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City Council Approves Spending $1.5M More On Sustainability


The effort to build a multi-story sustainability center in downtown Portland barely passed an important test at city council Wednesday.

The Oregon Sustainability Center is a joint project of the city, public universities, non-profits and businesses. It promises to be one of the world’s most efficient office buildings.

Two commissioners voted against spending $1.5 million on more engineering of the center. Amanda Fritz doubted it was “a good deal” for Portland taxpayers. Nick Fish suspected the sustainability center wasn’t financially “sustainable.”

Commissioner Dan Saltzman was part of the three-member majority to press ahead. But he had concerns, too.

“This is not a project at any cost, despite how exciting it is,” Saltzman said.

Saltzman attached conditions related to price and how the project could be funded. This isn’t the last round for the center at city council.

The project also needs legislative approval for state-backed bonds. Lawmakers rejected those in the last session.

A key legislative committee will discuss the project this week. Backers hope to break ground next summer.