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One Question: A Sustainability Center Or HQ Hotel—What Gets The Money?

Last month, the Portland Development Commission resumed negotiations on two long-debated projects requiring millions in public subsidies: an office tower in Southwest Portland without a carbon footprint, and a headquarters hotel at the Oregon Convention Center. Mayor Sam Adams wants both, but neither deal is likely to be finished before a new mayor takes office in January. We asked the candidates for mayor which project they'd back if they could pick just one. 

Charlie Hales:

A headquarters hotel. "A reasonable version of that project, with only a little bit of public funding in it, is going to make us a better destination city and support this huge public investment we have in the Convention Center. I think the goals of the Sustainability Center are better achieved by projects like the June Key Delta House (a North Portland community center), a very small investment of public funds that's already going to reach the living-building challenge."

Rep. Jefferson Smith (D-East Portland)

Sustainability Center. "I'm not sure that either rise to the level where we should be investing a bunch of public money. I'd probably go with a scaled-down Sustainability Center. If we invest in a Convention Center hotel, what we're trying to do is match what other cities are doing in the way they're doing it. A strength in clean tech, a strength in green energy, is part of our distinctive strength.”