A quick followup on our last post about Memorial Coliseum and how it fits or doesn’t fit into plans for a revamped Rose Quarter. In this morning’s Oregonian, Ted Sickinger files this fascinating report from Kansas City and itsÂ Power & Light District, a glitzy entertainment district developed by the Cordish Co., which also wants to redevelop Portland’s Rose Quarter in partnership with the city and the Trail Blazers. It’s a good, balanced read that talks clearly about money, about the differences between Portland and Kansas City (Kansas City’s downtown was pretty much wiped out and any fix looked good), and about the audience for the new K.C. entertainment zone — pretty much suburbanites and out-of-towners.
Question: Is the city’s goal to set aside a chunk of prime real estate as a lure for out-of-town spenders, like Vancouver, B.C.’s Gastown or New York’s recently sanitized Times Square? Is that good policy? How will it help or harm already existing businesses and nearby neighborhoods in Portland? Will any Portland businesses be part of the deal? Sickinger points out that several of the Kansas City development’s prime tenants are owned by a subsidiary of Cordish — a cozy arrangement that suggests this will be a dropped-from-the-sky project, not an organically grown development.
And over at Culture Shock, Mighty Toy Cannon gives this blistering analysis of the Coliseum situation, connecting a lot of dots that needed to be connected. It’s highly recommended reading.