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  • edited June 2014
    The most hilarious graphic is the one showing "growth" in the median incomes of communities of color. This was supposed to be a major priority of the plan.

    Median incomes for African American residents have actually FALLEN since 2009, to $29,758. Yet the PDC projects a RISE in incomes to just over $31k by 2016.

    Fun math!
  • This is what the people you vote for implement, without asking you to vote on it:

    All the gentrification you've been seeing in Portland is literally funded by this initiative.

    Here's what they say about using debt-financing to make Portland more like Seattle:

    "Without adequate resources, this ambitious strategy will not be successful. This strategy requires funding for basic economic cluster and industry support strategies, as well as the investment capital critical to cultivate business innovation and human capital necessary to compete in a 21st century economy... An examination of development resources in Portland relative to peer cities indicates that Portland's peer cities have more generous, long-haul revenue streams and more flexible tools to support economic development. According to this study of economic development funding [.pdf] in other cities similar in size and objectives, including Boston, Denver, Austin, Minneapolis and Seattle, Portland's peer cities employ a variety of available financing tools and strategies to develop and support the entrepreneurial culture and industry innovation that encourages business attraction, development, and retention."
  • And here's the above-cited report, outlining all the "new tools" cities are using to fund gentrification:
  • Boy, N/NE Portland has really changed.

    Oh, and exactly within the (amended) boundaries of the Interstate Corridor Urban Renewal Area set by the PDC:
  • Studies show that goobers moving out of their houses and to the East Coast are creating space for dummies to move in.
  • The person moving into our house is even poorer/gooberier than we are!
    Doing our part
  • Doing my part to gentrify N Portland! #homeownership #techdude
  • Same!
  • Guys, you're not the gentrifiers. That is my point. You are a drop in the bucket.

    What's transforming these neighborhoods is a deliberate policy aimed at accumulating capital for commercial real estate developers, a.k.a. those people who build the condos you would never live in
  • once a city gets condo developer AIDS, it never gets rid of it
  • edited June 2014
    im so excited AVA is almost finished and they are starting leasing!

  • oh i almost forgot my favorite! One Santa Fe! One continuous condo that spans 4 city blocks!!
  • nothing makes me happier!!!
  • edited June 2014
    The point Andrew is trying to get everyone to accept is really important, I think.
    We all say we're "part of the problem," because the conventional wisdom about gentrification is that people like us--middle class privileged white people--move into a cheap black neighborhood, and then Trader Joe's and condo developers see that migration and think "oh look, our target demographic is starting to move into this neighborhood, better build a Trader Joe's there!"

    When really what happens is that THE CITY declares a black neighborhood "blighted," which then allows major incentives (tax breaks, city money) to corporations and developers who build in an area designated "blighted."

    And yes, once there's a New Seasons and a Trader Joe's in a neighborhood, sure, it does attract a different kind of demographic, and maybe THAT'S where we become individually complicit, to a certain degree. But the major damage to neighborhoods is done fully at the corporate/government level, not at the individual hipster level.

    Dirty white hipsters and poor black people have often lived together in the same neighborhoods for DECADES without gentrification happening (New York in the 40s-60s e.g.). It's when the city designates one of these neighborhoods as "blighted" thus paving the way for corporate takeover that the shit goes down.

    So I think the point is for us to stop shrugging and sheepishly saying "I know I'm part of the problem" when we move to Mississippi or Alberta or whatever, and to actually engage in class warfare at the city level and at the level of corporate tax breaks etc. etc. The hipster is the straw man in this whole gentrification discussion. Which is actually proved by the fact that none of us would live in these shitty condos. The actual traditional hipster wants to live in a cool vintage home and have chill/authentic neighbors and live in a non-corporate, non-bullshit environment. The shitty condos attract investment bankers and people who work for Nike or whatever, NOT your Jack Kerouacs or your Alan Forkners. Thus these condos actually AREN'T marketed toward the white hipsters who supposedly are the drivers of gentrification, AND, those white hipsters couldn't even afford those condos if they wanted them, which they don't.

    It's all a corporate/city government scheme

    everything is dumb
  • State tax law funds gentrification in Oregon. Oregon passed a property tax reform initiative in the 90's? at the bottom of property values in N/NE and some other neighborhoods. The assessment can only rise 3%/year from the value in those years. So homeowners in the depressed neighborhoods are paying seriously less tax today, on a fraction of the actual value of their home. The better way to do it would have taxes step up to market value whenever the home is sold, or maybe step up to that over 3 years.

    Historic residents are the reservoir of slow culture. I think that has value. Change is continuous, but the rate of change is something to discuss, along with who pays and who benefits.
  • Damn, I think if taxes "stepped up" on my house, I wouldn't have been able to live here.
  • yeh they been foot-printing neighborhoods and giving all sorts of PDC discounts and all sorts of she for long time.
    fuck - i remember what downtown was like before the Pearl District....

    now, if cheesy baby boomer capitalists are gonna get their way (and they know how to do that pretty good) all of Portland will become the Pearl

    hold on lemme go thru menopause and buy a flow-y scarf and a pants suit and an audi, i'll be right there, we'll go shopping!

  • nah but seriously, if we cared about portland - and believe me i'm so heartbroken about what happened to what i consider the essential shift in cultural soul of that city -, we should be lobbying and running for office and making our collective voices heard at the legislative level.
    there are some good local high-density developers and there are some nasty money grubbing pieces of shit and there are developers that will only pander to the locals enough to appease their un-ease while maintaining their hyper-capitalism

    its telling that the first socialist political representative in seattle emerged after the city went thru what Portland is going thru now

    seattle's fate at the hands of shitty (paul allen) development schemes is sealed, but that lady is awesome for trying to swing the pendulum back now,

    post-occupy there is more of a collective sene of wtf, which can be harnessed

    she had the $15/hr minimum wage thang

    Portland needs a socialist/ anti-capitalist up in that, keeping the balance good, or it is another city center lost to 21st century real estate development capitalism

    the fact that the government is implicit in these sanctioned developer take-overs is no surprise

    the other side (my dad, or whoever armchair) will say - yeh but a city's goal is to become nice and clean and safe and rich and get rid of bad hoods and crime and create good systems of transit and curb sprawl

    Portland government has been amazing in its sprawl control, but their focus on high-density re-development of the east side shows a deep lack of concern for the so-called "cultural economy" which creates the character of portland's new "brand" as a roots-y DIY haven.

    just like we have seen in seattle, san francisco and oakland, without being checked, politically, the forces of capital will win over any cultural concern or concern with completely erasing the character of a city in order to plop in prefab condos with auto-pilot CAD designs, the cheapest materials, the worst generic looking storefronts which cater to national chains more than mom & pop shops (although granted, PDC money in portland is making that less true for now - think that synth shop on mississippi in the belly of that nasty luxury condo building)

    these people have no taste

    its a bad time for architecture and city planning in america

    these disgusting luxury apartment loft condo things that are bubbling up on every single vacant lot in every city from san diego to seattle are embarrassing back-tats that will stay forever, forever staining our skyscape, our environment, our city identities

    just think how embarrassed we will all be in 30 years when these dumps start to come apart at the seams

    the capitalists who built them will have probably died and their money will have gone to their children and back to the government and i've been reading too much Capital in the 21st century

    thank god i moved to LA, a city so fucked that no one gives one shit about fucking it up
    some more, perpetually, forever until the world melts

  • I could tell you were reading your Piketty through this whole excellent rant!! Nailed it, dude
  • seriously
    classic Frogtor nail
  • edited June 2014
    Most of these new superblocks aren't condos, by the way - condominiums are for purchase and are run by HOAs. These are apartment buildings containing apartments for rent, at rates way higher than most people can afford.

    South Waterfront and most of the Pearl are condos. All these superblocks on Division/Burnside/Hawthorne/NoPo are apartments.

    There's a distinction there, although I'm not sure how important. Either way, it's certainly not affordable housing.

    I guarantee that investment bankers aren't moving into these kinds of crappy new rental apartments. These apartments are inhabited by people like my colleagues and I, who probably make in the range of $45-80k a year doing design, project management, branding, communications, admin work, coding, programming, etc. Or people that work at health care companies, or media companies. Or yes, Nike employees. This isn't housing for the super-rich. It's housing for youngish middle-class creative types. The bourgeois.
  • I wouldn't mind the new construction so much if it contained like 30-50% affordable housing. Problem is, inclusionary zoning is LITERALLY ILLEGAL in Oregon:

    It's probably one of the most fucked-up laws on Oregon's books. FUCK this lobbyist.

    A good starting place would be to repeal this law. I'm gonna contact my state rep soon about this.
  • edited June 2014
    What does well-built, well-designed, mixed-income, diverse, high density housing even LOOK like? Who pays for it? I'm really interested in the answer.

    It exists in NYC to some extent in rent-controlled apartment buildings, and I bet it exists in Scandinavia/Northern Europe, but those are wealthy, small, democratic socialist and relatively homogenous countries.

    And I bet half of the people on this board wouldn't want to live there, even if it did exist. A ton of people want to live in fully detached houses with yards, and need to because of dogs and kids and stuff. But not everybody can live in chill vintage zones with large, private outdoor spaces.
  • apartments vs condos is a VERY important distinction in that one is income property in perpetuity (rent) and one is an easy one-time investment flip (developer and investors make percentage on one-time sale).

    these new hyper inflated profit-only driven "luxury" or "loft style" apartments which are really made of cheap ass thin as fuck drywall with terrible insulation, fake-fancy kitchen stuff, and have a ping pong table in the "lounge" and cost-plus level wicker pool furniture are truly just a re-fresh on the slum-lord scheme. its like 'why own 10 shitty tenements when u can make the same capital on one place within the "urban core" that is marketed towards college dorm replacements for kids w their parents money and/or the new corporate "kinda creative" class who will pay the inflated price because they can?' this is that new shit. city government encouraged homogenization.

    the profit stemming from rent is perpetual and one of the most stable and lucrative investments a capitalist can make. that's why they don't give a shit about your stupid fucking dirty hipster neighborhood and its free-pile, leftist zine lending library or even its cool record store or hippy co-op grocery store. they give a shit about making a return on investment as quickly as possible and to have the money flow forever.

    of course, the fact that the "market bears" these inflated rents disregards all other factors. it is a vision lacking in any true understanding of actual cultural vitality. obviously, cultural concerns have never been the concerns of capitalism. they always stand at the opposite sides of the dance floor. only if cultural concern shows him her money making abilities does capitalism ever ask her to dance or whatever.

  • @alex and yeah the inhabitants they are targeting (middle class "mildly creative" corporates) have different tastes than you or me. and so the city around them changes to fit their needs. the market changes. kookie churches of elvis and all ages punk venues and leftist/feminist/smut/zine bookstores don't appeal to the sorts of people flooding the urban cores now.

    $8 lavender ice cream and boutique hamburgers DO
  • i wonder if $15/hr minimum wages were in place, if you could create affordable well-built high density housing that would be actual nice, like we might fantasize fancy european countries having.
    the american dream of a house on its own is still deeply imprinted, especially out west, especially in the north west.
  • New construction in Portland is about $200/square foot, usually a little higher. Land is $5-200/square foot, where apartments are being built is toward the higher end. New construction land costs are divided over living space minus green space and parking divided by stories. Add permit fees and bank costs. Monthly rent is about 1% of the value.

    So a new 700sf apartment is going to cost $140,000 to build plus land and other costs. That apartment has to rent for $1400+/per month. It is not affordable housing. There are more detailed calculations possible including tax and gains when the apartments are condoized. Or you can subsidize the apartments renting at $2/square foot per month with ground floor ice cream stores renting at $3-4/square foot.

    The most affordable rentals are in old buildings ideally shared and always will be. Portland policy subsidizes new construction dense moderate++ income apartments to transfer a percent of that cash flow to subsidize low income apartments, but not lowest (normal) income apartments. There are also deals to let low income apartments magically become high income apartments after a certain number of years. Were we talking about gentrification?

    @AF $15 minimum wage x 40 hours/week equates to a suggested $700/month housing cost, but I think that is low in relation to realistic energy and health care costs and subsidizes landlords.
  • Portland's ugly condos are maybe even uglier than DC's, which is SAYING SOMETHING!
  • edited June 2014
    are u using a 1/3 of income for the $700 a month or a 1/2 of income? because i think the 1/2 of income is becoming the new evil capitalist standard
    (at least thats what my dad ((the evil capitalist rich landlord)) told me)
  • also omg u guys would fucking LOVE the re-development of downtown los angeles
  • i deal with these guys where i work
    good lord
  • Alan for Housing Czar!
  • @alex u should click thru that page. its so shitty and there's this point where it says "it takes a coffee shop to build a village" and its the most blatantly nasty thing ever to a point where im like "actually, u guys are so evil and upfront about it that i kind of find it refreshing"
    and then u should meet the guys who run it, they are our age, smell richer than us and roll around empty warehouses with clients selling the dream of redeveloped posh post industrial downtown prosperity like u wouldn't believe.
    fucking car salesmen of gentrification
    u should see the ridiculous line of electric car charging spots in the parking lot of the over-priced rich people grocery store in the warehouse arts district

    larry david would have to tone it down if he wrote it into a script, just so people would believe it

  • anyway fuck it lets go get some gelato
  • Cool, we can go to the gelato place that literally just opened up down the street from me.
  • is much more reputable, friends live in their spaces. Artists are the shock troops of gentrification, in studios and legal/not live-work. How about they receive a percentage of the gains when the neighborhood gentrifies? How about the same for residents, not the property owners, in NOPO? A droit de suite for property?

    Another model was in Toronto in the Queen West area. Condos displaced artists, but condo developers bought art at market price from the displaced artists and condo buyers selected from that collection art included in their condo purchase price. Not saying that the Queen Street West gentrification is good in any way.
  • On gentrification in Williams x Skidmore

    "Other landlords developers said they didn't want the smell of Ethiopian simmering in their new spot."
    "We'd love to have them, but new construction is expensive, and they may not be able to afford the rent."
  • I liked that one thing the inclusionary zoning dude said about how incentives would work better than mandates. Like, why would a capitalist allow someone to pay less rent just because they make Ethiopian food?
  • edited June 2014
  • edited June 2014
    I like this thread, but the topic is so huge. It was interesting working for the Socialists. I was pretty sure that lady was going to win even though her team, Socialist Alternative, was pretty clueless about a lot of stuff in our city. People are really hungry for different, especially about money. The best thing was that she refused money from Corporations and PACs. That is something that Democrats don't do and for that reason they have no philosophical foundation to their engagement of "issues". Many people who go along with Democrats would rather take a strong philosophical position toward economic democracy but that means building institutions that walk the talk.

    I liked the fact that she was just somebody who represented a set of ideas, and people either supported or rejected her candidacy on the basis of the ideas she articulated, rather than her personal characteristics like her 'likability' or 'leadership'. It was confusing to a lot of people, especially media professionals.

    By the way, did you see the stuff that this guy was talking about?

    Dickish but right about stuff, I think.

    There have been some Socialist Alternative candidates in Portland recently. Are they getting anywhere?
  • Mandates and laws requiring equality and inclusion are more important than incentives because they FORCE otherwise reluctant capitalists/landowners to abide by the law regardless of economic incentive.

    See slavery, Civil Rights Act, suffrage, marriage equality, etc.
  • Hm, I don't know about that track you're taking. Obviously people should be forced to allow every type of person in their restaurant, but should they be forced to charge people less or more depending on their income? So my meal costs $10, someone below the poverty line pays $2, a millionaire pays $100 for the same meal?

    Panera Bread adopts that model somewhat, but not because the government is making them do it.
  • Well yeah, that's the idea behind food stamps. The government helps people living in poverty to eat food. And they keep cutting them, which sucks.
  • Sure, but the business owner isn't absorbing the cost (directly).
  • @DrJ, no, no socialist alternative candidates have gotten anywhere in Portland. All city council elections are citywide, which makes it harder. But none have made notable runs for the legislature, either.
  • put a panera bread in the first floor of the apartment buildings!
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