It was the best of times & the worst of times.
Since 9/11 and the Great Recession retail and condo development in downtown Portland has been at a snail's pace but an article in today's UnOregonian suggests the speculators are back in the game. That's both good and bad news.
"In the housing market's glory days, would-be buyers would line up outside the sales office for an unfinished condo building, checkbooks in hand and angling for prime units.
Ten years later, Tiffany Sweitzer is wondering if people will still line up.
Her firm, Hoyt Street Properties, started work last week on the first new Pearl District condo tower since the recession.
Also last week, Hoyt Street finally closed the books on its last condominium venture, The Encore, selling the last of its 177 condos. The building was finished in 2008, just as the recession was taking hold, and had only 12 units sold at the time.
Against that backdrop, the new $108 million tower — which, at 28 stories and 340 feet high, will be the city's tallest residential building — seems a particularly bold re-entry into the high-rise condo market."
RAD: According to a very well informed source, this development and others like it are targeted at well-healed empty nesters, 55+ and a mix of young professionals, 30-35. In the Pearl the residents will be those with incomes of $150K plus other assests, while in NW Portland it will be those with incomes of $75-100K, probably sans children.
I guess RAD need not apply... I don't met the income nor age demographic! Stuck in the Grove!
This is obviously not "work force" housing nor low income rental housing. Those folks can just move to outer SE! Needless to say this kind of development while good for the local economy will increase the process of gentrification in "inner city" Portlandia while also increasing the tax base to support Portland's penchant for taxes for the arts, streets and schools. But as Portlandia ages, one wonders if a backlash won't happen firing up a movement for "no more taxes."
With the demographics of an increasingly well healed but older population or young marrieds with no kids, Portlandia will become less diverse and with it pressures will increase to dial back on taxes to support services in which more and more residents of Portlandia don't have a direct stake. So with change comes the law of unintended consequences as Portland becomes "Manhattanized" while the working poor are moved out by rising home values and rental rates.
If and when young professionals decide to have kids, they will move out of the condo and into a home. That will then drive up demand and prices, forcing those who can't afford the sticker shock of higher rents or higher taxes to move into a lower income city or suburban neighborhood. You don't think it will happen here - look at San Francisco or Seattle. And with this comes the "suburbanization of poverty." So when the speculators get their second wind - watch out - you may be their next unwitting victim!
Welcome to Portlandia's future skyscraper "diversity desert"!