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Justin Wells
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Yeah, that Oshatz tower would have made a statement, alright: http://www.oshatz.com/text/brighttower.htm
One - we don't actually need a new bridge. According to ODOT, Oregonians are driving less than ever - both per capita and gross miles. http://daily.sightline.org/daily_score/archive/2011/03/01/whered-the-traffic-go Two - ODOT is planning on spending between $100 - $340 million to add 1 more lane through the Rose Quarter interchange, a distance of maybe 4 blocks. http://bikeportland.org/2010/12/14/odot-eyes-major-changes-to-i-5-near-rose-quarter-44469
Mudd: well, don't forget that its "one city," and while I too agree that concentrating poor people in one district can be bad (see Chicago's housing projects, such as Cabrini Green, as an example), these organizations are already located here. On the other hand, the Central City IS the most easily accessible, particularly in regards to transit and walking, which, if you are poor, you will have to rely on. Chinatown's district also suffers from underinvestment, abandonment by the Chinese community over the past 20 years, and a definite drug dealing problem. I have been offered drugs many, many times in the neighborhood. However, the district HAS changed over the past 7-8 years, when I first moved to Portland in '03. The MAX Green/Yellow line additionally bring in thousands of normal people every day as they use it as their commuting path. *Hopefully,* we'll see the Uwajimayabe mixed use development be built in the next few years, which should definitely revitalize it that much more. Anyone remember what the old downtown Safeway was like?
Many of the buildings that these organizations are offering services from - especially on Burnside - are in pretty sad shape. Expanded square footage should allow them to better offer or even expand their services offered. Also, the quality of the built environment will only get better with projects like these, regardless of the function of the building - if they are maintained. Since they are brick, they should last a long time with minimal upkeep. Now, as far as the design changes, I see almost no difference beyond the addition of a new floor. Of course, these renderings are not enough to go by, either. One step closer to build-out of the district!
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Mar 9, 2011