Tonkon

Portland Residential Home Energy Score Requirement Takes Effect January 1

Real Estate and Land Use


12/14/2017 by David J. Petersen

Portland Residential Home Energy Score Requirement Takes Effect January 1
Starting January 1, 2018, single-family home sellers in Portland will be required to report a Home Energy Score (HES) to potential buyers. The HES is a federally-developed measurement of the energy-related use and associated costs for a home, and is scored between 1 and 10. A HES of 5 means that the home's energy use is comparable to the average Portland home. A score of 10 places the home in the top 10% most energy-efficient homes in the city; a score of 1 places it in the bottom 15%. The HES can be used to qualify for energy-efficiency financing through Fannie Mae and FHA, and properties with a good HES (6 or higher) will stretch some lenders' debt-to-income ratio requirements, making it easier for buyers to qualify for a mortgage.

Willamette Falls Riverwalk Moving Forward Despite Adversity

Environmental, Real Estate and Land Use, Water Law


12/8/2017 by David J. Petersen

Willamette Falls Riverwalk Moving Forward Despite Adversity
Willamette Falls, between Oregon City and West Linn, is the second-largest waterfall in the US by volume. Home of the nation's first hydroelectric project in 1888, the falls have largely been cut off from public view since then by industrial development, including the former 23-acre Blue Heron paper mill on the river's edge in Oregon City. A coalition of local governments led by Metro aim to change that with an ambitious public Riverwalk on the east bank of the falls. With a budget of $25 million, half of it coming from state sources, designers envision the Riverwalk as a public walkway through the Blue Heron site and across PGE's operating hydroelectric dam to a viewpoint on the falls' edge

Real Market Values and "Compression" – Property Taxes Continue to Climb in Oregon

Real Estate and Land Use


11/22/2017 by Michael Mangan

Real Market Values and
One of the most significant reasons taxes have increased so much this year is "Compression." Due to Measure 5, Oregon's constitution limits the amount of taxes that can be collected from each property for two categories of tax: Education related taxes are limited to a threshold of $5 per $1,000 of Real Market Value (RMV) and General Government related taxes to $10 of $1,000 of RMV. The taxes themselves are listed on the right side of every statement – though the limits do not appear anywhere.

There's an Essential Oil for That

Real Estate and Land Use


11/20/2017 by Rachel Kiyoko Atchison

There's an Essential Oil for That
Portlanders are familiar with the panoply of ailments that essential oils can solve—from depression to broken legs (okay, maybe not quite)—and commercial real estate spaces have also taken note of the power of scents. The sense of smell can evoke vivid memories and emotions. When your nose detects a scent, it passes that impulse on to your olfactory receptor cells, then on to the olfactory bulb, and finally, to your amygdala (the area of the brain responsible for processing emotion) and to your hippocampus (an area linked to memory). Studies have shown that the sense of smell can bring about more brain activity than visual cues. Companies are using ambient scenting in commercial real estate spaces to influence clients' decisions and add another dimension to companies' brands. Some companies are choosing to scent their office spaces because scents can improve workers' productivity. Ambient scenting companies specialize in tailoring a custom signature scent for your space.

Why Did My Property Tax Bill Go Up?

Real Estate and Land Use


11/8/2017 by Michael Mangan

Why Did My Property Tax Bill Go Up?
Property taxes have skyrocketed for many Oregonians this year – with some taxpayers experiencing double digit percentage increases over the year before and average increases in the Metro area of 11 % (Multnomah), 6.5 % (Clackamas), and 5.9 % (Washington). In my post about new bond measures last week, I explained that recently passed Bond Measures have caused tax rates to reach a new peak this year. But, as the Multnomah County Assessor put it; Bond Measures are only one part of the equation.

Portland's Neighborhood Associations Going Strong After 40 Years

Real Estate and Land Use


11/7/2017 by Stephanie J. Grant

Portland's Neighborhood Associations Going Strong After 40 Years
Portland's neighborhood associations have generated news lately, from Montavilla's resolution resisting the City's efforts to clear homeless camps, to controversy over whether transient persons can vote in Overlook's meetings, and whether Eastmoreland should establish a historic district. This recent surge in discussion of neighborhood associations made me wonder: what authority do these organizations really have? The City of Portland recognizes 95 neighborhood associations, grouped into seven "district coalitions." The Office of Neighborhood Involvement ("ONI") publishes standards and guidelines to which the associations must adhere.

One Reason Your Property Taxes Skyrocketed – New Bond Measures

Real Estate and Land Use


11/2/2017 by Michael Mangan

One Reason Your Property Taxes Skyrocketed – New Bond Measures
Contrary to popular belief, Oregon law does not limit property tax increases to three percent per year. If you received a property tax statement this year, you may have learned this the hard way. Overall tax rates are now at a 20 year high and this trend will continue unless there is a significant legislative fix. While many newspapers are reporting that these increases are the result of newly passed bond measures, the Multnomah County Assessor recently told me, "This only explains the rate side of the equation." In other words – it's not the whole story. I agree.

Industrial Growth Booming on Portland's Eastside

Real Estate and Land Use


10/26/2017 by David J. Petersen

Industrial Growth Booming on Portland's Eastside
The Eagle Creek fire isn't the only recent conflagration in east Multnomah County. The market for new industrial development in places like Troutdale and Gresham is en fuego also. Big new developments attracting hot employers to the region include the Port of Portland's Gresham Vista Business Park, portions of which are being developed by Trammell Crow and Specht. Specht also has the massive Vista Logistics Park under development in Gresham. And the Port and Trammell Crow are hard at work on the Troutdale Reynolds Industrial Park, on the site of the former Reynolds aluminum plant in Troutdale. Headlining the recent additions at Troutdale Reynolds is a 19.5-acre Amazon distribution center, which joins three other new Amazon facilities recently built or planned for Hillsboro, Salem, and Portland.

Mass Timber Products Take Center Stage in Multi-Story Construction

Environmental, Manufacturing, Real Estate and Land Use


10/20/2017 by Jeanette Schuster

Mass Timber Products Take Center Stage in Multi-Story Construction
Governor Brown has declared October 15-21, 2017 as "Oregon Forest Products Week" and asked all Oregonians to join in observance. In her signed proclamation to designate this week, Governor Brown recognizes Oregon's forest sector as the state's leading traded sector that contributes more than $12 billion annually to the state's economy and employs more than 60,000 Oregonians with above-average annual incomes. One sector in the forest products industry that has garnered significant attention in recent years, both domestically and abroad, is mass timber construction. As in so many things sustainable and cool, Oregon is a leader in this industry.

Portland's Chances to Land Amazon RFP for Second Headquarters Seem Slim

Real Estate and Land Use


10/17/2017 by Jeanette Schuster

Portland's Chances to Land Amazon RFP for Second Headquarters Seem Slim
The October 19 deadline for states, counties, provinces and metro areas in the US and Canada to submit proposals to Amazon in response to its search for a second headquarters location (with a budget of $5 billion and plans for employment of up to 50,000 workers over the next 10-15 years with an average annual total compensation exceeding $100,000) is fast approaching. It looks like Portland might throw its hat into the ring.

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