In today’s news, the DOJ files suit against OHSU, Veterans Memorial redevelopment in the works and Wapato Jail buyer pulls out.
1. DOJ accuses OHSU of fraud
The Department of Justice alleges Oregon Health & Science University made false claims to receive more federal grant money, the Portland Business Journal reports. A lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court outlines concerns with funding applications for the Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute and the Oregon National Primate Research Center. Both programs are located on the Beaverton campus. The DOJ alleges OSHU used higher overhead cost quotes to receive additional funding.
2. Capstone Partners quietly pitches Veterans Memorial redevelopment
Full details are not available, but the plan would rejuvenate the space as a niche music venue. Capstone would also construct a mixed-use development on surface parking lots, according to the Oregonian. The plan could require up to $100 million in public funding if it moves forward. Commissioner Steve Novick, one of the few in the know, said he doesn’t think the plan has a realistic chance because of the public funding requirement.
3. Wapato bid withdrawn
Gary Russo had until the end of Oct. 31 to prove he could pay the $9 million he bid for the Wapato Jail. Instead, the Portland Tribune reports, he withdrew his offer. Russo said he will take his investment elsewhere because his reputation was damaged by Portland media outlets.
4. Web platform to ease parking challenges at event venues
Ziba Design spin off Citifyd has partnered with Pasadena, Calif. to facilitate private parking sharing. The Citifyd platform will allow private commercial parking spot owners to list their unused and available spaces for a period of time and price of their choosing.
5. Salem proposes nature center at Ankeny Wildlife Refuge
The Salem Audubon Society is leading the charge and would provide the majority of the funding to construct the center, according to the Statesman Journal. The center would serve as an environmental education hub. The Fish and Wildlife Service will present the proposal tomorrow. If the process moves forward, construction could begin in 2018.
6. ESCO plant announces its closing date
The Northwest Portland mining, oil and gas equipment plant will begin shutting down Jan. 2, 2017, the Portland Tribune reports. ESCO first announced its impending closure in November 2015. The closure and elimination of 168 jobs should be complete by July 1, 2017.
7. Eugene relicenses Carmen-Smith Dam
The deal, which requires federal approval, would save an estimated $80 million. The Register Guard reports these savings come from constructing less expensive improvements to the hydroelectric project fish passage and shutting down its secondary power plant.
8. Editor’s note: A preview of our November/December issue
OB editor Linda Baker gives readers a sneak peak of the new magazine.