Morning Roundup

In today’s news, Oregon offers large incentives to data centers, Terminal 1 lease still pending and Zidell moves away from industrial work.

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1. Study finds Oregon, Washington offer most lucrative tax breaks to data centers

Oregon provided tax breaks worth $33.7 million and Washington approved $57.4 million in the last fiscal year. The breaks are disproportionate to the economic benefit, the Oregonian reports. Good Jobs First, which conducted the study, recommends a tax break cap of $50,000 per job. Prineville, for example, would need to limit its incentive for Facebook to $7.5 million instead of the $15.7 million break it received.  

2. Terminal 1 future is unclear

A lease agreement for Terminal 1 to house a homeless shelter was due by Oct. 7. The Oregonian reports the deadline passed without an agreement in place. The city approved developer Homer Williams’ pitch to open the shelter this fall, now named Oregon Harbor of Hope. But there’s an ongoing conflict between the Bureau of Environmental Services and the Housing Bureau on the lease terms.

3. Future of Zidell shifts away from industrial

Zidell announced two weeks ago that the barge business would close. Specific plans for their South Waterfront property aren’t public, but the Portland Tribune reports a master plan is under development. Retail is likely for the property, as well as a dock for kayaks and paddle boards. Heavy industrial activity is out, however. CEO Jay Zidell said they want to focus on culture and ways to attract more people to the area. 

4. Sen. Merkley backs Central Oregon pipeline project

The region is looking at more effective ways to transport water for agricultural use. At this time, the Deschutes River is reduced in the winter to store water for the next year. During the irrigation season, some of the available water is lost due to leaking into the ground or evaporation. Installing piping in the canals could help solve this problem. Merkley intends to advocate three pieces of legislation to fund piping projects, the Bend Bulletin reports.

5. Astoria looks at 5-year economic development

The coastal city has started to develop an economic development strategy named “Advance Astoria.” The city will seek community partnerships and improvements that encourage entrepreneurs to consider Astoria home, according to the Daily Astorian. Road improvements, clean sidewalks and robust education, for example, make the list.

6. Kroger eyes Whole Foods

That’s the rumor anyway. Sales at Whole Foods are dropping as customers complain about high prices. CNN reports the Kroger purchase rumor boosted Whole Foods stock by 5%. At this time, both companies declined to comment.

7. Downtime with Holly Mensch

The vice president of innovation and consumer insight for Kettle Brand, Diamond Foods, talks work, life and play.