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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Checking in on Oregon’s Real Estate Environment

Oregon continues to benefit from one of the nation’s most attractive residential and commercial real estate environments. We have had, and will continue to have, ebbs and flows just like any market, as we discussed here. But the region's general…
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The List You Don't Want to Be On

Everybody loves lists—at least when the list ranks something positive. We can celebrate that Oregon ranks second for the most craft breweries per capita (Vermont eked out the top spot). And that Bend topped a list of best ski towns, while Portland…
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Is Pre-Fab Coming of Age?

Prefabrication of building components has come a long way since the 1970s. The current focus is on commercial applications. Commercial building projects are often driven by schedule as much as cost.
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There Really Is Enough Sunshine to Go Around, People

Crops need sun. Solar panels need sun. One would think there is enough sunshine, even in rainy Oregon, for everyone. But at the urging of some strict farmland preservationists, the Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission recently adopted…
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Can Oregon Processors Keep Up with Oregon Hemp?

Oregon's next bumper crop may end up being industrial hemp, the nearly THC-free cousin of marijuana, grown for recreational andr medical use. With planting season 2019 in full swing, Oregon farmers have registered to grow around 50,000 acres of hemp…
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Federal Tax Law Drafting Error Punishes Commercial Developers

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law in December 2017, promised radical changes to the federal tax code. Many of its goodies were aimed and the real estate industry, but because of a critical drafting error, many commercial landlords and…
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New Life for an Old Courthouse

Local real estate investment firm NBP Capital acquired the downtown Multnomah County courthouse for $28 million this past November. The current structure was completed in 1914, although the site has been the home of the County courthouse since the…
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Green Infrastructure: Is There an App for That?

Portland is a leader in managing stormwater runoff with green infrastructure. Nearly 20 years ago, the City began a serious effort to adopt green infrastructure – such as pervious surfaces, bioswales, vegetated infiltration galleries, and other…
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Portland's Manufacturing Growth Is Impressive, but Not for Everyone

According to the March 2019 Multnomah County Economic Indicators report, the Portland manufacturing sector has grown impressively since the great recession, having created close to 250,000 jobs since 2010.
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Opportunity Zones: A Threequel

Last month the IRS issued additional guidance in the form of more proposed regulations. The latest guidance is generally favorable to real estate investors, and reflects continuing efforts by the Government to promote the purposes and intent of the…
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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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