Developers Beef Over Downtown Portland Services Site Near O’Bryant Square

Greg Goodman said the county move could hurt redevelopment of the area and the building's price was too high.

Parking garage underneath O'Bryant Square. (John Floyd / Flickr)

Property magnate Greg Goodman objects to Multnomah County's proposed $4.3 million purchase of a building at 333 SW Park Ave., near O'Bryant Square, for addiction and mental health services.

In a Feb. 7 letter to County Chairwoman Deborah Kafoury, Goodman said the county move could hurt redevelopment of the area and the building's price was too high.

Its proximity to “Needle Park,” one derogatory name for O’Bryant Square, has Goodman concerned over local businesses efforts to remake the area.

"It isn't worth anything close to what the county is paying," writes Goodman.

County officials acknowledge the purchase price is at the higher end of the value their real estate consultant, the firm CBRE, said the building is worth. But they say they'll only proceed if they determine the property will work for their needs.

The seller, developer Tom Cody, says he offered the building to Goodman before the county.

Cody bought the building for $2.95 million, significantly more than the current purchase price, in 2016 and allowed the Joint Office of Homeless Services to use the building as a winter shelter while he waited approvals from the city for his development plans. A delay over approval resulted in the investor deciding to sell, says Cody.

"We actually have $4,980,539 invested in the building," says Cody. "We are selling at a loss."

Cody says he did asbestos abatement, demolition of all the non-permitted offices, purchased a new elevator as well as new windows, which have yet to be installed but which are part of the purchase price. Cody also says he will sell the building regardless of whether the county agrees to buy it.

The county officials say they're currently extending the "due diligence" period for reviewing whether to move forward with the purchase.

"It's no secret people are experiencing homelessness and mental health challenges every day in downtown Portland, and we're going to address that head on," Kafoury said. "If it's not going to be this property, then it will have to be somewhere downtown."

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