Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Monday, March 26, 2018
The City of Portland apparently plans to move forward with an ordinance requiring seismic upgrades to hundreds of Portland apartment buildings without funding assistance in place. The group Save Portland Buildings argues such a plan will result in the reduction of affordable housing stock through demolition due to the cost to owners. A group spokeswoman discusses how the process has worked -- or not -- thus far. The ordinance comes up for a vote in April.
Friday, March 23, 2018
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Monday, March 19, 2018
"... to make up for the displacement effect of NOT building [275-unit] Fremont Place, Portland is going to have to come up with something like 130 units of affordable housing. Those are currently running in the range of $300K (and up), so that’s like $40 million worth of affordable housing you would have to build to offset the displacement from not building Fremont Place." Read more.
This week: The Portland City Council weighs whether to support a 10-year tax abatement to improve the results of its inclusionary housing program; Portland ties in 9th place with Boston and Nashville in a list of the best markets in the country for commercial property investments and -- if somehow you missed it -- there was new reporting on a potential damage from a future major quake off the coast of Oregon.
Thursday, March 15, 2018
Commissioner Fish Claims Portland Doesn't Need to Foster Private-Sector Development; Economist Joe Cortright Responds
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Check out this episode!
Monday, March 12, 2018
Friday, March 9, 2018
The two disruptive advancements at the forefront of most conversations at the conference were automated vehicles (AVs) and the rise of e-commerce and drone delivery. Robin Chase, a co-founder of ZipCar, painted a picture of two possible outcomes of AV adoption: a utopian city with increased ride sharing where car ownership is not a requirement and multi-modal travel is quick and easy; and a dystopian city where streets are always congested and mobility is only possible for higher-income residents in the city core. Both she and others emphasized that planners, developers, and politicians should work together to come up with a vision of what they want their city to look like, and put regulations and incentives in place that foster the desired outcome. Portland Bureau of Transportation director Leah Treat emphasized that while Portland would like to see AVs introduced by the end of the year, the city has also put forward goal-based conditions to help ensure that vehicles would be shared, would meet environmental goals, and would be available and accessible to all residents in the city.
Developers and architects at the conference discussed how they are working to make sure that space allocated for parking and retail is flexible. If most city residents transition away from privately held cars within the next ten or fifteen years, parking lots in newer developments could be wasted space. In a panel titled "Reshaping Cities in a Post-Parking World," local developers discussed the ways they are trying to accommodate the expectations of lenders and investors while "future-proofing" their developments by building parking that could later be converted to storage or other uses. In addition, both AVs and the rise of e-commerce have made the concept of the curb a point of contention, which could impact how streets are designed and developments are built. AVs will need pick-up and drop-off points near where people want to go, while trucks or drones will be delivering packages and food to people's doors. City planners, residents, and developers will likely face questions in the near future of who owns curb space.
The University of Oregon plans to make this an annual conference, after drawing 500 attendees to the city in its first year. There was agreement among panelists that in order to build a framework to move forward, crucial voices including labor unions, people with disabilities, and underrepresented minority groups must be brought into the conversation.
Read more: Urbanism Next Research Briefs
Thursday, March 8, 2018
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
HFO-TV: An Update on the City of Portland's Push for Seismic Upgrades of Unreinforced Masonry Buildings [video]
Monday, March 5, 2018
Last week: The Portland City Council heard hours of testimony, mostly from renters, on a proposal to make Portland's renter relocation fee permanent while expanding it to all landlords of one unit or more. The City will also consider whether to begin a landlord registration system as discussion is expected to continue this week; Metro plans a $1.7 billion affordable housing bond measure for November's ballot.
Friday, March 2, 2018
Thursday, March 1, 2018
The next definitive report on the area's vacancy rate -- by Multifamily NW -- is due out in April.
Seattle's Vacancy Rate - 3.4%
Census estimated Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue's vacancy rate remained flat year-over-year at 3.4% -- despite a surge in multifamily construction projects that were quickly absorbed.
Metros with the lowest rental vacancies for Q4 2017 were:
- Akron, OH (1.0%)
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA (1.4%)
- Fresno, CA (1.9%)
- Dayton, OH (2.0%)
- Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA (2.6%)
- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA (2.7%)
- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA (3.4%)
- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA (3.7%)
- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA (3.8%)
- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA (4.0%)
Average National Rental Vacancy Rate
The average national rental vacancy rate for Q2 2017 was 6.9 percent for multifamily dwellings of five or more units -- unchanged from one year earlier, despite ongoing delivery of multifamily units throughout the national market.
Year-over-year vacancy rates in the western U.S. increased only slightly, from 4.2% to 4.5%.
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U.S. Homeownership Rate Increases
After falling to a 26-year low in 2016, homeownership rates remained at basically the same rate from one year earlier at 64.2%. Homeownership ratesas the fourth uarter of 2016 have been increasing. The current homeownership rate in the West increased over the past 12 months from 59% to 60%.
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