- Multnomah County Circuit Judge Eric Bloch on March 3 moved the proposed $200 million Hyatt Hotel adjacent to the Oregon Convention Center one large step closer to reality. Bloch blocked downtown hotelier Gordon Sondland and his allies, who object to the project’s $80 million subsidy, from putting the project to a public vote. Metro, which operates the Convention Center, hopes to finish negotiating a final agreement with Mortenson Development and Hyatt this spring and break ground early next year. “We are really excited to move forward,” says Andy Shaw, chief of staff to Metro Council President Tom Hughes
- One potential big winner from Mayor Charlie Hales’ announcement that he wants to rejigger the city’s urban renewal districts: Oregon Health & Science University and its drive to raise $500 million to match a Phil Knight challenge grant. Expanding the North Macadam district and using some of the $60 million in additional bonding capacity to benefit OHSU’s riverfront campus could help OHSU. “We’re hoping to put a lot of money into infrastructure down there,” says Portland Development Commission executive director Patrick Quinton. “If it works out that way, we’d love to have it count as a match for OHSU.”
- Two Portland film-industry figures are battling in Multnomah County District Court. Stripper-zombie
film producer Sean Skelding, owner of Portland-based Cheezy Flicks
Entertainment, is being sued by one of his investors. Casey Nolan filed
suit last week seeking money he says Skelding owes him for the
production of I Am Virgin and Stripperland. Skelding undertook the projects without enough cash to pay contractors, Nolan claims. Stripperland, a 2011 zombie horror-comedy, featured actor Daniel Baldwin rapping a song called “Club Life.” Neither Skelding nor Nolan was available for comment.
- Rick Gustafson is retiring as executive director and chief operating officer of Portland Streetcar Inc. Gustafson, 67, has overseen the nonprofit that runs the city’s streetcar for all 12 years of its operation. “The job is bigger,” he tells WW, “and I’m slower.”