The Portland City Council voted last week to create a $169 million urban renewal area around the Portland State University (PSU) campus. The planned renewal area is 144 acres. PSU officials say the money will help the university as it continues to grow, allowing for expansions and improvements to existing buildings and, further down the line, some more ambitious projects. The money diverted from property taxes will also benefit Lincoln High School and the Multnomah County Health Department.
The League of Women Voters expressed concerns about the investment and Commissioner Amanda Fritz was the lone vote against it. Both argued that the money would be better spent on city and county services and that the area around PSU is not “blighted” and therefore not in need of funds from the Portland Development Commission.
Despite the dissent, the resolution passed and the money will begin accumulating next summer. The next question is: how will it be spent?
Are you a student at Portland State University? Do you own a business in the area? What will this urban renewal money mean for you?