Here's an emerging trend in Portland: When the city says it's handing out tax dollars to keep "green" businesses in town, chances are the money's actually being paid to those businesses' landlords. We noticed this recently when it was revealed that the $8 million sweetheart loan made by the city to keep Vestas's American headquarters here was in fact made to developer Mark Edlen and his co-investors on the real estate project to which Vestas is expected to relocate (if it survives that long).
An alert reader points out that the same thing is about to happen with the straight-out $1.15 million grant being made for the supposed purpose of keeping Iberdrola in Portland. If one reads the fine print, as opposed to what gets printed in the newspaper, one sees that the money is actually going to be paid to Iberdrola's landlord, for "tenant improvements." That landlord in something called SPF Brewery Blocks, LLC, which the State of Oregon lists as being located at JP Morgan Investment Management Inc. in New York City. Apparently the landlord has agreed to make some rent concessions to Iberdrola, but who knows how much, or for how long, those will be? Iberdrola is supposedly also going to agree to stay in the building for another 10 years or else pay liquidated damages to the city, but we'll believe that one when we see it signed.
In any event, if Iberdrola pulls out of Portland, the Brewery Blocks boys will no doubt get to keep the improvements that the taxpayers have bought. See how they did that? A neat little trick by the Portland Development Commission and its real estate pals.
And what are these "tenant improvements" going to be? Here's the sum total of what we the people are being told:
Various tenant improvements in Brewery Block 4 which may be amended from time to time. Such subsequent amendments to the Scope of Work shall be reviewed and approved by prior to Grantee entering into a contract for construction in connection with any Scope of Work
Well, that sure pins it down, eh?
Not to mention the gross distortion of the intent of the "urban renewal" statutes. Are the Brewery Blocks "blighted"? We don't think so.
Nov 10, 2010- Sustainable Northwest
Iberdrola begins construction on Oregon biomass power plant
Construction has begun on a 26.8-megawatt biomass power plant in Lakeview, Oregon, not far from the California border.
Renewable energy developer Iberdrola Renewables is building the Lakeview Biomass Cogeneration plant with expectations of completing the facility by the fall of 2012.
Once up and running, the plant would generate enough power to supply about 18,000 homes with electricity.
Ralph Currey, CEO of Iberdrola Renewables, said: “The Lakeview plant will provide base load renewable energy, jobs and improve Oregon’s forest health while reducing wildfire danger.”
The Lakeview plant will be about 90 miles east of Iberdrola’s existing Klamath Cogeneration Plant, and will also produce combined heat and power.