Ear to the Ground
Ear to the Ground
Our attorney contributors share relevant and timely insight into real estate, energy law, water law, and environmental issues.
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Portland's Manufacturing Growth Is Impressive, but Not for Everyone
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Opportunity Zones: A Threequel
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Despite Rumors that it often Rains, Oregon Really Is a Solar Paradise

The Oregon Department of Energy has created a web tool showing the phenomenal growth of solar energy in Oregon in the last 20 years. In 1999, 15 tiny solar facilities were all that existed in the state. By 2018 the state appears to be carpeted in a…
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On the Horizon – Reauthorizing the Federal Terrorism Risk Insurance Program

Accurately forecasting and predicting terrorism exposure within the United States is difficult, to say the least. To make matters more challenging for the commercial real estate industry, reinsurers largely stopped reinsuring terrorism insurance…
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Oregon Adopts First in the Nation Rent Control Law

With the Governor's signature on Senate Bill 608 on February 28, Oregon became the first state with a statewide rent control law. The new law took effect March 1 and is applicable only to residential tenancies.
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Nation's Largest Living Building Is Coming to Portland

A team of Portland's heavy hitters has proposed a new five-story structure in Skidmore/Old Town that could be certified as Portland's first living building. The project team for the PAE Living Building include Gerding Edlen, Walsh Construction…
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Thoughtful and Controlled Pollution: Oregon Likely Next in Line for Carbon Cap-and-Trade Program

This year, Oregon lawmakers will likely pass an economy-wide cap-and-trade system to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, introduced as House Bill 2020, which would make Oregon the second state after California to adopt such a sweeping law.
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Daimler Portland Takes Lead in Automated Trucking

Daimler Trucks North America, headquartered in Portland, recently added 200 jobs to its Automated Truck Research and Development Center here in Rip City. Daimler announced the job growth while unveiling its new Freightliner Cascadia automated truck…
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Portland to Significantly Revamp Historic Preservation Code

The City of Portland has about 10,000 buildings, bridges, cemeteries, landscapes, and other resources that have been designated as historic. Of those, about 5,000 are "documented" on the City's Historic Resource Inventory, which was created in 1984…
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Where Will Right Brainers Thrive?

You have likely been reading many articles and editorials recently about how the gentrification of Portland's downtown and neighborhoods has forced artists out of once inexpensive creative spaces. City Hall is poking around at some remedies. But now…
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LIBOR’s Days Are Numbered - What Should a Commercial Borrower Do?

LIBOR, a key interest-rate benchmark for commercial loans, is published daily by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). After December 31, 2021, the FCA will no longer require banks to submit their daily rates, which FCA uses to calculate LIBOR…
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How the Missing Middle May Help Create Affordable Housing

As discussed in my previous blog post, we need to find ways to build more housing if we are to make a dent in our affordable housing crisis. One solution being explored this legislative session, and by Portland City Council, is to end the ban on so…
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Portland's Affordable Housing Crisis - What's Being Done?

The January 24, 2019 meeting of the Oregon Chapter of NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, featured a panel of affordable housing experts who described the root causes of the crisis, and what is being done to fix it.
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More Real Estate Transactions Now Subject to National Security Review

Created in 1988, the federal Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, reviews acquisitions of US-based assets by foreigners for potential national security implications. Using CFIUS's findings, the President can then block a…
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A Sighting of the Rare Bird of Bipartisanship

Surprise, surprise. The current Congress—the same one that has melted down numerous times over judicial appointments, intelligence investigations, healthcare, and taxes—actually passed some bipartisan water infrastructure legislation—and the…
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Sales, Swaps, and Bike Parks – Change is Coming to Mt. Hood

For a community that has not seen a great deal of change in recent years, there are a lot of new developments happening in Mt. Hood's mountain village. When Collins Lake Resort and the nearby Grand Lodges were built in the early 2000s, it appeared…
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How Long Can Portland's Red Hot Economy Last?

October, rarely friendly to financial markets, has recently come and gone. But Portland keeps rolling along. In the last 12 months, Portland Metro has added 37,100 new jobs, a growth rate of 3.2%, while unemployment remains at 3.6% which is basically…
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Multnomah Property Taxes Will Increase to Highest Rates in Two Decades

On Tuesday, Portland voters approved the $652.8 million bond measure to build thousands of affordable homes for low-income residents in Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas Counties (detailed here). Measure 26-199 was proposed by Metro, which says it…
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A Fresh View of Sichuan's Air Pollution Solutions

I recently had my ear to the ground in and around Chengdu, the capital of southwestern China's Sichuan province. Two things struck me about the air quality in the city. First, the air seemed far cleaner than during my last visit in 2007 despite a…
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Opportunity Zones: A Sequel

Several weeks ago my blog post (How Will Opportunity Zone Investing Impact the Portland Real Estate Market?) talked about the importance to investors and professionals of forthcoming guidance from the IRS. The first chapter of that guidance was…
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The “Wet” is Returning to the Oaks Bottom Wetlands

After almost completely drying out this summer, water has begun to return to the 140-acre Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge in southeast Portland, as work wraps up on an extensive wetlands rehabilitation project. Oaks Bottom is the largest remaining…
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The Silver Tsunami Will Shape Seniors Housing Development

I’ve been helping clients develop and manage seniors housing projects in a national market that has experienced steady growth in recent years. Seniors housing is need-driven with many seniors moving into independent living, assisted living, or memory…
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