In an interview posted April 5, Jeff Alworth of Oregon Blog (www.webfeet.blogspot.com) asks Randy Leonard how the city can have "anchor companies" who will protect it from economic downturns.
Leonard responds this way:
"Last year, I was asked by the Portland Development Commission and the Portland Business Alliance to go to the International Retailers Convention in Las Vegas. (the largest convention in the world). I sat in a stuffy booth for two days talking with major anchor chains about the "new Portland" way of doing business...i.e., we haven't changed our standards, but we have changed our attitude. As a result of those contacts the PDC and I are currently negotiating with some of those large businesses to locate in Portland."
Does this sound familiar? Recently it came out that PDC was negotiating with Home Depot regarding Depot locating in a new multi-story building at E. Burnside and Martin Luther King Boulevard. Is Home Depot one of the "major anchor chains" that Leonard talked to? Is Leonard part of the PDC negotiations?
This begs the question: Why does the Central Eastside need a "major anchor chain"? Is the C.E.I.D. a mall that needs an "anchor"?
And the next interviews may ask Randy's opponents their position on inviting Home Depot to locate here, to the detriment of the existing locally owned businesses.