Money Phrase:

"The economic impact of a reduction in private spending of $47 million by
households and businesses yields 357 job-years (present value) of employment
losses to residents living in Portland. Thus, the Lent’s project would have a net
impact of a 182 job-year loss on the City’s economy (a gain of 175 from the
construction less a loss of 357 due to reduced spending by households and
businesses because of higher taxes"


This entire study is bunk because of that one phrase. They are assuming tax increases to pay the $42 million when in fact it is URD financing which has no impact on the day to day taxation of an individual or business in the URD.

Go get a real economic impact analysis. One day? Why even bother.
If the study is indeed bunk, why didn't the mayor's office say so when releasing the numbers to the community two weeks ago? Instead of withholding the study for two weeks while Lents neighbors ask repeatedly for economic impact analysis around the stadium...
This does seem to be a perfect example of "no study at all is better than a bad study". The main conclusion - net job loss - may or may not be true, there's absolutely no way to decide based on this bad a study. Why did they even bother asking for a one-day study??

Of course, based on the timelines here, they could have been two weeks into the up-to-a-month study by now if they'd ordered a half decent one from the start...

(I'm still firmly in the "renovate PGE and screw the Beavers" camp... And disappointed that that option hasn't had a wider airing yet...)
You'd think that maybe the city would put more than a one-day rush job into answering some of these $42 million questions, but you'd be wrong.
Let me walk you through the logic, Finnegan.

The City decides to spend $42 M in urban renewal dollars on this ballpark. That means that a laundry list of other projects in the Lents URA need to be delayed until funding becomes available.

To pay for these projects, the life span of the URA would need to be extended. Extending the life of the URA means that for additional years, the City, County, and School District general funds would lose tax revenue to the URA. This would have a negative impact on those agencies' budgets. To compensate, they would need to raise an additional $42 M from the taxpayers through other fees and taxes.

Hence, the stadium would lead to a net job loss due to "reduced spending by households and businesses because of higher taxes."

In other words, if the stadium is built, taxpayers wind up footing the bill, leading to a negative economic impact.
Anon 503 - Let me tell you why you are wrong. Its simple. There hasn't been a single conversation about extending the URD by two years AND you are bringing up the tired Ted Wheeler straw man argument about URD's taking away from County budget while refusing to look at the other side of the equation that the economic development spurred by URD's thus increasing business taxes, property taxes etc revenue to the County more than compensates for the "loss" of property tax revenue.

Matt - I have no idea why they sat on it but I do know that in your own piece there you confirm why this study is nonsense. They are assuming that if you don’t build the stadium they wouldn’t collect the URD taxes when the truth is that they have been and will continue to collect those funds. So it’s a ridiculous straw man argument that sets up a comparison that doesn’t exist.

AND in their own study the acknowledge that they fail to look at the long term positive economic impact of the stadium.

Really, whats the point of a study like this?

That's weird that the mayor's office would rush through something important without paying sufficient attention to detail.

I also like that they can't wait ONE month to complete a real economic feasibility study because MLS might rescind that golden ticket to economic prosperity, a soccer franchise in a US city.

A basic part of Sales 101 is to create false urgency in the buyer's mind. This is basically the equivalent of a car dealer telling you not to go home and check Consumer Reports, because another person may be on the way over to buy the same car you're looking at now. "You snooze, you lose" might be true in some cases, but when it comes to dropping $40+ million in city money, I think we can afford a more measured approach.
I'm more concerned about the study and the fact that they gave the contractor 1 day (okay, 4, but they didn't answer questions from the contractor until the last day,) to do it, but couldn't be bothered to inspect the results for 2 weeks. If you are going to pay for a rush job like this, it should be because you want the result back soon, and if you don't like the results, (if the study was done wrong, which it may or may not be, I don't know) then ship it back and tell them to fix it. But don't just sit on it for 2 weeks, do SOMETHING with it.

Three points.

(1) You state that building this stadium would have a positive impact on property taxes in the Lents URA that would more than compensate for the initial public expenditure. There is no evidence to suggest this, and it sounds completely unbelievable. Why would a minor league baseball stadium improve property values? Is it more desirable to live next door to a minor-league stadium than a public park? No.

Is the stadium likely to spur new retail and commercial development in the area? As far as I can tell, minor league parks in Eugene, Keizer, and the existing PGE park haven't spurred any appreciable private development. Why should we expect a different story in Lents?

(2) You say the study fails to look at the long-term positive economic impact of the stadium. What impact? The stadium doesn't create new jobs, it just shifts them from one location to another. If people buy more beer and peanuts in Lents, then they're buying less beer and peanuts in other parts of the City.

(3) You imply that the $42 M of urban renewal money is free money that can be spent with no impact to the tax payers. If the City spends $42 M on this stadium, then there can be only two consequences: either the City cuts $42 M in other projects that would have been funded, or the City raises an additional $42 M through other taxes and fees.

The City maintains that no projects will lose funding due to construction of the stadium. So it is logical to assume that additional taxes will be levied to make up the difference.


The quote you attribute to me has an ellipsis covering the part of my statement that conflicts with the thesis of your article.

The report compares the economic impact of the stadium in Lents against the theorized impact of not assessing taxes in the first place. Under any circumstance, stadium or not, the taxes will be assessed, so the report suggests a false choice.

A more useful assessment would compare other project choices against one another.

And since assessing taxes represents the status quo, the report says that there is a gross positive impact of 453 job-years versus not building the stadium.

then why the hell did Adams' office ask for this report in the first place, Ty??? WTF are you doing at city hall? solitaire?

based on your post, does it not seem obvious that "A more useful assessment would compare other project choices against one another", to use your words.
Yes it is exactly as I have been saying all along. My sister Marge is so feed up with the lies steming from Adams, Leonard and Paulson. The Lents neighborhood has said NO from the very beginning.

If the one-day study had supported their position, they would have released it the day they got it.
I think the Lents plan is stupid, but this study is even stupider. One day?

>“If those individuals who put their money into baseball via taxes are allowed to put that money into the private market, that same amount of money would actually yield more jobs,”

If that's the thesis of the study, it was money wasted. That analysis is so speculative as to be worthless -- if people didn't go to baseball games, they would spend their money on other things, creating other jobs? We already have baseball - so how could you even begin to measure that effect, even assuming it exists?

I've worked with EcoNW -- and, based on the results and price tag, never will again. We ought to be outraged that city money is being spent on this garbage. 330+ city employees who make six figures, and no one is capable of doing this kind of analysis? WTF? Damn, this city is hosed.
So lets repeat that again. The study actually shows a new job GAIN. 453 to be exact.

"And since assessing taxes represents the status quo, the report says that there is a gross positive impact of 453 job-years versus not building the stadium."

When you use my words, they don't make as much sense as what I meant when I said them.

I meant to say they should compare the stadium against other project choices.

I wasn't privy to the request from the Mayor's office, but I am certain they didn't request an economic comparison of building a stadium in Lents versus implementing Lars Larson's Tax Utopia.
Ty - you're fucking kidding me, right? you're Leonard's chief of staff??? jesus, you probably get paid well to do this, too...

well, who's words would you like me to use? yours were so conveniently laid out for me. try this: why doesn't your boss or yourself commission a study to compare the stadium against other project choices. that seems extremely logical given the amount of contention this issue is generating. make me believe in your vision, please.

read through the comments i've made on this website today relating to this issue. i'm not against having the city back a stadium deal. i just want to make sure my tax dollars aren't thrown away without real due diligence. personally, i don't believe that this deal is in any way good for lents, or the city. prove me wrong. i'm always willing to listen. you, your boss, or anyone else associated with this deal has not come to the table with anything approaching real information. your boss, in particular, has been downright rude and arrogant. that's not going to help convince anyone.

finally, bringing up Lars is a stupid fucking thing to do for someone in your position. he's an idiot. i'm waiting to find out what you are...
Well first off Eric lets start with the fact that there is this:

"And since assessing taxes represents the status quo, the report says that there is a gross positive impact of 453 job-years versus not building the stadium."

I think that is pretty good for the city.

Secondly, comparing this to other project choices is comparing reality to fantasy. Can you name another person wandering around PDX looking to spend $60 million? There hasn't been investment potential of this scale in Lents since the URD was created. Nothing even close.

You can have all the re-development projects you want on paper. Without private capitol they are bird cage lining. Thats what is so insane about this debate. It's not a Beavers baseball park versus X project. The question before us is a Beavers baseball park versus nothing. The status quo.

Yes, I actually was kidding there at the beginning. I was making fun of myself with the line about my words not making sense...

And I don't think it's inaccurate to suggest that Lars would support the kind of tax world that the stadium is compared against in this report.

If you read this report, you can see that it does suggest a gain in jobs relative to the status quo if you back out the part where the project competes against a tax free world. The question then becomes, "Is that good enough?" and "Are there ways for the stadium and associated development to have a better impact?"

Beyond that, the analysis considers Lents without the fact that PGE Park is going to become an MLS venue. Consequently, the report assumes that the Lents stadium-related jobs would just be transferred, rather than part of an overall gain that would result from the overall MLS/AAA package. So if you add that to my point above that the report shows a gain in jobs compared to the status quo, you can take this report and draw the conclusion that there would be a significant positive job impact in Lents.

well then you're possibly in the perfect position to answer a question i've been asking here, and on other blogs, about URA projects:

is the deal that is being offered Paulson the same that a developer or business owner would get within the lents URA? Randy has said that nothing has happened here for 11 years, so this is a good deal. i want to be convinced that we're talking apple to apples when throwing around dollar figures. has someone like Ed McNamara been offered the same carrot as Paulson to develop low-income housing? if the owner of XYZ widget corporation was offered the same terms as Paulson would that change the equation?

answer that, then we can start in on affordable housing goals.
For clarification, Kovatch's salary was listed in January by the Oregonian:

"Commissioner Randy Leonard's chief of staff, Ty Kovatch, at $97,196, earned $960 more than his boss."…
my apologies to both Ty and Finnegan. my last comment was addressing Finnegan's previous comment while assuming it was Ty's. my bad.

anyway, i hear what you're saying Ty, but read my last post and let me know if you have answers for the question, as i think it's still very relevant.

i have no doubt that a stadium in lents will bring jobs, but what are the other possible outcomes using URA funding in ways that i have described. and are they the kind of jobs that will actual benefit the area in the long term?

i'm going to bed now. catch up with you jokers on the morrow.

The short answer is yes. When the specifics of the deal are released, I think you will agree that Merritt Paulson's contribution to the overall MLS/AAA package deal is very significant, both in the level of resources he will bring to the table as well as the guarantees he is willing to provide to shelter the City's basic services from any dowside risk. Much of the City's non-urban renewal contribution will come from resources generated by the two facilities.

To your question, I think the City would vigorously pursue a good employer willing to bring the same kind of resources and conditions to the table.

To your affordable housing question, I think the answer is also yes.
What the hell does Ty Kovatches salary have to do with anything Matt?

Since we are getting personal. You still haven't explained why your wife shilling for Phil Knight and getting 200 million in taxpayer backed bonds from the state (how many affordable houses will that buy?) for his new basketball arena is okay but this project is somehow the devil.

So in one blog post you completly misquote him and leave out a very pertinant part of his statement and randomly attack his salary for no reason. Wow you are an ass.

I signed up for the abuse, and so did Matt. But nobody's family signed up for it. Please try to keep yourself in bounds, or at least have the courage to put your name on the post. Its just a stadium...

Simple question: does the Parks Bureau, the owner of the proposed facility, pay property taxes? As Randy's chief of staff, you surely know the answer to that question. If the answer is no, then how will this project, in PDC parlance, "generate increment?"

If the answer is "it won't," then the obvious follow-up question is, how does this project represent anything other than a waste of UR dollars, that, if applied to private property owners, would increase the value of their properties, thus "generating increment?" Surely, as Randy's chief of staff, you know that non-increment generating projects are not desirable ways to earmark such significant chunks of a URA's maximum indebtedness. You certainly know that very issue is the crux of the Friends of Urban Renewal lawsuit challenging the River District satellite URA, and why such luminaries as Vera Katz have publicly stated their opposition to things like the Resource Access Center, which will pay nothing in property tax.

I ask again, simply, how does this project "generate increment," Ty? Please know that it's ok to say "it doesn't, and we'll have to increase the bonding capacity and extend the life of the URA in order to pay off the debt. But that will be years from now when no one will remember this." In fact, I would really appreciate an honest answer.

Finnegan, I asked Ty because I assume he knows how urban renewal law actually works in Oregon, and didn't just read about it in the Tribune.
Ty and Finnegan keep regurgitating the same lies about funding for this project. The baseball stadium in Lents is supposed to cost approximately $50 M. $42 M from urban renewal, maybe $2 - $4 M from Paulson, and the rest from other public funding sources.

The $42 M in urban renewal money is not free money. It doesn't grow on trees. As I said earlier, if the City spends $42 M on this project then only two things can happen: (1) they increase taxes by $42 M, or (2) they cut $42 M of other public projects.

The City hasn't identified any other projects that would be cut to fund the stadium. All other Lents URA projects are supposedly delayed, not canceled.

So, if no other projects are canceled, then the residents and businesses of Portland will see a $42 M increase in their tax burdens. Which means the premise of this Eco Northwest study is sound.

On the other hand, if Ty (or Sam and Randy for that matter) showed us a $42 M list of other projects that are being canceled to make way for this project, then maybe someone could measure the comparative economic impacts of those two options.

The stadium itself would be publicly owned and therefore not on the tax rolls, and as such, the stadium itself will not generate increment. Under the proposed level of funding in this case, the URA life will not need to be extended, nor will the maximum indebtedness for Lents Town Center need to be increased.

As to your more general statement regarding the rationale that a project must itself create increment on its own tax lot or it is not worthy of urban renewal, neither Randy nor I agree with that premise. Randy has been a continual supporter of the Resource Access Center, and spearheaded the proposal to fund a school in the David Douglas School district with urban renewal dollars. He firmly believes that adequate housing and services, along with good schools are invaluable contributors to urban renewal and more generally, a strong economy. The position taken by some in opposition to that point of view is myopic, in my opinion.
I would like to thank everyone for keeping it classy. Compared to the average message board, everyone has been very respectful. Ty and Finnegan, although I disagree with your position, I appreciate how you make your arguments.

And Ty, please explain to me how we can spend $42 M on a baseball stadium without increasing the burden on taxpayers, and without cutting other projects?

If the Lents URA has an extra $42 M in capacity that can be used without increasing the maximum indebtedness, then isn't it safe to assume that if the stadium wasn't built, the URA could end early, and not use every last penny of its maximum indebtedness?

The resources in the Lents Town Center are created based on the rate of increase in assessed value in the district, marked from the point of the district's creation in 1998. The assessed values of properties in Lents increase at the same relative rate as the rest of the City, the only difference is that rather than being paid to the various taxing jurisdictions, the money is reserved for the district to invest in "brick and mortar" urban renewal projects. The growth in taxes is at the same rate as it would be in a non-urban renewal district, only the addition of new development increases the revenues because the buildings are worth more.

The bottom line is, relatively speaking, the taxpayers in Lents will pay the same amount whether the stadium or any other project in Lents moves forward. There is no increase in the rate of tax growth associated with any project, including the stadium. The resources available to any urban renewal area are a function of the value growth of the property in the district and nothing more.

In the case of Lents, based on the projected growth in assessed value, there is a projected maximum amount of resource that can be realized from property tax revenues in the district. The stadium proposal combined with the existing proposed projects does not exceed the projected maximum amount or resources available, so none of the projects have to be eliminated.

However, some will need to be delayed to make sure that the growth in resources is in line with the expenditures.
Is there a "URA for dummies"? All these increments are eating little holes in my head.

To your second question...the answer is yes, the City Council, the PDC, and the Lents Urban Renewal Advisory Committee could choose not to utilize the maximum indebtedness that was established for the district, and if they did, the debt could be paid off sooner. At that point the taxes would be returned to the various taxing jurisdictions and they would continue to grow at their usual steady rate.

So under that scenario, the taxing jurisdictions would be the beneficiaries of the approach you discuss, rather that resulting in any decrease in taxes. It is a choice that is usually weighed at the front end of the URA creation.

If Randy believes so firmly in adequate housing, why is he willing to dip into the TIF 30% set-aside for affordable housing? If the stadium does increase property values (as you so hope), how will the low-income families who rent their homes around the stadium be able to keep up with rising costs of living there, without having public (not privately-backed) affordable housing? Likewise, where will their children play when you take away their only park?

Also, please answer what projects will be getting delayed (or eventually canceled) due to the stadium.

Lastly, how good is this investment when the Beavers only have about 40 home games a year and already have trouble filling the stands? What is going to be done with the stadium/how is it going to bring revenue in the other 325 days a year? And how financially stable is MLS in this economy?

Randy and Mayor Adams have proposed that any impacts on the set-aside in Lents be replaced with a commensurate increase in other URA's. Also, Lents will return to meeting the 30% setaside requirements in about 5 years, which should be right on time to help address the affordability impacts that may result. Also, within the proposed projects that would remain in Lents, the Home Ownership Program and Home Improvement Loans would remain as originally proposed. These have been very successful in Lents.

Your statement about the stadium "taking away their only park" is not accurate. The proposed stadium would fit on the footprint of the existing Charles Walker Stadium that sits in Lents Park today. The negotiations between the City and the Paulson group have reduced the parking in the park to a level that will only displace the one small soccer field on the North side of the park. ALL other fields will remain intact and available for the continual enjoyment of the public.

To your question about projects that would be delayed by the stadium, I don't have the project list with me since I am at home, but we will make that available on Randy's City website/blog in the next couple of days.

To your question about the Beavers attendance, the Beavers will play 72 games a year at home, and their attendance has been competitive among Pacific Coast League teams around the country. Portland is the largest market in the Pacific Coast League, yet does not have the highest attendance. PGE Park is not a very intimate venue for baseball, and with such a large capacity, even when there are 5000 people at a game, it does not have the feel of a well attended game. The new stadium will be constructed to be smaller and more fan and family friendly, and is expected to improve attendance measurably.

Regarding MLS--Major League Soccer has learned from the mistakes of other leagues, and their franchises are owned by well funded operators who are well positioned to weather the economic challenges of the growing league. However, the City has negotiated an agreement with Merritt Paulson that shields the City from any risk related to the failure of the league. Since all the elements have not been agreed to, I'm not able to share the details, but when the negotiations are complete, you will see that the City is well shielded from any downside with MLS.

Finally, as to revenue the other 325 days a year, the Beavers will negotiate a Good Neighbor Agreement with the Lents neighborhood which will allow for a certain number of concerts which will help drive revenue. The stadium will also be used by high schools, little leagues, and other events just like PGE Park currently is.

Thanks for your questions.
Ty, thank you for fielding questions.

I am concerned that the price tag and associated costs for this project are too high for the assumed benefits. As it stands, the only indicated benefit is the creation of 453 jobs. But even this study appears to be based on shaky data and was rushed.

The costs are:

1) $42 million from the Lents URA

2) reducing the Lents affordable housing budget to $0, thus removing home improvement opportunities for Lents residents

3) reducing the Lents business development budget to $0, thus removing the ability to subsidize local small businesses who would otherwise employ local residents (how many sustainable jobs would that create?)

4) $13-$29 million from the city's general fund to pay for replacement park land

5) the removal of a public stadium available to the public 365 a year, and replaced with a boutique stadium orders of magnitude larger that will not be available to the public for at least 72 summer dates, on top of whatever other dates the Beavers set aside for themselves for other events such as concerts

How many of those 453 jobs will go to Portland residents? How many of those jobs are permanent and sustainable as opposed to temporary? How many of those jobs will provide full-time living wages rather than part-time minimum wage jobs? How many sustainable jobs could be created by using the Lents URA money to subsidize local small business owners?

I don't think that a new baseball stadium will magically generate new business in the area. All studies done on such projects show that no new business is generated. The only time that new stadiums help with business is if there is already a thriving core of local businesses in the vicinity. Lents doesn't have this. We should invest the URA money in building up the business base first.

The Paulsons should look elsewhere. There is a lot of private land available. They can inject money into our economy by purchasing said land and building a stadium with their own money. Alternatively, they can continue with the current sharing arrangement at PGE Park from which they are currently making money. This will free up the Lents URA money for small business subsidies and home improvement for low-income home owners, which are better ways to improve our economy than subsidizing a new baseball stadium.

I don't see how the cost-benefit analysis pencils out for the citizens of Portland. Please reconsider your position. Thank you.
Oh, I also forgot to mention that by reallocating the affordable housing set-aside to other URAs, you will be burdening those URAs by reducing their budgets. You are just spreading the problem around. This is another cost that I don't feel is worth it.

Also, the commenter Tony Fuentes on another article pointed out that reallocating the affordable housing set-aside, and thus impacting other URAs, would violate one of the legally bound tenets of the proposal that was approved in March. Here is what he said:


1) Contrary to Commitment to Neighborhood Involvement in Urban Renewal Areas:

The proposed $42 million in funding from the Lents URA will result in a loss of affordable housing support that must be made up elsewhere to ensure "no net loss of affordable housing".

This expands the scope of the decision on stadium development beyond the purview of the Lents URA advisory committee. Other urban renewal area(s) will need to program money away from present economic development plans to make up for the resulting shortfall.

This outcome is not supported by the Commitment to Neighborhood Involvement in Urban Renewal Areas outlined by the Task Force in its report to the Council. Arguably, it also bends existing commitments and practices used for URA funding decisions: should a decision endorsed by citizens in one URA limit the flexibility for programming funds in other URAs?
I realize this is 32 or so comments deep, so, you know, don't hold the presses or anything, but I think there are two valid points to be made here:

1) If this were a sure fire way of creating jobs and making money, there would be no need for public investment. It seems like there is a pretty big market in the private sector for sure fire money makers. Minor League Baseball, or for that matter, Major League Soccer is in no sense of the word a solid investment. It is a gamble. For some cities it has paid off, for many more it has not. It seems to me that if it was a good bet, private interests would be more than happy to invest, and the fact that they depend on public financing instead is not a source of confidence.

2) 42 million dollars (or $42,000,000 if you will) has to come from somewhere. Yes, taxes will still be assessed, so individuals will not have the ability to spend or invest it themselves. But the money will certainly come from other public projects, which presumably have the ability to subcontract out to whomever has the most attractive bid (vs: here is our city and our public monies, build what you want Merit). Would there be more low income housing construction jobs than stadium construction jobs? I have no way of knowing, it it seems like the gist of the study is that there might be.
Portland Lover-

Its VERY Late, so I'm going to do my best here...

1. YOUR STATEMENT: "reducing the Lents affordable housing budget to $0, thus removing home improvement opportunities for Lents residents"

ANSWER: The Lents affordable housing budget is not reduced to 0 under the proposal, it is reduced to approximately 15%, preserving the home improvement and home ownership programs specifically. After approximately 5 years, the district will be back at the 30% set aside level.

2) YOUR STATEMENT: "reducing the Lents business development budget to $0, thus removing the ability to subsidize local small businesses who would otherwise employ local residents (how many sustainable jobs would that create?)

ANSWER: The Lents business development budget is not reduced to 0. There are a variety of projects that will continue as scheduled, no projects are slated to be eliminated, but some will be delayed.

3) YOUR STATEMENT: $13-$29 million from the city's general fund to pay for replacement park land

ANSWER: I am not sure where you got this information, but (1) NO money from the General Fund will be expended on this project and (2) only a small portion of Lents Park would be displaced by the proposal. The Stadium would be placed on the existing stadium footprint, and ALL fields would be preserved except the narrow soccer field on the North side. That is the only replacement that will need to occur, and the proposal budgets $2 million to put a soccer field elsewhere in the neighborhood.

4)YOUR COMMENT: "the removal of a public stadium available to the public 365 a year, and replaced with a boutique stadium orders of magnitude larger that will not be available to the public for at least 72 summer dates, on top of whatever other dates the Beavers set aside for themselves for other events such as concerts"

ANSWER: The Beavers will no doubt use the stadium 72 times/year plus concerts, so it will not be available on those dates. But on the other dates it will be available to the public, high schools, little league, and other events.

5) YOUR JOBS QUESTIONS - Portland vs non Portland, sustainable vs. Temporary, how many would be created subsidizing small businesses

ANSWER: If there were a magic formula for initiating subsidies that created the greatest number of the best kinds of jobs, everyone would have one! The fact is, there will be a mixture of permanent and temporary jobs, with a mix of people from inside the City as well as from around the region. The Lents Urban Renewal District has invested in small businesses in the district and will continue to do so concurrent with this project, so I'm not sure they are mutually exclusive options.

Thanks for your questions. I'm afraid I must finally go to bed!


Thank you for the response. I can't fall back asleep, so here I am reading the comments again.

I got the zeros from this article from May 12th:…


The city has not yet done a study on the impact of the stadium on Lents economy. But the PDC's draft budget for the next 10 years of the Lents urban renewal area (URA) concludes that "the stadium financing would consume enough financial capacity (maximum indebtedness) that potential projects beyond the five year forecast would be reduced, which could hinder the URAC's ability to accomplish the goals established in the 1998 URA plan."

The "stadium scenario" budget for Lents includes a lot of zeros: in order to fund the $20-22 million each year for the stadium, Lents would have to reduce its current $8.7 million affordable budget housing to $0 and its business development budget to $0 as well.

"How can you say you're investing in anything when you're actually asking us to postpone $42 million in development here in Lents?" asked Powellhurst-Gilbert resident John Mulvey. "If you're really doing a favor for Lents, where's the new investment?"

Sia Sellu, who lives in the neighborhood and works on rehousing seniors for the NW Pilot Project, spoke up to defend the existing budget for affordable housing in Lents. "The seniors who are having to move out of their homes who thought they would be living in this neighborhood forever - I think it's really not okay to not to talk about the impact on those people."


I got the $13-$29 million figure from this article from May 27th:… In that article, Randy Leonard brings up the same $2 million figure you are offering, but the Parks Board counters with the $13-$29 million figure. This figure is in addition to the $42 million from the Lents URA, so I can only assume it will come from the general fund. The Parks Board has also went on record opposing placing the baseball stadium in Lents Park.

Walker Stadium is already available to the public, high schools, little league, and other events. So I am not sure what benefit there is in building a new stadium in its place that will be closed to the public for 72 or more summer dates, especially at such a high price tag.
Baseball at any level is a dull, dull sport. Can we put a big fucking library in these locations and lock kids in there for the summer?

Fuck! I can't believe we are having debates over a sport that has 90% of the participants standing still.
This last comment needs to ring out over the hills and dales and seep into all the pores of the nitwits and the membranes of the jellyfish.

Baseball is dead!
Do we have to resurrect crazy dead German writers to confirm this?
Once again, teenagers know best…
doesn't your wife, Matt, work for that company? full disclosure and all.…

"(1) NO money from the General Fund will be expended on this project and (2) only a small portion of Lents Park would be displaced by the proposal."

Commissioner Dan Saltzman told me yesterday that the city would agree to loan PDC money to carry out the displaced projects on a case-by-case basis. The practice is known as tranching, I believe.

So this project would take money from PDC's budget that would then be back-filled, subject to council approval, by the city's general fund.
Truthiness: Yes, my wife works for ECONorthwest. But she has had no part in the creation of the study, nor have we ever discussed it. I have also recused myself from reporting on any aspect of this story that touches on the study itself or Eco's role in its production.
Totes believe you, matt.
Ty, why don't you guys pay for a real study then? I maintaint that you A) work for the taxpayers, and B) have a responsibilit to use their money wisely.

So instead of complaining about this study, why don't you arrange to have a real one done on behalf of the taxpayers?

Hearing someone who is very much part of the City Hall establishment complain that City Hall can't do anything rigth (i.e. this study) is annoying in the extreme.

Your job isn't to shove vanity projects down the city's throat. What use are you?
You make me so pissed, I can't type straight.
HA! i've met Matt's wife before at Cogan Owens Cogan! nice lady.

i also agree with Blabby Bogdanskian's comment. oop... crap, i just threw up a little bit in my mouth.
I also happen to know your wife, Matt. Nice lady who does good work.

(Is this the new meme, that I'm carrying water for Jack Bogdanski? We have multiple people here who can't take Merritt Paulson's cock out of their mouths long enough to make coherent arguments, and you're accusing ME of parroting someone else's talking points??)

Anyway, instead of the trickle of nonsense numbers we've seen so far, most of them produced by Paulson himself (hmmm, what incentive would he have to cook the numbers?), why don't we get an actual study of this whole thing, that includes the following:

1) New construction cost estimates from a third party source (it doesn't take $42 million to build a AAA ball field in Lents);
2) A realistic pro forma that demonstrates how much these stadiums can generate in revenue based on realistic attendence numbers;
3) Good analysis on job creation;
4) The cost of subsidizing the wages of stadium staff as we do now, so they make a "living wage";
5) Most importantly of all, the real on-going costs of paying off public bonds with interest, and how these public outflows compare to the stadium revenues mentioned above.

My guess is that actual revenue from rent, ticket fees, and whatever else will cover 15% of the public cost, tops.

If you want to prove me wrong, commission a real frickin' study to demonstrate how wrong I am.

The reason that Leonard, Ty, Adams, Paulson, the Timbers Army or whoever else will NEVER do such a study, is because it would damn their project in no uncertain terms.
HA! it's good to see my poking stick works.

and i still agree with you Blabby. urp... shit!

i would add one more item to your list:

if there are a number of projects delayed or not being pursued because "no one is interested in development in lents" under the current URA terms, and those are the same terms for the stadium, then i guess i can see the argument of this project bringing a positive impact for the community. but my bullshit meter keeps spiking whenever i hear the spin from city hall.
crap! my addition to Blabby' slist got eaten. let me try again:

6) provide assurances (proof) that other developers/businesses have been or would be offered the same terms that Paulson is getting from the lents URA.
It's alright to agree with me Eric. Especially because I'm right most of the time.

This line that "no one will develop in Lents" is a ruse. The PDC could just build affordable housing itself. Countless community development orgs would gladly run new affordable housing projects there. They need to get to work on the town center there as they've been promising for years. If they feel like they have $42 million sitting around, that would go a long way.

If the projects in the Urban Renewal plan aren't working, they need to go back to the drawing board, not divert every available dollar to a AAA baseball facility, of all things.
and all this time i was thinking that i was always right...
"I have also recused myself from reporting on any aspect of this story that touches on the study itself or Eco's role in its production."

Ah, the honor system at work. Good ol' journalism.
Lents is Portland's biggest claim to being a cosmopolitan city, a fact that appears to be unrecognized by people who talk about Lents in these blogs. You'd think the place was lined with bordello hovels and junkie-haunts, to hear it referred to here.

The best tango club in town is in Lents
the best Vietnamese restaurant is in Lents
The best Chinese grocer is in Lents
Where can you pick out the swimming fish you want for dinner? Lents.
Where do you find a Lao nun cooking and serving vegetarian food in her dining room and living upstairs? Lents.

Lents is cool. Affordable housing is needed there.

Personally I find it a little hard to believe Matt had no knowledge of this study or that he and his wife didn't discuss it. Especially considering he didn't mention the connection until someone else called him out in the comment section. It's also a little difficult to believe since this post is listed as co-wrote by him. So you're saying you decided to recuse himself after you co-wrote the article? there going to be proof shown that his wife didn't have anything to do with this study?

I think you're missing the affordable housing problem. No developer in their right mind is going to build affordable housing out there. There isn't any money in it for them. They build the 30% they're required to and leave it at that. The rest of their developments are aimed at the 70% of people that can afford to live in fancy condos and fancy houses.

Lents isn't appealing to developers to use those URAs because the 70% of people that can afford the housing the developers want to build don't want to live in Lents. They'd rather live in an area not referred to as "felony flats". They can afford not to live in an area referred to as "felony flats".

URAs aren't welfare housing funds. Sure you could fill 30% of new residences that are "affordable housing" but where will you find the people to fill the remaining 70% of the unaffordable housing? Until you can provide that simple answer your argument is completely invalid.

The reason so many people live out there that aren't wealthy is because there is so much affordable housing. Jebus...when was the last time you tried to buy a house? If you want to live in SE PDX and can't pay 350K for a house you'll get shown nothing but houses in Lents. It's one of the few remaining affordable places to live in PDX proper.
blackedout: 'They'd rather live in an area not referred to as "felony flats".'

So why are people going to go out there for Beavers games?
BlackedOut - you've been schooled on this previously, do you need a refresher?

or do you prefer to sound like a moron?
As a cheaper alternative to an economic impact study, couldn't we just send an unpaid intern to the bars and restaurants around PGE Park to see what kind of impact Beaver's games have, maybe using an "additional staffing" metric?

I'm guessing we'd find a pretty clear "not much". I could see a minor league ball park giving a little boost to existing businesses (or maybe even to Portland Live!) but certainly not enough to drive any economic development on its own.


Except may to draw 5,000-9,000 Beavers fans 72 times a year into the Lents area to see that its not really as bad of a dump as its made out to be.
I think a good case study would be to take a look at the Phoenix Coyote situation:

Several years ago, Phoenix residents voted to build a publicly-funded hockey arena for the Coyotes, to anchor a shopping development, and bring prosperity and joy to the good residents of Glendale.

Year after year since then, the anticipated revenue failed to materialize. The team lost over $20 million per season, and is now declaring bankruptcy in an attempt to evade their commitments to the community.

If/When they leave Glendale (either through moving or just folding up), it'll leave the city with a $180 purpose-built facility with no purpose. Do Portlanders truly feel comfortable putting themselves into the same situation? Especially considering that we're talking about banking on AAA baseball/soccer vs. major league hockey.


Lents is ripe for affordable housing. Lots of people like Lents, and tons of hard-working people live there who would love to buy in.. have you been recently to the place that used to be called Columbia Villa in North Portland, aka gangland welfare colony extraordinaire? That place is now an affordable housing development and it is GREAT, with a strong community vibe and very low crime.

Why are you so stuck in your ways of thinking? do you not get out much?
We can cunduct the requisite analysis and study

Charlie Johnson
Charlie Johnson, I've seen some of your past studies, and think you do good work.

That being said, if you want to conduct a study on the impacts of this ballpark, maybe you should submit your resume at City Hall, rather than the Blogtown message board.

Strange as it seems, the Mayor's Office does not confer with the blogtown crowd when making hiring decisions for their consultants.

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