams and Dame, Zidell, and Prometheus Development do. The land values in the South Waterfront district have been increasing and money has been rolling in.

Zidell paid $1,742.25 --that's one-thousand, seven-hundered and forty-two dollars-- for their 13.98 acre barge opeation next to the tram. They paid $167.18 for the 15.69 acres on the OTHER side of the Ross Island.

Don't call PDC. Look at Portland Maps.

Williams & Dane? Their assessment on R543804 now at $52,145, up from $36,353. A little under $15 thousand increase (and let's remember a chunk of that is the new Portland School Tax Option Levy). For their 2.56 acres of riverfront (R543801) Williams & Dane's tax increase is to $6,197, up from 5,916...a whopping $1001 increase.

For their 1.79 acres (R562910) $4,000 up from $3,181...an $819 increase.

NW101 South Waterfront limited Partnership...their .92 acres up to $7,797, from 7,444, a $353 increase.

TIF funds rolling in? From where?

In the meantime, more demands are being made on TIF and System Development Funds...while existing neighborhoods lack basic infrstructure like paved streets, sidewalks and sewers.

The Kohler Pavillion up on pill hill is VERY well appointed. But how much do we care about equity in this city, and how high do we want our medical bills to be?


Frank, OHSU is a medical school. I think you are getting way to caught up that somehow SoWa is an enclave for docs...which in any case, isn't necessarily a bad thing considering the contributions docs and researchers make to the community as a whole. I'm trying to figure out when it became okay to demonize doctors. I hold them at the same regard as firefighters. They have a thankless job with a healthcare system squeezing in as many patients as possible, docs getting sued for overlooking something in that limited time frame, hospitals treating on upwards of 35% of the patients walking through the door with no healthcare and an inability to pay bills, and on top of all this, they, in the healthcare field, continue to come out with new lifesaving technologies, medicines, and treatments.

Healtcare costs are going up for a variety of reasons, the Kohler pavilion is a minimal costs to a broken system. The fixes to the system must start at the top, hopefully in the coming years congress at both the federal and state levels will fix many of the issues. In the meantime, do try your best to remember the contibutions these people, and they are people, bring to society, especially the next time you might need medical care.

While the numbers you post that you gleaned off Portland Maps are interesting, I have no idea if a logical conclusion could be based on them. The PDC says one thing, and I tend to believe they understand TIF funding a bit better than any of us. I also know if they over extend themselves, especially while the lynch mob is waiting at City Hall, they would be taking measures to verify their numbers and work. I would suggest you, as a citizen, request actual numbers from the PDC and make more informed comments based on the facts and data received, than a crunch of numbers from Portland Maps.



you seemed to only have picked empty lots or parks for your survey.

if you had clicked on R584430 for example, you would have seen a very different story.

its an insane amount of work to determine how much taxes are getting pulled out of that, as condo properties are harder to disentangle from portland maps. looks like not much paid for 2006, seeing as how those units didnt exist for that whole period. and they don't tell you what people owe for 2007.

looking at the listings for the condos at 3601 sw parkway, taxes are coming up starting at around $4k a year for the cheapest unit, and ending up at $26k a year for the most expensive.

considering how many units we are talking about, i think that is where the money is going to roll in.



after playing around a bit in portland maps, its really HARD to only find empty undeveloped lots or planned parks, instead of finding some condo tax cows.

one would think that when you are using the explorer, you would click on the lots with outlines of buildings on them to determine how much taxes are being paid.

you were a very LUCKY man frank. finding all those lots with such low taxes. very lucky.

makes one wonder...

Frank Dufay

I'm trying to figure out when it became okay to demonize doctors....do try your best to remember the contibutions these people, and they are people, bring to society, especially the next time you might need medical care.

What a lame straw man. Nobody's demonizing doctors. What's being pointed out is that some of them --the one's at OSHU-- don't pay property or payroll taxes...which other doctors around Portland do.

While the numbers you post that you gleaned off Portland Maps are interesting, I have no idea if a logical conclusion could be based on them.

Well...I don't think it's too much of an intellectual strain to recognize that less than $2,000 a year in property taxes for Zidell's nearly 30 acres of South Waterfront ain't a lot of jack. You brought up Zidell, my man. You brought up Williams and Dane...and we see what they're paying.

I've a Masters in Public Admin with an emphasis in public finance...I don't need some PDC shill to explain numbers to me. I can read. $167.18 in property taxes from Zidell for 15.69 acres in South Waterfront tells me --tells all of us-- that this property is seriously undervalued on the tax rolls.

Frank Dufay

you seemed to only have picked empty lots or parks for your survey.

if you had clicked on R584430 for example, you would have seen a very different story.

R584430, the Meriwether's "common area" is valued and assessed at zero. No property taxes. I don't get your point.

If you want to look, though, at unit 2403 in the Meriwether...sale price $1.497 million. Real Market Value (ain't that a hoot?) $865,670. LESS exemption of $829,030.

Bottom line? $420.26 in property taxes for 2006.

That's not a lot of tax-increment finance money rolling in the door, no matter how you slice or spin it.


Thought this would be stating the obvious, but per the previous post perhaps a few basics on property taxes will help. From what I have researched, property taxes in 2006 for the Meriwether were very low because the building was still under construction. 2007 will see very different property taxes from the Meriwether.

Frank Dufay

per the previous post perhaps a few basics on property taxes will help.

My initial post to you, kalliope, was that the tram hasn't been paid for. Higher tax collections in November 2007 is one thing, a $57 million tab for the tram which is built now is another. The interest cost on a $57 debt is not inconsequential.

What do the think the Zidell's will be paying in property taxes for their barge operation --and 30 acres of South Waterfront-- in November? Maybe it will double to $4,000?


The PDC is a numbers cooking agency. They did so to get approval of the SoWa plan and continue at every juncture.

All of the SoWa public improvement project costs werelowballed just like the Tram, the TIF revenue projections were inflated and when TIF revenue didn't appear insufficient amounts more cooking was order to increase the borrowing capacity.

This is how Urban Renewal works in this city.

The spin that money is rolling in made me laugh out LOUD.
"Rolling in"?? Now there's an accountants phrase.

OHSU is on the hook for about $4 million a year in Tram payments for around 25 years, they expect to use 30% of the Tram's capacity,
they have been in a fiscally constrained position for years and have not shown any likely hood of generating new capitol from the massive "biotech research" investment they have made with the Oregon Opportunity, $200 million in public funding.

Yet from the day the Tram funding was approved it was declared a success. As with so many projects around here the mere act of spending the money equates to success. And there are way too many lackies ready to cheer on the fabricated and disingenuous declarations of success.
More later.
Mark, what a hoot you are.


Hey Frank and Molly, thanks for zeroing in on the seams of this whole deal to examine just what kind of integrity they have been put together with.

My viewpoint on the situation, which I doubt is unique, is that keeping OHSU around was important. I just take exception to the funny business involved in pulling this off; dealmaking and sloppy management at city hall. Really, what excuse could there possibly be for such nonsense? Doing so betrays and undermines the public trust.

Doctors are fully entitled to my respect and admiration, and I offer it happily. I don't exactly know the situation in SoWa relative to housing, but if housing there has been set up primarily for wealthy healthy care professionals (yes, easily they are rather wealthy despite ballooning liability insurance premiums) I would not appreciate that at all.

Pursued with a little more more moderation, SoWa could have been accomplished more beautifully and fairly, still keeping OHSU around. Under such circumstances, that 40 million dollar gift might have been looked upon by many people with somewhat less the dubious association it's inclined to have today.


You guys are bloody pick and choose your data! What a bunch of crock.

The tax #'s for many properties on portlandmaps vary greatly from year to year, for reasons that I don't understand. Even for single family residential, some houses drop from positive to 0 assessed value, and thus taxes, which to me seems to indicate the system itself might be broken.

Anywhoo, onto the numbers

Zidell's main property paid $75,818.12 in 2005. It dropped to $1,742.25 in 2006. Why? Who knows, could be an error.

Also, due to one of those stupid Bill Sizemore Measures, (5?) there is a limit to the growth of the property value for every property in the state of Oregon beyond X%. That is why, in rapidly appreciating Portland, the state doesn't actually collect taxes based on the market value of your property. So there! Blame Sizemore.

Frank Dufay

Zidell's main property paid $75,818.12 in 2005. It dropped to $1,742.25 in 2006. Why? Who knows, could be an error.

Multnomah County Assessment & Taxation refunded the money paid by Zidell for several previous tax years. The $1,742.25, paid for 2006 for 13.98 acres of South Waterfront, is accurate. The basis for the assessment is "confidential business information." One can only presume the land is considered near valueless and undevelopable...which of course is ridiculous.

Bill Sizemore indeed brought us the 3% annual cap on assessed valuation increases. That doesn't explain why, on the books, a condo unit that sells for $1.497 million is given a Real Market Value of $865 thousand. Real Market Value plays a role in how taxes revenues are divided up because of compression.

I think keeping OHSU is very important. I just think there are issues of equity here, and we shouldn't be complacent about the extraordinary public debt that's been created. When OHSU gets a $40 million dollar gift, and when they --and we, on their behalf-- are in debt up to our collective eyeballs, going shopping for new toys doesn't seem the first item on the agenda.

I don't mean to be a wet blanket, and hope something fantastic gets built. But I also hope we eventually get more than non-property-tax-generating hospital and school facilities where ten thousand bio-tech jobs were promised.

Or, as the development community likes to say, this South Waterfront project is not going to pencil out.


Frank you just fully paid for a 37 million dollar bridge to Sauvie Is. What's the ROI on that bridge? WHat does the community get? A corn maze and nude beach. The Tram for 8million is a great investment for THE FUTURE, and that is the real problem. You have lost all ability to see anything other then right now. When SW is built out and all those buildings are pumping taxes into the local schools, and the new parks and trails are established no one is going to say beep about 8 million. I just don't see how developing an industrial wasteland into a neighborhood and hospital with parks is a bad thing.


The dude,
Your ignorance on every aspect of SoWa, TIF and future revenue for basic services is staggering.
The SoWa plan is so far upside down that it will need countless millions in "other" funds to complete the public improvements in the plan. The TIF revenue will not be even close to enough.
The Tram is only one example of a budget buster. The greenway, public parks, I-5 ped/bike bridge and street improvements all are hugely over budget as well.
The 1999 TIF revenue projections are now laughable.
With projects soaring and revenue floundering SoWa will take at least 50 years to turn the collective expenses and massive debt into revenue for basic services.
The 1999 plan was advanced with bogus numbers to make it appear "feasible" and get approval, when in fact it never was finacially feasible at all.
If you think there is only $8 million in public money for the Tram you are hopelessly misguided.
The first OHSU building in SoWa not only doesn't pay proerty taxes, but the 501c3 OHSU medical Group (doctors group) who owns it doesn't pay the Portland busines tax or TriMet payroll taxes either. OHSU did not create new jobs in SoWa, there are no 1000s of biotech research jobs coming, OHSU has plan for a hotel, high rises and parking operations instead. Just another developer but with tax exempt status to milk the public with.

Doctors? They're swell.
Quasi OHSU? Not so much.
SoWa? Fraud.
thedude? Out to lunch.



i really don't get it. do you think that when people buy a condo they should pay taxes to the city for the entire year, not just the time they occupied it?

do you really think that the city will not collect the 26k for 2007 on the penthouse condos?

either way, you have succeeded in derailing the conversation. it would be nice if you kept to the topic at hand instead of throwing out sloppily compiled numbers at every mention of the tram or the sowa district.


How long with the Sauvie Is. Bridge take to pay off? WHy the double standard? In 50 years we have a vibrant new area of DT with thousands residents and businesses paying taxes instead of an industrial wasteland. In 50 Years sauvie Is. is still just a nude beach and corn maze. How long would it take for those on the island to pay off that 37 million dollar bridge?


SoWa is prime riverfront property.
The city will have needlessly spent many millions, take deacdes to clear the debt and all the while tax paying development could have been enabled long ago with a fraction of the public money now devoured and borrowed.
Money would already be pooring into basic services.
You just don't get it in any way.
SoWa isn't a bridge.

When I said you were out to lunch I meant it.
Walking you through the entire minutia would take a college course in reality and with the city defenders interupting you would still be out to lunch.
The situation is hopeless.
Bring on the CC hotel!


Molly, I and I know other commenters would appreciate it if you kept the conversation above board.

Portland isn't mean and nasty, confrontational and rude. Your posts here have been. Even while discussing with Frank, and strongly disagreeing with him, I re-read my posts and still don't see either of us taking it to the 'personal' level. Look, we all have our own vision for what a perfect Portland is. Some people want Portland to remain the small, friendly town it was until recently. Some want to see us as the Manhattan of the West Coast. If people can't have an honest discussion about what we'd like to see, and what we are willing to pay for, without getting personal and rude, than we are in a world of hurt.

Urban development is a hallmark of Portland. For better or worse, our projects and developments are world renown. The Saudi's were in SoWa last year looking at how to begin a successful district...that right, they came to see success even when the first towers weren't occupied. Countless mayors, planners, and delegates have traveled on the streetcar through the Pearl. In fact, there are now over 20 streetcar lines planned in cities across America. Portland was the first to build the modern line, and many are trying to emulate our success.

Ever since the PDC was created, downtown Portland sparkled while the rest of the nation's downtowns crumbled. Yet, with all the money diverted through TIF revenue to development and amenities, the impending bankruptcy of Portland has never occurred. In fact, the CoP has one of the highest tiered credit rankings for an American municipality.

They say in Oregon we are 'dreamers' and I was taught in school that if you dream it, you can make it happen. I understand the need to transition Oregon's economy and strongly support the creation of a bio-science district. It wont be thriving tomorrow, and it is a risk that it wont turn out at all, but it is a risk I'm willing to take as a taxpayer of Portland. Intel has been integrating their advanced nano-technology into the bio-science field. Most of Intel's nano-tech research is located in Hillsboro, they have also teamed with our state universities to help expand the research. If we got just one half of one percent of the annual bio-science industry, whether it be through our collaborations with Intel, or through home grown companies like HemCom working with OHSU, we would have over 10,000 bio-tech jobs region wide. OHSU, the PDC, and economists said there would be risks, and Portland jumped in. If we loose our commitment now to the goals we've persued and the infrastructure we've already built, than you are correct, SoWa will fail. However, if OHSU continues to grow, it will, and Oregon, Portland, and the PDC encourage smart policies to get companies, grants, and researchers to line up with an OHSU collaboration, than the successes for Portland are endless.


According to uncovered documents that the PDC has been subpoened for but not yet produced, SOWA has so far cost over $78 BILLION in improvements - to date. There are an estimated $479 BILLION in improvements for the remaining 4 blocks' worth of sidewalks and public parks that will have to be built.

Where are these being funded? I have it on good word the developers have just purchased multi-billion dollar homes in Dubai. Where is the accountability? Why do all we hear from are the PDC cheerleaders - the hundreds of people they employ to blog online with false supports of the project?


Your comments are far more insulting than my tone as they are wholly dishonest, cooked and predictable as well.
Your use of the schemers talking points shows me are a shill for the con job.
"If we got just one half of one percent of the annual bio-science industry",,,, we would have over 10,000 bio-tech jobs region wide."
That my friend is a total fabrication. As much a con job as any. It comes from the early stages of the SoWa/Tram push which included all sorts of shady claims and cooked numbers.
But this kind of game you play is all you got and is no substitute for responding to the realities I mentioned above.
But as usual you have nothing to say about the funny business do you?
Play nice? Good idea, why don't you lead by example, drop the propaganda and bone up on the issue.
You are not telling the truth and you are covering up the official malficience.
And that is very mean.


^Wow, a bunch of assumptions in that one...I stick by my earlier posts.


Trent...."...BILLION..."? Where did you get those figures? Are you sure you didn't read "MILLION"? Or did you read 7.8 BILLION and 4.79 BILLION? Seattle is whining about the cost of a tunnel replacement for the viaduct that would cost something in the area of $4 Billion if I remember right, so those figures you've offered for SoWa seem kind of out there.


"I stick by my earlier posts"

No Mark you run and hide.

Then later you'll recycle out the same load of BS as if you are an honest authority.

The real PDC budgets hide behind your work.

No one

Molly, you're an ass.


Boy, now that's important.
Speaks to the problem around here.

People can't figure out that it is important for the agencies and staff to provide honest information.

Unfortunately there are far too many public relations people on staff, working full time to snow job the public.

Frank Dufay

it would be nice (Frank) if you kept to the topic at hand instead of throwing out sloppily compiled numbers...

The title of this post is "OHSU receives $40 million gift." That seems to me to make how and for what OHSU spends this "gift" fair game.

At any rate, "george", whether a condo is occupied or not has no bearing on property taxes, which actually cover the period from July 1 to June 30.

All my numbers are public record. Speaking of which...what are the numbers for the cost of debt service on $57 million? At say 5% interest, with NO paydown of principal, that alone is $2.8+ million per year. The local, property owners haven't been assessed their costs yet, and tax increment financing money is most certainly NOT rolling in...how is this being paid? And by who? Anyone know?

Not trying to beat a dead horse, or get into personal arguments, but in the context of a $50 million "gift"...when there's this kind of debt hanging out there, a little fiscal responsibility doesn't seem out of line. If your friend owed you a bunch of money, and he got an unexpected financial windfall, and all he talked about was what he was going to buy at the store with his new-found wealth... wouldn't that sorta irritate you?

Let's see OHSU go big with an awesome, locally-designed and platinum LEED building. But let's also keep this in its context, which is one of massive debt with huge, unpaid public subsidies already on the books.


And furthermore, depsite the propoaganda from the PDC the SoWa budget is in total chaos.
The first phase, SoWa central district, has devoured All of the revenue for the entire 1999 20 year SoWa plan. The fist park was budgeted to cost $1.4 million and has risen to over $8 million.
The ped/bike I-5 bridge was budgeted to cost $1.6 million and is now $7 million.
The Streets, intersections, north and south portal, and I-5 ramp are at least $100 million over the 1999 SoWa budget.
SoWa has already diverted some $4 million form the city parks budget and $3.5 from PDOT as the gap backfilling ramps up.
On the revenue side UR TIF is far short of projections, insufficient and the 1999 SoWa plan is completely obsolete.
There's much more fiscal mess woven through SoWa and the PDC but this should be more than enough to ask, "where's an updated accounting"?
The answer should come in the form of the 1999 plan itself with line by line updates, for EVERY line item, along with a complete itemized list of ALL moneies spent and paid to OHSU. Various evolving deals have led to OHSU being paid many millions in borrowed TIF money. Money which was supposed to go to public improvements and now muct be paid back over decades with nothing to show for it but the remnants of deal making to fund the Tram.
ANY honest look at the deals made will reveal that the city's share of the Tram far exceedss the $8 million. Other millions simply found their way to OHSU by way of creative accounting whihc occured the same time the Tram costs soared.

Modern Maven

"Some want to see us as the Manhattan of the West Coast."

OMG, can't breathe. Laughing. so. hard.


The tram is cool, and it might be worth the cost, but it seems that the public always pays more than necessary to make urban renewal happen.

It's like a kid with a wad of cash buying a fancy toy - no tough negotiation on price - just gimme, gimme, gimme.


If it takes somebody with a masters in Public Administration with an emphasis in public finance to begin to figure this stuff out, you can see what regular working stiffs are up against. This is how we get hustled time and again.



wtf are you getting your numbers for?! Are you trying to tell us we're stupid enough to believe that SIDEWALKS cost over $100 billion (with a "B") per BLOCK?! C'mon, get real. SOWA - a highly polluted brownfield site - may be costly to redevelop into an environmentally friendly pedestrian environment, but not THAT expensive!


No trent was using a technique to muddy the waters and cast all critism as equal to his balderdash.


Funny this, I that I was at portlandarchiterture.com

Anyways, I say dump as much money as possible into the health care education and industry, it's the only thing keeping the US economy going and will continue to do so.


Funny this.
That the city is indeed dumping as much taxpayer money as possible. It just isn't into what you so naively think it is.
And the real costs, short term and long, are continually hidden.


whoops, yea i forgot that property taxes are not to calendar year, but to that odd tax year.

anyway, if anything, thats good news, as i guess they pulled some decent taxes out of that unoccupied and perhaps unfinished condo unit in 2006, and this summer quite a bit more money will come in.

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