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Your Tax Dollars to Help Home Depot Build on Burnside?

According to an Article in the Oregonian, the Portland Development Commission wants to use your tax dollars to help Home Depot locate on the east end of the Burnside Bridge.
According to an Article in the Oregonian, the Portland Development Commission wants to use your tax dollars to help Home Depot locate on the east end of the Burnside Bridge. The commission is considering Home Depot to anchor a mixed-use project with condominiums and offices centered at the northwest corner of the intersection of East Burnside and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. According to the Oregonian article and a brief mention in the Tribune recently, the PDC has been anything but honest about the fact that they've been talking to Home Depot.

Don Mazziotti (executive director of the PDC) said whether the commission provides financial assistance for any project "depends on the nature of the development."

"The more community objectives that are achieved by a development, the more likely we are to participate in financing," he said. "In many situations, what we do is participate by bringing land and location to a prospective deal."

To see some of the "community objectives" that Home Depot will bring to the table see:  http://www.sprawl-busters.com/

I think this is just another way that the PDC ignores local business and uses our money to champion the dark forces of formula-retail, Big-Box Retail and National Chain-Stores. Our mayor appointed these bozos?

Funny thing is if you read the FAQ's on the PDC's website they claim:

The "PDC helps make Portland a great place to live and tries to keep it that way. We call it sustained livability for our city and region. We share a vision with others of a city with a vital economy, healthy neighborhoods and quality jobs for all citizens."

Yeah hoisting a mega huge Home Depot on the Central East Side - that'll help make Portland a great place to live...

Full Article:
 link to oregonlive.com
pic for feature 31.Mar.2004 11:39

pdx indy graphics drone #6082

great story!

Peasants and slaves 31.Mar.2004 12:25


The difference between now and three hundred years ago is that in those days people were forcibly bound into slavery.

It appears that Americans will willingly pay for the privilege of being enslaved-- provided they can get some cheap stuff as they head to the docks.

Inner city dweller 31.Mar.2004 14:01

Sprawl hater

I am a homeowner in inner NE and I work downtown and I hate sprawl which replaces farms and wilderness with lumber-hogging and energy-hogging McMansion subdivisions.

1. Something has to be done with that eyesore corner. This is exactly what this city has to do more of . Its called infill development which keeps the inner city more attractive to prevent pressure for more sprawl. It also will help house more people so they dont have to live in the suburbs.
2. As an inner city homeowner, I would love a close by place to get lumber and related supplies for home improvement projects. Currently I have to drive way out to the effin suburbs for a few materials. Freds doesnt sell lumber anymore and the place on MLK is really geared only for contractors.
A Home Depot would encourage home improvement in inner Portland which is what we as sprawl haters MUST encourage to prevent sprawl pressure.

3. Maybe Home Depot could find a more appropriate place further down MLK under the freeway. Also maybe Home Depot could sell only construction related materials and cut out the products like tiles and carpeting that so many stores already sell downtown.

Many Alternatives to HD 31.Mar.2004 14:55


I also own a home and find a need for home repair products from time to time. However there are many alternatives to going to home depot. I agree that encouraging home improvement is a good thing. But does that mean it has to be Home Depot? Have you looksed at the Spawl-busters.com website and seen what they've been doing around the county? Consider alternatives to HD:

52nd Ave Hardware and Building Supply 7100 SE 52nd Ave
Milwaukie Lumber 8048 SE Stark
Mr Plywood 7609 SE Stark
Brown Lumber 4000 SE Powell
D&V Lumber 6821 SE Johnson Creek
Rejuvination 1100 SE Grand
ReBuilding Center 3625 N Mississippi
Habitat for Humanity Restore 1814 N Columbia
or any neighborhood hardware store

Couldn't the PDC encourage a locally owned lumber yard to develope the site? Keep the profits in town? Why must it be HD?

If people want a Home Depot on the inner East Side then I encorage them to express that veiw and feel good about the use of their tax money for this type of developement. I do not feel good about it and according to the article many businesses in the area do not like it either.

Let's have a good debate about it - or put it to the voters? Anything but these "it's a done deal" before the public even finds out about it deals...

Local Hardware Store or Lumberyard is better... 31.Mar.2004 15:31


Judging from my experience at the Jantzen Beach Home Depot, you're better off with a local lumberyard or hardware store.

The Home Depot at Jantzen Beach is both 1.) understaffed and 2.) the people there don't know how to help you. It SU-DIDDLY-UCKS compared to Hankins Hardware on MLK, where I frequently go.

Strange 31.Mar.2004 15:52

ed harley

(well-deserved) criticisms aside, this would indeed be a strange move by the city, considering the adoption of the Burnside Transportation and Urban Design Plan (Dec. 2002), and the impending extension of the Downtown/Waterfront Renewal District (which will provide $ to implement the BTURD). The plan calls for creating a one-way couplet w/ Burnside & Couch between 15th on the West side and 14th on the East side, widening sidewalks, enhancing pedestrian and bicycling facilities, all at the expense of moving high volumes of car traffic through downtown. So, how in the hell does a Home Depot fit in with a major overhaul of Burnside away from being a heavy traffic corridor, and toward a pedestrian-friendly link between neighborhoods north and south of Burnside...? Ehh??

JBK 31.Mar.2004 15:58

Inner NE Homeowner

Sorry none of those are close enough or have lumber! My god, am I going to have to move out to the f=ing suburbs to do my home improvement projects? Its not only not fair its absurd! Here we are trying to improve the inner city to a liveable place and theres no place to do get materials for home improvement projects!

52nd Ave Hardware and Building Supply 7100 SE 52nd Ave>- too far for me
Milwaukie Lumber 8048 SE Stark >too far out
Mr Plywood 7609 SE Stark> >>too far out
Brown Lumber 4000 SE Powell..Too far away
D&V Lumber 6821 SE Johnson Creek > way too far
Rejuvination 1100 SE Grand > No Lumber just antique doors etc
ReBuilding Center 3625 N Mississippi >>No lumber /too far out of way
Habitat for Humanity Restore 1814 N Columbia>> way too far
or any neighborhood hardware store > no lumber at BEAUMONT HARDWARE

>>Couldn't the PDC encourage a locally owned lumber yard to develope the site? Keep the profits in town? Why must it be HD?
If people want a Home Depot on the inner East Side then I encorage them to express that veiw and feel good about the use of their tax money for this type of developement. I do not feel good about it and according to the article many businesses in the area do not like it either.
Let's have a good debate about it - or put it to the voters? Anything but these "it's a done deal" before the public even finds out about it deals... <<

I think that is shortsighted. If there is an inner city Home Depot it will ENCOURAGE more home improvement and urban renewal which can ONLY be good for all inner city businesses in the long ruin. You want to know why people move way the f out to new subdivisions ? Because of shitty looking inner city areas. I know this is counter-intuitive to most people but I really believe Home Depot is one big box that will probably improve things to relieve suburb expansion pressure which must be any sprawl-busters ultimate goal.

W.C. Winks? 31.Mar.2004 15:58


If this happens, it's gonna kill the only REAL hardware store left in inner portland.
Replacing micrometers with Ridged rulers. sad, very sad.

HD= Hostile Developer 31.Mar.2004 17:33


I moved to portland years ago from atlanta, ga-HQ of home depot. you cant go 6 blocks in any direction in atlanta without running into an orange big-box surrounded by acres of asphalt and glaring parking lot lights bright enough to be seen from a space satellite. Dont let HD develop in metro PDX, run the private hardware owners out of business and take the profits back to atlanta.

HD (heart) George Bush 31.Mar.2004 19:29

check it out yerself

Not only does the money leave town but it goes to BIG political contributions for the Jr. I quizzed them repeatedly on this and they were very snippy about their rights to buy a politician. The Chimpster even visited one of their precious stores to promote their wonderful (nonunion, low paid) job creation program although I don't know if this was before or after the aforementioned donation.

TO: Inner NE Homeowner 01.Apr.2004 13:03

Fuzzy Rick

Were talking 'bout a lumber yard here.....

You should be delighted that there are so many choses so close to your home.... How many times a year do you plan on shopping specifically for lumber.... In most cities on the East coast (assuming anyone actually owned a home in a city's city limits) You'd have no choice but to head out to the burbs.... I mean really your complaining about having to drive 30 or 40 city blocks to purchase a truckload of wood, you don't even have to get on a freeway!!!!

Unless you plan on strapping a 2 by 4 to your bike I don't see a problem.... One thing I can tell you is a Home depot will get us one thing a Home Depot... The dozen stores listed above will be out of buisness forcing everone in this city to drive to Burnside (or worse Beavertron or Jantzen "Beach")to get a 2x4 or a light fixture (produced overseas).... Which will force me to drive a untold number of miles to buy those items from a locally owned store....

Home Depot can and will underprice at a loss if nessarsary every local store in town untill there all gone then the enslavment begins....

If you think I'm nuts try vacationing in Hartford CT, I hope you like crack cocaine....

A Home Depot 01.Apr.2004 13:11

would kill

a myriad of small, locally owned businesses in the central east side. The PDC interviewed business owners about having a retail "anchor" in the area, but they failed to tell the folks at Hippo, Winks, Rejuvenations, etc. that they were going to roll in a mega competitor that would probably wipe them out of business. They are mighty pissed at this point, and rightly so... this story is not over.

Fuzzy Rick 01.Apr.2004 13:32

NE Dweller

Why? Is there a HDepot in the inner city of Hartford? Well I was looking at my Map Qwest and it is incredible how scarce lumber is around these parts from 60th and Sandy to all the way downtown corridor. That does not encourage home improvement projects. Hartford is probably a typical city which like all the others in America succumbed to the commuter wilderness/farm devouring suburb mentality letting the inner city die and rot. Car dealers and subdivision developers love the forever growing suburbs that enslave people to their cars. I really I doubt if that had anything to do with a Home Depot. Maybe if there was a Home Depot in the inner city it would encourage people to improve the inner city rather than fleeing it. This can only be good for ALL busineses including its direct competition. I dont think you can analogize the suburban HD to the inner city HD situtation.

home depot funds bush 01.Apr.2004 16:29


Talked about this in another email, and it was on this site. Home Depot gives Money to Bush for elections... Do we really want that group to stay in office? we will have more things to worry about than trying to find lumber for our remodels.

HD funds 01.Apr.2004 19:33

Inner city dweller

I think any company willing to invest in the inner city in this day and age of "suburb is king" is doing the right thing. More taxes for the city and its a hell of alot better than gun shops, pawn-stolen good- shops, porno shops, titty bars and liquor shops.

Don't Forget Winks Hardware 2nd & Stark ! 01.Apr.2004 22:39


Here Here ! Yes It will hurt W.C.Winks. Although it also may send people screaming for Real help TO Winks. And I would like to comment how the inner east side use to have close in lumber stores, But home depot has driven them all out of bussiness. The worst part of this is the profits will not stay in state , the money will go to Alabama where the headquarters for home depot are.

I'm against this 02.Apr.2004 00:55

Brian S

Mainly on the fact that there are quite a few small business hardware and paint stores in that area already. Home Depot would undercut them all.

even if 02.Apr.2004 06:31


if i didnt know about how bad big business is
or urban sprall
or politicts
or any thing like that

i dont want one of those big ugly stores in town (or anywhere)
what an eyesore
moreso than the crappy looking stuff that is there now

an eyesore like bush 03.Apr.2004 00:29

a myth like democracy

i don't really buy the idea of a home depot going in on burnside
thats just like having a walmart inside portland
theres two hd's 10 to 15 minutes from that location
and one in beaverland
if anyone likes home depot, dive 20 dammn miles
there will not be a home depot on burnside
unless it's past 122nd

NE dweler 03.Apr.2004 08:47

Fuzzy Rick

I haven't lived here very long.... So my question is, How many hardware stores were in the general erea before the boom at Jantzen "beach"... Local stores cannot operate at a loss wich HD can, where is the competition?

To add to this why do tax payers have to finance the building of a store for a company that makes millions a year? You feel pretty stongly 'bout this and maybe in your area you are underserved... As I stated earlier were talking about lumber and your going to need a vehical to get it home... Have you considered having it deliverd? All I know is a Home Depot in the near east side will probably run the hardware store I go to in Sellwood out of buisness.... Which will add my car to to an area already often congested the next time I need a garden hose or a key made!

Be careful what you wish for, Portland is very special place and all of us would be very wise to keep it as "small town" and "locally owned and operated" as posible... Every local buisness owner, even the less desirable ones (mentioned above), has a vested interest in there erea they do buisness. Home Depot (as well as all corporations) has a vested interest to their shareholders.....

I mentioned Hartford CT simply as it has fallin to sprall... I prevously lived in Richmond VA wich is simular to Portland just much smaller. Like Portland the city has tried to keep corporate chain stores out of city limits... But the city is surrounded and like here local cash often bleeds into the burbs... Big corporations suck it up and one by one local buisnesses close their doors only to take minimum wage jobs at Target...

Think I'm nuts stroll around near NW, alot of shops have closed thier doors recently...

A wish list... 05.Apr.2004 12:21

Michael Bankston michael@reuvenharris.com

You know, I'd be curious to know exactly what people in Portland, if given the necessary resources to do so, would put there INSTEAD of a Home Depot. You said it yourselves, the small retailers aren't getting the job done, so what's to stop HD from moving in and making things all "better" for Portland? Now, I'm by no means a big fan of Home Depot; in fact, I probably wouldn't complain too much if they all just winked out of existence. But, looking past the "sprawl factor" for a second, think about this: Does Home Depot sell the products you need? Again, you said it yourselves, most of the time you have to drive well the hell out to BFE to find what you're looking for. To take on a tank, you need another tank. 10, 100, 1000, even 10,000 villagers all armed with sticks and rocks are never going to make a dent in HD's armor. I know from personal experience that there's quite a few buisiness-savvy folks in Portland, what's stopping them from offering a helping hand to some of the more local businesses? It seems like a much better idea than just standing by and saying "Oops, too bad!" and scratching your collective heads when another one of them gets swallowed up. Basically, we need a company with the backing to step up and offer people the convenience that they want (with American products, of course) without the 99% BS filler that companies like Home Depot and Lowe's churn out every day. If that can't be done, you might as well pay your respects to "Joe's Lumber" right now, and start bleeding orange. There's more on this subject to come -- Don't forget to read www.sprawl-busters.com for more information.