Ballot measure may halt mall project

Oregon City commissioners intend to put a measure on the May ballot that may kill the planned $200 million mall, The Rivers.

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Oregon City commissioners are considering a ballot measure that may kill the planned $200 million mall, The Rivers.

The measure would require votor approval of urban renewal bonds, and opponents fear it would unnecesairily delay the mall project.

Mayor Doug Neeley described the proposed measure’s possible impact bluntly at a hearing last week: “If this goes to a vote of the people in the May election … (developer CenterCal Properties) isn’t going to wait around. I think it will kill The Rivers project.”

CenterCal President Fred Bruning, who is ready to sign an agreement with the city’s urban renewal agency, said he faces ever-tightening deadlines in dealing with numerous tenants and buying the land for The Rivers. The potential measure is one complication too many, he said.

“By (May), who knows. We can’t see putting a lot more dollars into it when the commission is tentative,” Bruning said. If Oregon City doesn’t want the mall, there are opportunities elsewhere, he said.


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