Sick sister succumbs

This week we learn of the demise of a hotel project orchestrated by the same guy who's in charge of the ludicrous new Ritz-Carlton Hotel and condo palace in downtown Portland. The distressed property is something currently called the Viv Hotel, down by Disneyland in southern California. The mortgage isn't being paid, and so the bank says it's going to seize the building and sell it. The O has the story here, and the Portland Business Journal has it here, although you may encounter paywalls in both places, I'm afraid.

One of the stories says that the last of the Portland Ritz apartments are officially finished as of tomorrow. And although they say NBA teams are now staying at the hotel when they play the Blazers, there hasn't been much news of the "luxury" condos selling. There are 130 of those babies sitting there waiting for God-knows-who. The project is reportedly around $400 million in hock to the bank.

I hear they're asking something like $2,800 a square foot for the penthouses. For that you could probably live in a penthouse on Central Park in New York City. I think the average pad in the Dakota sells for something like $3,100 a foot. But you'd rather be in downtown Portland, Oregon? Quite a price to pay for the weird.

It cracks me up that they're still spinning this as "Now comes the hard part." That's what they said six months ago. That's probably what they'll be saying six months from now. Eventually the bankers pull the plug.

Anyway, if you're having a bad day, thank your lucky stars you didn't invest with the developer, Walt Bowen. You saved yourself what could shape up as a big, long headache.


  1. Reminds me of the “Blockbuster” movie promotions that occasionally surface in Hollywood. The backers lose their investment. But, promotions continue.

  2. Actually, what the O reported was that ONE of the 132 condos has been sold as of the date of publication. That is not a good sign.

    1. Gotta start somewhere. I am sure that Ted will tout the “success” of that one sale as a sign of progress.

  3. Who wants to live downtown in luxury anyway? I could see if it was some lonely rich recluse, or some Howard Hughes type. You would never have to leave the building. But there are only so many of those rich recluse types to go around.

  4. I believe this is one of Portland's economic opportunity zones from the trump tax bill
    Sell an investment and reinvest it in an opportunity zone and keep it tied up for five years and get 50 percent break on capital gains or keep it tied up for ten years for zero percent capital gain rate.

  5. Well hey, the Goodmans made bank off this project, a cool $40 million at least, and that's all the really matters.


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