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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Drink Up, Portland!

Last week, a colleague and I went on a field trip hosted by the Portland Water Bureau to the Bull Run Watershed, which is the primary water supply for the City of Portland and its multiple wholesale customers (including the City of Beaverton). The…
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Oregon Growth Trends Still High

According to recent research from the American City Business Journals, Oregon ranks 8th in the US for overall migration gains. Surprisingly (to me), in gains, Texas is second, after Florida, and, in losses, New York ranks #1. The Oregon city with the…
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Repurposing Jails and Other Innovative Solutions to the Growing Homelessness Problem

If you live in Portland, Oregon, you might be “used to” seeing people sleeping in tents, openly using drugs, people without shoes or proper clothing pushing carts with meager belongings through town, or people acting strange and often frightening…
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Is Change Finally Coming to Portland's Centennial Mills Site?

A San Antonio, Texas real estate development company, The Lynd Company, is at the top of a list of proposals to finally develop the 4.4-acre Centennial Mills site located along the western side of the Willamette River just north of downtown Portland…
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Portland, Oregon – Future Olympic City?

Last month, Portland hosted the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships. While not likely what comes to mind when thinking of major sporting events, it nonetheless drew a lot of visitors to the city, with an economic impact estimated at $1.5 million.
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New Clean Energy Jobs Bills Seek to Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Oregon

The Oregon legislature is currently in the process of figuring out how the state will (or won't) deal with the greenhouse gas emissions made by Oregonians that are negatively impacting the world's climate. Substantially similar drafts of the Clean…
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Portland's Fossil Fuel Terminal Ban Upheld by Court of Appeals

On January 4, 2018, the Oregon Court of Appeals issued its decision in the case brought by Petitioners Columbia Riverkeeper, Portland Audubon Society, and Center for Sustainable Economy, among others, to attempt to uphold the City of Portland's new…
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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…
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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…
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Terminal 1 Is Back in the Driver's Seat

Terminal 1, the decrepit former marine terminal located on NW Front Avenue just north of the Fremont Bridge on the west side of the Willamette River, was recently bought by the Medford-based automotive company, Lithia Motors. The company plans to…
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New Developments on the Rise in Downtown Portland

Every day on my way to and from work, I see the building on SW Taylor between 2nd and 3rd getting eaten away, bite by bite. Oddly enough, it's a very orderly and calm process, the tearing down of a building. The site currently houses the Ancient…
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Shining a Positive Light on the Willamette River with Portland's New Urban Plan

Growth and development in Portland's central city – comprised of 10 neighborhoods adjacent to or near the Willamette River, including South Waterfront, Lloyd and downtown – will soon be governed by a new urban development plan. A draft of the new…
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Kickstarting New Brownfields Development in Portland

For a city as deeply steeped in all things sustainable, organic, gluten-free, and vegan as Portland, Oregon, it is surprising that the city does not have more of a thriving Brownfields program. Brownfields are the contaminated properties (and…
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Beware Environmental Regulations Lurking in City Codes

When most people think of environmental regulations, they think of the federal government (United States Environmental Protection Agency or "EPA") and state agencies (Oregon Department of Environmental Quality or "DEQ"). However, environmental…
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Forward-Thinking Senior Living Community Blazes Net-Zero Neighborhood Trail

By their nature, senior living communities are forward-thinking, always keeping an eye on 10, 20, 30 years down the road. Rose Villa, a Portland, Oregon nonprofit continuing care retirement community (CCRC), exemplifies this forward-thinking strategy…
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Mall Expansion in Beaverton is Taking Off

The expansion of Cedar Hills Crossing mall in Beaverton, located on SW Cedar Hills Boulevard approximately between Hall Boulevard and Walker Road, is well underway. The buildings that needed to make way have been razed and the site now looks poised…
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Gunderson Marine Barge Launch — More than Just a Vessel

Last month, I attended Gunderson Marine's launch of the OneDREAM, an articulated barge built for Harley Marine Services with a capacity of over 80,000 barrels and a length of 428 feet. What struck me most about the whole affair, standing amidst 200…
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Mind Your Tail — A Visit to Banfield Pet Hospital's New Corporate Headquarters

At a recent meeting at the new corporate headquarters of Medical Management, Inc. dba Banfield Pet Hospital ("Banfield"), I took some time to admire the beautiful spaces that mark Banfield's showcase new headquarters located in Vancouver, Washington…
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Toxic Air Emissions-Time to Tally

On January 6, I attended a Q&A session by lawyers and technical experts designed to help business entities prepare responses to an information request by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality ("DEQ") under the agency's new air toxics program…
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Five Jaw-Dropping Reasons to Read "Ear to the Ground"

Despite that headline, it's not clickbait. ONE. We are attorneys at Tonkon Torp LLP, a full service business law firm in Portland, Oregon. We have our ears to the ground as to what is going on in the real estate development community in the Pacific…
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