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'Skyscraper Backlash' Comes to Downtown Portland

As the Portland City Council considers the Central City 2035 plan, downtown residents, many of whom live in high-rises, are actively opposing regulations that would allow new high-rises.
January 26, 2018, 10am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Kyle Sprague

Rachel Monahan reports on the "skyscraper backlash" emerging in Portland. The controversy centers around a proposal for a 17-story glass and concrete tower in the Pearl District called the Fremont Place Apartments. The leading opponents of the skyscraper: residents of a nearby 28-story skyscraper called the Cosmopolitan.

The opposition actions have been lead by the Pearl District Neighborhood Association, which has gained support for residents of other high-rises in the neighborhood. Monhan quotes residents of high-rises blaming plans for new high-rises with "losing our Oregon soul" and "sacrificing the integrity" of the city.

Added to all this irony and controversy, the Portland City Council is expected to set height limits in the Central City 2035 plan, with consequences beyond the Pearl District in and around downtown Portland. Planners have recommended a height limit of 250 feet. "Citizens are begging commissioners to amend the planners' proposals so that current views are preserved," according to Monahan.

Monahan concludes the article by presenting a counter argument that supports a supply-side approach to improving the city's housing shortage. 

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