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Thursday, September 9, 2010

BREAKING: Deal In Place for 'Made in Oregon' Sign

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Thu, Sep 9, 2010 at 3:53 PM

Coming soon?
  • Coming soon?
I'm told a deal is in place for the city of Oregon to take possession of the iconic "Made in Oregon" sign—it's being donated by current owner Ramsay Signs— and change it to say "Portland, Oregon."

A rooftop beneath the sign will be converted intoRevenue from a parking lot below the Burnside Bridge, used by the University of Oregon and nearby businesses, will pay for changing the words and annual maintenance, says Ty Kovatch, chief of staff for Commissioner Randy Leonard.

Mayor Sam Adams' office is expected to file the required paperwork this afternoon, Kovatch says. And the council next Wednesday, September 15, will formally accept the donation of the sign. Amy Ruiz is handling the transaction for the mayor's office, and I have a call into her for more details.

The sign's future has been in limbo since early last year. Leonard controversially tried to invoke the city's condemnation powers to take over the sign after the University of Oregon attempted to have its own name placed on the sign.

Outcry led the university to back away, and Leonard began working with Ramsay, and the owner of the building the sign sits on, developer Art DeMuro. That's when the idea to put the city's name was hatched.

Buying the sign would have cost $500,000, according to some estimates, a dear expense at a time of budget pain.

UPDATE, 4:30 PM: I should note that much of the delay over the past few months has involved the terms of the parking lot deal. Leonard's last update on the sign came in March, announcing Ramsay's intent to donate while hoping that the work would be done by the end of summer. It took a bit longer than expected for the deal to really fall into place.

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