March 24th, 2009 | by NIGEL JAQUISS News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, City Hall

Panel Gives Mayor Sam Adams Cautious OK for HQ Hotel

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At a time when the City of Portland is preparing to cut such basic services as street cleaning and pavement repair, prospects for a heavily-subsided 600-room "headquarters hotel" adjacent to the Oregon Convention Center are looking brighter.

Earlier this month, a task force that Mayor Sam Adams asked to review the long-planned project gave a cautious thumbs-up to moving forward. "The Task Force concurs with the project advocates and consultants, based on current market knowledge, that the decision to proceed with a 600-room hotel is reasonable," task force chairman Mark Edlen wrote (PDF) to Adams on March 9.

That's a more optimistic view than the city took in 2006, when a majority of the council rejected making an estimated $35 million investment to close a financing gap in the project. In December 2008, after months of study, Metro reached a similar conclusion about a similar number.

Adams then stepped in and asked Edlen along with others to take a fresh look.

The project faces an April 18 deadline with its development team to either move forward or stop. Edlen's team suggests the former: "If appropriate project approvals are ultimately provided by the affected government bodies (Metro, Multnomah County, City of Portland), Metro and PDC should proceed to invest up to $12M in the public resources in the next two design and engineering phases," Edlen wrote.

Adams responded (PDF) with a couple of questions and according to Portland Development Commission Shawn Uhlman is scheduled to hear from the task force by April 15.
 
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