July 17th, 2009 5:33 pm | by NIGEL JAQUISS News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, City Hall, Multnomah County

Headquarters Hotel Delayed Again

Sam Adams -Meet Your Mayor

In a shocking breach of diligence, we have neglected to report that the long-proposed (20 years and counting) "headquarters hotel" that Mayor Sam Adams and others want to build adjacent to the Oregon Convention Center has been delayed (PDF) yet again. Proponents have struggled to find financing for the project and to convince skeptics that it makes sense.

On June 30, Metro Chief Operating Officer Michael Jordan wrote to developers Garfield Traub and Ashforth Pacific telling them that pursuant to the development agreement—already on its "fourth extension"—Metro was pushing back the deadline to Sept. 28.

Earlier this summer, officials from the city-owned Portland Development Commission and Metro's Metropolitan Exposition Recreation Commission said they hoped that the three local jurisdictions involved in the hotel proposal would vote to move to the next step by July 1. Those three local jurisdictions are Metro, which owns the Convention Center; along with the City of Portland and Multnomah County, who are being asked to share in the $12 million cost of preparing more detailed design drawings and cost estimates.

But that deadline came amid the county's annual budget horrors; management upheaval at MERC and some distractions at City Hall.

One sticking point is that Multnomah County officials have expressed little enthusiasm for the project, particularly if it means tapping tourism tax revenues to get to the next stage.

In his letter, Jordan alludes to the county's reluctance, saying "we are hopeful that substantive negotiations with Multnomah County will take place in July."
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