Hillsboro to be Mini NYC?

Build it and they will come? Probably not. Yesterday’s cover story of the business section of the Oregonian has a story about city planners looking at the idea of up to nine 20 story buildings surrounding a 37 acre park in Hillsboro. The artist rendering suggests NYC and Central Park. The most appropriate comment is probably the last paragraph of the story: developer John Bartell, VP of Opus Northwest, “If you would have asked me 20 years ago whether the Pearl could have made it this far, I would have said, ‘no way.'”

There have been plenty of comments about overbuilding in the Pearl and South Waterfront area. This has got to get you riled if you are currently sitting on the sidelines waiting for the bottom to fall out of the high rise condo market in Portland. I think you may have a long wait but Hillsboro?

The story acknowledges this project is in its infancy and by know ways a done deal.

9 Comments on “Hillsboro to be Mini NYC?

  1. It’s funny they call it the “OHSU-Amberglen” area since, from what I understand, the OHSU campus there (formerly the Oregon Graduate Institute – OGI – taken over by OHSU about 5 years ago) is being consolitated with the OHSU campuses on Pill-Hill/South Waterfront. That is, there will be no OHSU campus in that area soon.

    This of course begs the question: where would all those people (up to 10,000 according to that article) be working? Intel doesn’t have any big expansion plans in Hillsboro – employment there will stay essentially flat for years to come. There are already plenty of brand-spanking-new empty condos in that area now as it is. Well, I suppose they could try to attract the Intel workers who currently live in the Pearl to move out there (I can almost see the “If you lived here, you’d be home by now” signs along the MAX line)… but I doubt there’s a whole lot of them.

    …oh, wait, maybe they’ll all work at the “Streets of Tanasborne” selling coffee, ice cream and overpriced clothes to each other.

  2. It’s possible, if the solar energy plant takes off in Hillsboro, that Hillsboro and surrounding areas could grow much larger. Currently, I don’t see much more growth in that area for the reasons that TIP cited.

    Somebody better make more lanes on Highway 26! Right now, the infrastructure cannot handle that many more people traveling on it.

  3. JJ: I haven’t seen the details of the potential solar plant in Hillsboro. However, I would caution that it likely wouldn’t employ very many people. I would suspect that a fab producing solar cells would be highly automated. Those who do work in a fab like that would likely make in the $12 to $20/hour range. Engineering (the higher paid jobs) would likely be very minimal – nothing at all like the business that Intel is in where engineering plays a huge role. It sounds like the pricey condos they’re talking about would at least require an engineering salary. I doubt they would be affordable to the fab workers. And I would guess that they’d only need a couple hundred fab workers…

  4. Another friend of mine, native Oregonian, told me that she heard a similar story about Hillsboro….15 years ago.

  5. Money Magazine has a price forecast for the 100 biggest markets in the US.

    They say prices will decline 1.1% this year in PDX.

    In other mortgage-related news:
    LendingTree is laying off 20% of its employees.

    Anderson said the company is getting more consumer interest, but less of that is being translated into loans funded. She said the subprime correction has now spread to all credit categories of loans.

    “Our margins have been squeezed across all loan types and all products,” Anderson said.

  6. HAHAHA!! Hillsboro a mini-Manhattan?!!? The Real Estate Industrial Complex has completely lost any sense of reality.

    I agree it will take a LONG time before the condo market in PDX bottoms out, probably another 36 monts but that’s because the bottom will be reached when these condos have taken a 60-80% haircut in price (inflation adjusted dollars) from today’s levels.

    Meanwhile the paper-shuffling minions REIC will slowly be destroyed by cheaper, more efficient and more transparent forces: Chipping Away At Realtors’ Six Percent: Lesley Stahl Reports How Realtors’ Commission Fees Are Under Assault

  7. According to HousingTracker, PDX inventory was up 2.4% last week while median price was down 1.1%. Of course, these are asking prices; actual prices offered could be lower.

  8. As a, *shudder* yes I know, family moving from California to the area (We’re both HS teachers) its nice to see educated and informed opinions on PDX and surrounding area RE.. not just this article, but all of them!

    Thanks a bunch and please keep it up! As it stands now, we FINALLY sold our home (Gee, it only took about two years…) in the UBER-inflated Northern California market. We’ll be renting for AT LEAST a year…


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