Morning Roundup: PDX low-income housing spend exceeds market rate; Oregon gets $68.2 million from VW

In today’s news, Portland spends top dollar on affordable housing projects, Oregon gets big cut from VW settlement and SeaPort closure reverberates in Pendleton.

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1. Portland low income housing costs in question

Portland doesn’t always get the most bang for its buck on low-income housing, Willamette Week reports. For example, Portland paid $514 per square foot to renovate 50 apartments at the Bronaugh — double the market rate for new construction.

2. Oregon to receive largest cut from Volkswagen settlement

A federal judge is expected to approve Volkswagen’s settlement for cheating air emissions testings next month. Since Oregon purchased the largest share of the affected diesel vehicles, the state will receive the largest chunk for environmental mitigation: $68.2 million. The Portland Tribune reports that’s seven times what the DEQ has spent for clean-diesel projects in the last 15 years.

3. SeaPort closure could shutter Pendleton’s airport

Pendleton had contracted with SeaPort Airlines — now that the airline has gone belly-up, the city must find a new service. Pendleton also had to convince the U.S. Department of Transportation to extend its subsidy. The East Oregonian reports the airport exceeded the $200 per passenger subsidy cap, an increase the city blames on Seaport and its woes. The airport is looking to San Francisco’s Boutique Air for a solution.

4. Pearl District post office design plan unveiled

The plans come from nine Portland State students, who have spent the summer working with the Portland Development Commission to connect Old Town to the Pearl. They’ve dubbed the development Union Park. Portland Monthly reports PDC intends to put the project out to bid next year.

5. OpenSesame lands additional $9 million in funding

The e-learning marketplace has now raised a total of $19 million. The Portland Business Journal reports Open Sesame plans to expand its course offerings to include subjects like augmented and virtual reality.

6. Nike’s first-quarter earnings far surpassed market projections

The Beaverton company took in $1.2 billion, or 73 cents per share, according to the Oregonian. Nike’s expected earnings were closer to 56 cents per share. That’s good news for the footwear manufacturer, which has missed its projections for the last three quarters. CEO Mark Parker attributes growth to innovative products.

7. Breaking news: Portland loves coffee

WalletHub released a coffee scene ranking the day before National Coffee Day (Sept. 29). No suprise: Portland captured the top slot. The ranking was based on the number of coffee shops per capita, average price, number of Google searches for “coffee” and 9 other indicators. Second place? Seattle.

8. Hot Topics: Higher Education, Disrupted

A recap of our panel discussion yesterday, by OB Research Editor Kim Moore.