Saturday, December 31, 2016

Choose Your Adventure Along the Max Orange Line- Clinton/Division

Wondering what to do this weekend? How about exploring Clinton and Division St?  The District has undergone a transformation in recent years and the MAX Orange Line is a great way to explore.
Dining | Nightlife | Boutique Shopping | More
The secret’s out: If you want to check out New Portland, including everything from creative cuisine to artisanal boutique shopping, head to Division Street.
The district has undergone a transformation in recent years, especially near the Clinton/SE 12th Ave MAX Station. This area, once an out-of-the-way light industrial zone, is now home to some of the newest and most interesting shops in town.
At the corner of SE 11th & Division sits Pine State Biscuits, a restaurant dedicated to dressing up the perfect biscuit. Next door is an import store, Voyager, and a boutique, AVIDD, that features chic apparel, gifts and art (there’s even an in-house artist painting every day of the week). The nearby Ford Building houses studio spaces and artisanal shops — this is where you’ll find MoonBrine’s all-natural pickles and BlaqPaks bike bags.
There’s lots to do — and drink — once the sun goes down, too. You can’t miss the beer garden patio at Apex (or the big BAR sign above Double Dragon). Across the street, Beermongers has a selection of more than 600 bottles, in case you’re looking for something to take home.
Plan your trip today at:

Looking for Real Estate in the Portland area? Contact:
 Karen Schaaf ACP, GRI
RE/MAX equity group
Lackman Commercial Group
Licensed in Oregon

Thursday, December 29, 2016

One Year Later- Milwaukie basks in MAX Orange Line's economic glow

TriMet's Orange Line and its centerpiece, the Tilikum Crossing, opened to the public Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. The $1.5 billion, 7.3-mile Orange Line connects downtown Portland with downtown Milwaukie through Southeast Portland, and is the first major extension of the MAX light-rail system since 2009. (Randy Rasmussen/staff)
Folks from the South Waterfront dristrct all the way through Downtown Milwaukie have been enjoying a new way to get to the office or to school. Property values along the Orange line have been increasing, retail storefronts are full, and interest has been renewed in the industrial corridor along the route.

 Even compared to the greater Portland area's fast-moving real estate market, said Milwaukie is seeing homes sell in 24 days, almost twice as fast as elsewhere in the metro area.

One year in, and Milwaukie is already feeling the Orange Line's economic glow.
City officials say home sales and property values have seen double-digit growth, in no small part to the $1.4 billion TriMet light-rail line connecting Portland to Milwaukie.
The city was named the nation's ninth-hottest real estate market for 2016 by, which City Manager Bill Monahan chalked up in part to the opening of the Orange Line during a briefing to the city council this week.
Even compared to the greater Portland area's fast-moving real estate market, the real-estate website said Milwaukie is seeing homes sell in 24 days, almost twice as fast as elsewhere in the metro area.

        The biggest appreciation was near the light-rail line.

The city surely benefited from being a close-in suburb with lower housing costs than within Portland's city limits. But Assistant City Manager Mitch Nieman said the biggest appreciation was near the light-rail line.
"We're finding residents moving here because they're being priced out of Portland," he said, "and they're starting businesses because their businesses are being priced out of Portland," he said.

The city, meanwhile, has also seen its downtown retail corridor fill up.

There are "virtually zero vacancies" in downtown retail storefronts, Nieman said.The demand has driven listed home prices 12.2 percent higher, according to, but the median home price, at $309,000, remains about 25 percent lower than the metro area as a whole.
And, he said, the Orange Line also has renewed interest in an industrial corridor located next to the alignment.
Sock It to Me, a maker of whimsical socks and other apparel, moved from Southeast Portland to the North Milwaukie Industrial Area in April in part because of the Orange Line.

         10 to 15 percent of employees rely on public transit exclusively

"I'm one of probably 10 to 15 percent of employees who rely on public transit exclusively," said Sarah Jean Charniak, the company's marketing manager. "Finding a location in general that met our office and warehouse needs and also had access to public transit was a really big challenge."
Meanwhile, Monahan told the City Council on Tuesday, an uptick in crime predicted by the city's former police chief hasn't come to pass.
The first year, however, has had its share of challenges: Ridership numbers are lower than projected, and TriMet is trying to shore up poor reliability on the MAX system as a whole -- in part through weekslong disruptions for repairs. Some who once had a one-seat bus ride into downtown Portland now have to transfer.
Overcrowding at the Orange Line's Park & Ride facilities has been a persistent problem. Both the garage at the Southeast Park Avenue terminus in Oak Grove and the lot at the Southeast Tacoma/Johnson Creek station usually fill to capacity on weekdays.
The project originally called for more parking at both locations, but TriMet pared back parking when the Federal Transit Administration only agreed to fund 50 percent of the project rather than 60 percent.
That's led to commuters parking in residential side streets. TriMet has leased 150 parking spaces from the Milwaukie-Portland Elks Lodge, located next to the 402-space Park Avenue Garage. The transit agency is paying $97,200 over three years.
TriMet also asked the federal government for permission to use some leftover funds for the project, which came in about $48 million under budget, to add parking, but the request was denied, said David Unsworth, TriMet's project development and permitting director.
It is using some of the leftover funds to install more shelters at stations along the line. Whatever goes unused for that and other last-minute additions will be returned to the various contributing agencies, likely in 2018.

For more information about available properties along the MAX Line, contact:

Karen Schaaf ACP, GRI
RE/MAX equity group
Lackman Commercial Group
Licensed in Oregon

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The New Future in High Rise Constuction- Cross-laminated Timber Panels?

In October of this year, The Framework Project LLC successfully completed fire tests on cross-laminated timber panels demonstrating that it meets a code standard for exposed wood as building material in high-rise buildings of 75 feet or higher. If structural and seismic tests also pass, the production of cross-laminated timber for use in construction could greatly boost economies of rural timber towns.

“For people here, the idea that you can actually create these kinds of spaces, with these types of materials, is powerful, because those are the spaces that people like being in,”...“But also because in Oregon, it’s a major part of our heritage and economy.”

If a huge tree catches on fire in the forest — a Doug fir, for example — its natural properties find it charring instead of burning outright, which slows the progression of the fire.
It’s a natural concept, and one that a team in Portland has put to the test in a quest to build the first timber high-rise in the country and, along the way, help spark rural economies in Oregon and elsewhere.

The Framework project- 60 units of workforce housing along with office space for socially minded businesses

This week, The Framework Project LLC, which includes Portland’s LEVER Architecture and the developer project^, among others, announced that it had successfully completed two important fire tests on the cross-laminated timber panels it plans to use in building a 12-story high-rise in the Pearl District. The tests, conducted by an independent research center in Texas, showed that a specially-designed assembly of exposed CLT and steel can withstand fire for at least two hours, a standard that meets the code for high-rise buildings of 75 feet or higher.
“What this does,” said Thomas Robinson, founder of LEVER, “is it allows us to demonstrate that you can build a high rise with exposed wood — and you can do it safely.”
The Framework project, which is planned for the corner of Northwest 10th Avenue and Glisan Street on a quarter block that is currently home to Albina Community Bank, is set to include 60 units of workforce housing along with office space for socially minded businesses.

The recent tests were made possible through a $1.5 million prize

that the team won last September in the national Tall Wood Building Prize Competition. The successful tests will move the project forward on its way to becoming what the team describes as the “first high rise with exposed wood in North America.”
Further testing of the structural and seismic soundness of the system is currently underway and expected to wrap up and be announced by early next year. If all goes as planned, the building could break ground in spring 2017.
When it does, it will do more than blaze the trail for high-rise timber construction in Portland, according to Robinson.
“For people here, the idea that you can actually create these kinds of spaces, with these types of materials, is powerful, because those are the spaces that people like being in,” he said. “But also because in Oregon, it’s a major part of our heritage and economy.”
Much of the timber used in the tests and also planned for Framework comes from DR Johnson Wood Innovations, the CLT manufacturing arm of Riddle, Oregon, wood products company DR Johnson. New uses for sustainably managed timber bodes well for rural economies in Oregon and elsewhere, Robinson said.
“There’s a groundswell of interest across the political spectrum over how this type of building can have an impact from a sustainability perspective, but also in terms of stimulating rural economic development,” he said. “That’s exciting to be a part of, and to connect what’s happening in Portland to what’s happening in Riddle, Oregon — that’s not something that’s typically connected as much as it could be. To me, that’s important.”

Looking for Real Estate in the Portland area? Contact:

Karen Schaaf ACP, GRI
RE/MAX equity group
Lackman Commercial Group
Licensed in Oregon

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Oregon's Business Climate

Oregon is a great place to do business! With it's amazing geography, diverse manufacturing base, low effective tax rate and low energy costs companies are finding our State very attractive for re-location. Business Oregon is  the go-to resource for re-location and just as important for assistance in the retention and expansion of home-grown businesses and the emergence of new ventures.

Place matters. 

Talented people with unique skills and innovative ideas want to carry out their business vision in a place that provides an economic ecosystem that supports strong growth. But, they want to do so in a great place to live.

In Oregon, we don't need to manufacture our own attractions. We have a breathtaking public coastline. Striking mountain peaks. River gorges. Lush forests. High desert. These are core assets that also provided for the birth of Oregon's economy through natural-resource based industries.

Today our economy is as diverse as our landscape. Our state economy is a collection of unique regional economies. Semiconductors, manufacturing, wood products, aviation, food products.

Right now across Oregon those diverse regional economies are driving record employment levels along with the second-best Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth and personal income growth in the country. Oregon's location along the Pacific Rim provides easy access to foreign markets, particularly between the U.S. and Asia. Portland International Airport has been ranked #1 U.S. airport by Travel + Leisure for four years in a row.

Industry Strength

Oregon has a diverse manufacturing base with an emerging high-wage creative sector. Anchored by the strong high-tech presence, Oregon's innovation culture is impressive. Oregon ranks 6th in patents per worker and 9th in business R&D spending.

Currently experiencing a tech boom, both hardware and software sectors are growing strongly. The software industry is 2.5 times more concentrated in Oregon than other states.

While many diverse industries are thriving in Oregon, Business Oregon identified these top growing industries within the state where we focus programs. These are separate from areas like agriculture and tourism that are addressed by different agencies.
Competitive Costs
Low Business Taxes

Oregon had the lowest effective tax rate of all states for FY2014, at 3.3%.

Our business tax rate has been ranked in the top five lowest effective tax rates for the past five years by Ernst & Young. Oregon has no sales tax, and corporations that operate in Oregon, but sell goods in other states, pay corporate income taxes based solely on company sales within the state of Oregon.

Oregon offers globally competitive incentives, like property tax abatements, income tax credits, and others that encourage business expansion.
West Coast Low Cost Leader

        Oregon's energy costs are among the lowest industrial rates in the U.S

Due to Oregon's ability to harness hydropower, Oregon's energy costs are among the lowest industrial rates in the U.S., averaging less than six cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). Oregon's average industrial electricity rates are half those of California, with a more stable supply.

Oregon is a national leader in usage and promotion of renewables for businesses and consumers.

Oregon's Commitment to Renewable Energy
US Rank
Hydroelectric Generation (thousand MWH)31,253,8512nd
% Electricity from Renewable Sources68%5th
# Renewable Polices and Incentives1094th
Installed Wind Capacity (MW)3,1538th
Sources: Energy Information Administration, 2015, AWEA, 2015, and DSIRE, 2016


Oregon has the 7th lowest workers' compensation cost in the US at $1.28 (per $100 in wage), well below the national median of $1.84.

Despite housing boom, Oregon is still the far cheaper cost of living option compared to California and Washington.

Business Oregon

We celebrate all that growth and success, but also recognize there's a continued need to create opportunities for prosperity for all Oregon communities, particularly rural areas of the state, and we will use the talent and programs we have available to do just that.

Business Oregon's role is to assist in the retention and expansion of existing Oregon businesses within traded sectors (industry sectors with global competition). We carry out strategies to create a dynamic startup and entrepreneurial environment so new business can form. And we will recruit companies outside the state as well, to come to Oregon and fill supply chain gaps and grow existing industry clusters.

Business Oregon also manages infrastructure finance programs through its infrastructure division, with a separate Infrastructure Finance Authority Board that oversees these infrastructure investments. These programs are available to local municipalities for water systems, wastewater systems, port development, some roads, and other infrastructure needs that serve as either a precursor for business development or meet other community needs.
Read more about  the business climate in Oregon at:

Outgrowing your space? Let me help you re-locate to a new property.
Karen Schaaf ACP, GRI
RE/MAX equity group
Lackman Commercial Group
Licensed in Oregon