Multnomah County Circuit Judge Eric Bloch on March 3 moved the proposed $200 million Hyatt Hotel adjacent to the Oregon Convention Center one large step closer to reality. Bloch blocked downtown hotelier Gordon Sondland and his allies, who object to the projectâs $80 million subsidy, from putting the project to a public vote. Metro, which operates the Convention Center, hopes to finish negotiating a final agreement with Mortenson Development and Hyatt this spring and break ground early next year. âWe are really excited to move forward,â says Andy Shaw, chief of staff to Metro Council President Tom Hughes
One potential big winner from Mayor Charlie Halesâ announcement that he wants to rejigger the cityâs urban renewal districts: Oregon Health & Science University and its drive to raise $500 million to match a Phil Knight challenge grant. Expanding the North Macadam district and using some of the $60 million in additional bonding capacity to benefit OHSUâs riverfront campus could help OHSU. âWeâre hoping to put a lot of money into infrastructure down there,â says Portland Development Commission executive director Patrick Quinton. âIf it works out that way, weâd love to have it count as a match for OHSU.â
Two Portland film-industry figures are battling in Multnomah County District Court. Stripper-zombie film producer Sean Skelding, owner of Portland-based Cheezy Flicks Entertainment, is being sued by one of his investors. Casey Nolan filed suit last week seeking money he says Skelding owes him for the production of I Am Virgin and Stripperland. Skelding undertook the projects without enough cash to pay contractors, Nolan claims. Stripperland, a 2011 zombie horror-comedy, featured actor Daniel Baldwin rapping a song called âClub Life.â Neither Skelding nor Nolan was available for comment.
Rick Gustafson is retiring as executive director and chief operating officer of Portland Streetcar Inc. Gustafson, 67, has overseen the nonprofit that runs the cityâs streetcar for all 12 years of its operation. âThe job is bigger,â he tells WW, âand Iâm slower.â