Powerful and prominent Pearl District developers, among them Homer Williams and Hoyt Street Properties, have joined neighbors in raising doubts and threatening legal action against Commissioner Amanda Fritz's plan to move homeless rest area Right 2 Dream Too onto a Portland Development Commission parking lot beneath the Lovejoy ramp of the Broadway Bridge.
That's because, according to city documents obtained by the Mercury, Williams and Hoyt Street both have significant stakes in land near the city's chosen site, at NW Lovejoy Court and Station Way. And, it seems, they might also have a say in how the Lovejoy parking lot is used.
Williams and Hoyt helped develop the Station Place development just across from the R2DToo's would-be home. Their names are on the original 2002 "disposition and development agreement" (pdf) allowing the project. The project also is bound by a separate-but-intrinsically-related parking agreement detailing some of the promises in the DDA. Since then, those agreements have been formally amended to make way for Williams, along with partner Dike Dame, to build a new Marriott nearby at NW 9th and Marshall.
And what might this have to do with Lovejoy Court? According to the original 2002 agreement on Station Place, the city has promised to provide 40 parking spaces for tenants of the nearby senior home so long as the building exists. The related parking agreement (pdf) for that property also repeats that promise.
As you can see, those agreements about the disposition of the lot, and the minimum numbers of parking spaces to be preserved, are fairly clear. Although there does seem to be some wiggle room if spaces are unused.
Given that past changes in the project have required amendments, and formal approval from the PDC, some observers are wondering whether removing parking from the lot beneath the bridge ramp, to install R2DToo, might trigger that process. In that case, it would be highly unlikely that Williams, as an original signer of the DDA, would consent.
PDC spokesman Shawn Uhlman says he's working on obtaining rate and usage information for the Lovejoy Court parking lot. I've also asked if there's a sense from PDC, which appears to be going along with Fritz's effort, that there's more to these agreements than it seems.
The Bureau of Development Services, led by Fritz, will release its "zoning confirmation" analysis of R2DToo's proposed move tomorrow. When I briefly asked Fritz about the documents, she pointed to that document and said, about several lingering questions, "I guess we'll all find out Friday."
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