Another Redevelopment “Triumph”

“Portland has invested $93 million and 10 years in developing the South Waterfront urban renewal area. The result is five shimmering towers that rise between the freeway and the river south of downtown. The John Ross. Atwater Place. The Meriwether. The Ardea. Riva on the Park.”[A]s dusk falls, I wander the streets of South Waterfront. All is quiet. In 1999, Portland Development Commission (PDC), city hall, and Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) laid plans for South Waterfront, imagining it as a jobs district. Establishment of an urban renewal area, coupling public investment with tax breaks for developers, would create up to 10,000 jobs in Portland’s newest, greenest neighborhood—or so promised the plan.”But 10 years in, it has created only 2,300 jobs and South Waterfront’s dense condo buildings are ringed with retail space for lease. Empty storefronts are gaping abscesses at the feet of the glass and steel towers.”

From Sarah Mirk, We Built This City: Portland’s New $93 Million South Waterfront Neighborhood Has Transit, Tram, Towers — Everything But People, Portlad Mercury, April 29, 2010. For the entire article, go to

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