portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting portland metro

imperialism & war | neighborhood news

Mississippi Ave Lofts(MAL) meeting sham

I was hoping somebody else would report on the meeting we had with the developers because I did not stay, since it seemed to me to be a big sham and a waste of my time. I have heard from several people who reported what happened after I left so I will report on what I've heard.
the developers had a huge drawing of their, unchanged project displayed in the front of the mtg room along with a bunch of other pictures of buildings on mississippi and other surrounding streets(albina for example). One of the architects began his speech that described, yet again, the project and how it's designed and why and how he lives in the neighborhood and how great the building is and on and on and on. After listening to what seemed like hours of this, my neighbors and I began exchanging looks of disbelief and disgust, what we had feared was looking to be true, in the nine days since the historic landmark committee sent them off to redesign their building they had done nothing. even more insulting was that they were taking up so much of our valuable time with a long, long speech on the merits of their building they had been directed to redesign... I interrupted the architect and told him as much and then left.

Those who stayed said that the speech went on for quite some time and then they broke up into 3 groups. Each group had at least one architect at the table and a big drawing of their design. Members of the table drew ideas out for them and exchanged ideas. Most report it seemed productive and even fun. What everybody seemed to have gotten out of the meeting is that the architects seem to get what they have been ask , by the commission and neighbors, to do but the developers are unwilling to reduce the mass, period. One person feels that Peter Wilcox is blinded by the gold LEED certificate he hopes to get and he believes he can not afford it if he eliminates any units(revenue). seems this gold leed business is BIG stuff, very prestigious and very expensive and he is hell bent on having this project, his last swan song(?) , make him a famous man. (while this leed business is certainly noble, I must say that many of us have noble goals but we can't afford them and so, rather than obtain something noble at the expensive of others, we , as adults, settle for what we can afford or save for our goal(delaying gratification)).

other interesting and revealing tidbits gleened from the meeting were that the developers do not own the land, as they've maintained to the BNA for a year. This is also troubling since the developers wife, Bridgett Bayer voted at the BNA meeting to send a letter of support and listed the MAL site as her address... and David Yoho , one of the developers had gotten himself elected to the BNA board as the land use co-chair in november 05.... naughty , naughty. Thankfully, yoho sent an email to the BNA officially resigning his chairship.

I am not very hopeful that we will see any reduction of the mass at our next meeting . I am however confident that the Historic Landmark Commission is not going to be amused by superficial changes and no reduction of the mass.

and, rumor has it that Nicole Williams (past bna chair and current safety chair) and the light bulb lady, kay newall are running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to get the BNA chairs, who testified at the landmark commission hearing punished for committing mutiny. Aren't they silly, since the chairs made it abundantely clear(and it is taped) that they were not testifying on behalf of the BNA or in their roles as chairs. gosh, these people need hobbies.
fun? 04.Jun.2006 03:28

pretty color

It's great that this loft building being planned meets the LEED(Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). But whoever objected to that part of the this deal? Never, ever, was there a problem over liking a building that would be energy efficient, sustainable, green, whatever.

The problem can be directly traced to some guys who believe they can dress up a humongous monster in hip new building trends, and expect the feeble, ignorant natives to suck it all up as though it were some wondrous gift to them from heaven above.

All the developers got to do, is make their great green award winning building a little smaller and a little less like a big long running wall. People will love them for it. Instead, what do they do? Waste people's time. Shove crap down people's throats.

Another green community vision 06.Jun.2006 12:05

Fueled by Bio-Pedal.Fill up at your local co-op foodstore

How about this for an idea. The Boise neighborhood buys the existing 1 story warehouse building and lot. And we as a community,with the help from the cooperative development,build and manage our own grocery cooperative,bringing healthy,nourishing,affordable food to everyone in the community. We could look into utilizing the existing structure,yes cinder blocks can be used and incorporated into natural building techniques,living roof, water collection and resuse,ground source heating/cooling, maybe we could look into building a second floor, with some affordable apartments, a farmers market and community gathering space in what is now the parking area ?. Create something that is truly supported by and for the community, create living wage jobs for our neighbors, set up community funds to purchase and landtrust housing stock in our community, and keep it out of the hands of the speculators and oppressive real estate market, so we have a mix of affordable rental and ownership options that can continue at a fair price. Take away the fear & struggle of displacement from your home, your community that so many of our neighbors think about every day, and we start to really build a community and then we can start talking about SUSTAINABILITY