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Formerly the home of Beaumont-Wilshire Neighbors for Responsible Growth, the Portland Land Matters blog explores citywide land-use concerns, such as home demolitions, with the belief that development should create an improvement.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Developers build on a reputation

As we prepare for a media flurry next week regarding the city's amendments for no-parking apartments, let's look at recent stories featuring the people behind a wave of low-amenity projects across the east side and particularly the contested project on Northeast Fremont.

In last week's Daily Journal of Commerce article on the LUBA win by Richmond Neighbors for Responsible Growth, which resulted in a stop-work order on a building there, developer Dennis Sackhoff complained, "It’s extremely frustrating that we’ve been painted as the face of ‘no parking.’ ” The urge to distance themselves from these projects is so strong that Vic Remmers, another member of the Remmers-Sackhoff family/juggernaut, in a recent Oregonian article rebuffed criticism of the Beaumont-Wilshire project, pointing out to the reporter that "that project has been undertaken by a separate development company." 

Alas, as a couple of Oregonian reporters have confirmed, it's still a Remmers project through and through. That "separate development company" uses the same address as the Rammerses' myriad other companies. 

Interestingly, Remmers made the comment in a story on their planned development for Woodstock, which they promise will be sensitive to scale and neighborhood site significance, principles that should be applied to their other projects. "We're trying to build houses that fit into the neighborhood," he says in the story.

If they wanted to, the Sackhoff-Remmers family can change the fact that they've been painted as the "face of 'no parking'": by not building it.

Meanwhile, here are a few pictures of the project at Southeast Division and 37th Avenue, for which the building permit was revoked. It's pretty quiet down there as the architects go back to the drawing board to move the main entrance, but issues of scale and site suitability remain loud and clear.

Here's an idea for the Northeast Fremont site, which would provide more safety and visibility than the 130-plus-foot fence that exists now, jutting into one of Northeast Portland's thoroughfares. A car crash occurred there last night.

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