The building, at NW 19th and Overton, was built in 1956 as a hospital clinic and served that purpose for decades. As recently as 1993, it was listed as the address of the law offices for the PPA's longtime (and since-retired) counsel, Will Aitchison. County records show the union purchased it in 1994 for $305,000. It's current real market value, according to the county, is more than $1 million.
Turner's statement to members, obtained by the Mercury, says the PPA wants to move somewhere large enough to accommodate meetings with all of its nearly 1,000 members. He wrote that he's also hoping the union will make some money from the sale, given the changes in what was once a remote corner of Portland—now home to streetcar tracks and just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Pearl District.
Because the PPA's mission is to always look for more ways to provide more services to its members, we have taken another step moving forward in that direction. After assessing several options the PPA has decided to put the property our office sits on up for sale. We have come to the realization that the office space that we now occupy no longer fits our needs. We have identified properties that have the potential to fit our needs for not only office space but with renovation will allow the PPA and its members to have our own meeting hall. We believe that the sale of our current property, which is in a high demand area, will allow us to purchase another property, make the needed changes, and yield a profit that is consistent with the fiscal path we have taken for the past four years. As we progress through this process we will keep you updated.
Turner has already raised dues (back in 2012) to help pay for his aggressive approach to defending the PPA's contract with the city—and that's continued in recent years. Beyond assiduously filing grievances, he's presided over some involved arbitration hearings (and put the union in front of the Employment Relations Board and appellate courts). He's also spent union money intervening in the US Department of Justice's case against the city over the police bureau's use of force over people with mental illness.
The Mercury on Friday was the first to report on Turner's sour reaction to an hours-long hearing on the city's deal with the feds. Turner bristled at the notion of civilian oversight, in comments sent to his members.
Turner did not respond to calls for comment, on the timing of the sale or on where the union might be moving.