"We're innocent, but we'll pay $1.3 million"

Incompetence is expensive. This week we see the bureaucrats who used to be reviled as the Portland Development Commission, now known as "Prosper Portland," forking over seven figures in a royal fustercluck. It involves the botched redevelopment project whereby the Main Post Office was run out of town so that the apartment weasels could have the land. The Weed describes the latest scene in the fiasco:

Prosper... said in documents released today that its insurance provider is proposing to pay $1.3 million to settle a lawsuit over a disputed contract to demolish the shuttered U.S. Post Office processing center in the Pearl District....

Prosper sought bids in 2020 to demolish structures where the U.S. Postal Service formerly processed mail... One of the companies that bid for the work, Portland-based Northwest Infrastructure, owned by Michael Martin, who is Black, filed a $5.5 million discrimination lawsuit against Prosper, alleging that the agency manipulated bid results to award the contract to a larger company. In response, Prosper eventually canceled the original award, split the work into two parcels, and awarded Northwest Infrastructure a small piece of the work.

Prosper vehemently denied it had acted improperly, but Northwest Infrastructure’s lawsuit dragged on—it endured well beyond the collapse of the Broadway Corridor project, which hit a major setback during the pandemic when Denver-based Continuum Partners, the lead developer, withdrew. 

Nonetheless, Prosper continues working toward its goal of developing the Broadway Corridor and, in a report prepared for the Feb. 1 board meeting, said it would settle Martin’s lawsuit—albeit reluctantly—and move on.

Even leaving aside what was done to this company, the whole Post Office deal has been a stinker from the start. What has it achieved? A perfectly good employer with dozens of good, union, blue-collar jobs and a facility that attracted lots of normal-people traffic was chased out of the central city, paid a bunch of money, and replaced by a gigantic empty lot surrounded by junkies living in tents. This is what passes for "prosperity" in Portland.


  1. Whatever they do, as long as they do it reluctantly, I'm sure it's fine.

  2. A perfect spot for a combined mental health/jail/treatment center.

  3. Prosper Portland puts DEI ahead of anything and everything they touch. Development be damned. They lack any sense of what their mission is.

  4. What a waste. I had a temporary job at that facility, back in the late 80’s. It was a great building and hardly even seemed to be used at full capacity. Leave it to the city and/or Feds to spend money for a brand new facility, only to leave the older and quite serviceable one as nothing more than a hole in the ground.

  5. Looking through old reporting on this from WillyWeak it seems like Prosper Portland wasn't actually in the wrong here (which personally I find shocking). https://www.wweek.com/news/2021/11/17/michael-martin-thought-portland-officials-wanted-a-black-contractor-to-tear-down-the-us-post-office-he-was-wrong/ - the guy wanted contracts to go to a certified minority owned business, but his company wasn't certified. He was just hopeful that Jo Ann Hardesty could swing it for him.

  6. The new post office sort facility is already sinking into the Columbia slough/mud as a big, horrible , flat roof windowless concrete gulag that sprawls with tons of impermeable surfaces for trucks & to ship stuff by airplane.

    It’s been real hard on USPS employees to commute from Beaverton/similar all the way out to Cornfoot Dr. By the airport.
    This happened to the SF USPS in the ‘90s when the land it was on the weasels were salivating over.
    Richard Blum (husband of Diane Feinstein) had the inside track on that.
    We shoulda known as CA was 10-20 years ahead of us on the trends.

    Our usps is a bit sadder as it was right at the southern terminus of the great northern railway and northern terminus of the SOuthern pacific.

    Obviously, nationalizing the railroads since the ‘70s is at best going to get you a conrail type deal where the whole goal is to spin off all the unprofitable passenger and small parcel service/sorting the mail on the train & subsidize it until it can become a bigger smellier turd that can be returned to private hands to make a profit; it’s not going to be nationalized to take advantage of economies of scale for something like a railroad that can run on nuclear or non-fossil electric power & easily load small parcels from close by…that might make sense or be a public good that benefits everyone in an era of online shopping & roads, rubber tires & fossil fuels being a dead end, ultimately, regardless (even if we don’t actively *try* to phase all that out now or plan of it being greatly reduced).

    It’s the feds that own it, USPs is cash strapped what with the absurd pension funding requirement that a heavily democrat Congress stuck them with in ‘06 to start the slow death spiral (they couldn’t outright privatize it like the UK…ours still sends small parcels to old people ther vote snd far reaches of empire/military bases that we still have thet the UK doesn’t, so stealth defund &/or no child left behind requirements & testing is the order of the day.)

    Doesn’t help that a cartoonish walking pile of FedEx stock & lobbying $ louis Dejoy is postmaster general that the Biden admin sees no reason to boot the entire board & postmaster.

    It’s just too tempting/easy of a deal for prosper Portland to bilk the taxpayers into buying it, even though now condos, office space or desire to ride the streetcar in the pearl is a bust & usps to try to get some $ out of land that’s appreciated, even if it’s a terrible deal in the future for clean logistics shipping environmentally, usps operating costs & USPS employees…


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