PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The clock is ticking to find a new place for Right 2 Dream Too, the homeless camp at the entrance to Chinatown.
Developers are suing the owners of the property where the camp has been for several years.
A 9-story hotel is under construction on West Burnside and 4th, across the street from the camp. Developers filed a lawsuit arguing the camp violates city zoning code and is blocking redevelopment in Chinatown.
The Portland Development Commission made a deal to buy the property more than 2 years ago. They already paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to the owner and planned to close the deal in April.
“I think it is lighting a fire because now there is some sense of urgency,” hotel developer Bob Naito told KOIN 6 News. “I’m not entirely convinced April would go by and they would not just let the deal collapse to buy the property.”
Naito said if the camp hasn’t moved by then, “the property owners give back $300,000 to the city and they can sell it to whoever they want, and the campers can stay there another 5 years.”
After 2 failed attempts to move the camp, Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz now says she has a new site in mind — but won’t reveal it until she works out the details.
The attorney for Right 2 Dream Too told KOIN 6 News his board voted to approve the new, unnamed site. Indications are it’s in a commercial or industiral area, and no zoning changes are needed.
The attorney added R2DToo is currently not violating any city code at NW 4th and Burnside.
Plans may be revealed as early as next week.
Naito said he’s aware of the site, but he’s not convinced the 3rd time is the charm.
“The problem right now is that what happens if that neighborhood does what the Pearl District did, and OMSI did, and has some reaction and just fights it?”