Last week, WW wrote about a Portland-based real estate development company offering to build up to 500 affordable apartments with no public money. In return, it wants City Hall to grant the rights to build skyscrapers as tall as 40 stories along the downtown waterfront ("Aiming High," WW, Oct. 4, 2017). Here's what readers said about one of the city's most hotly debated issues:
Mayor Ted Wheeler, in an Oct. 6 press conference: "I support it, number one, because I believe that as our city continues to grow, as the population continue to grow, we are going to need increased density. And the best place in this city to create increased density is in the urban core."
Rebecca Ando, via Facebook: "Let's not become another cookie-cutter city with high-in-the-sky buildings, let's keep some character to this city. Unfortunately, many beautiful landmarks have already been demolished."
Dennis Verlo LaPrade, in response: "This would only replace a suburban-style apartment complex in downtown that is nowhere close to being considered historic."
Ken Killam, via Facebook: "As soon as the place gets built and sold (on paper), the affordable part goes right out the window."
Katie Mann, in response: "Or they consider $2,500 a month affordable."
Nathan Oleson, via Facebook: "Portland needs to figure out what it wants. No sprawl. No towers. No four-story apartment buildings. It's almost like it wants no change at all."
Laura Linda Gamari, in response: "Hasn't our own planet taught us that there's a limit to expansion? Let's stay in a happy zone where there's plenty of people and opportunities but not so much that we start treating each other like common rats."
Aaron Collins, via Facebook: "Unless humans suddenly become a subterranean species, only two choices exist: upward or outward. Weigh the pros and cons and make your choice."
Marie Lefleur, via Facebook: "As someone who has lived in NYC her whole life, I can tell you that it is wise to spread out new developments. Once you get too many people in an area of land everyone turns into an angry a-hole. I do think Portland can take some development as I've been there and it feels empty to me in most areas, but I'd caution on putting too many buildings in one place. People were not meant to live that close to each other."
Chelsea Bianchi, via Facebook: "This has happened before. In the South Waterfront. Except they made the 'affordable' units for families studios. Which, of course, weren't actually affordable at all."
Fitz71, via wweek.com: "What's considered affordable? Are those 300-square-foot bedsits, or real apartments? Are these owner-occupied or bought and rented for short-timers? We need to ask a lot more questions. I'm for density, but I'm not convinced we're doing it right."
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