Saturday, January 11, 2014

Portland Road Police Station? Rose Gardens / Epping Parcel still Estimated at $66.1 Million!

It'll be interesting to see how discussion on the possibility of a new Police Station at the Rose Gardens/Epping property goes.

Former Rose Gardens Motel on Portland Road
(See history of motel here and here for a zoning change)
There seems to be a good bit of enthusiasm for it - including a newspaper front-pager today.

Significantly, the City did assess it, and an early estimate was for $57.1 million...but strangely the newspaper's piece omitted this, only very briefly alluding to the site assessement, and not to the costing.

Rose Gardens/Epping Parcel (not latest cost estimate, however)
The latest estimate seems to be $66.1 million. And, as critics of the City point out, this doesn't include a seismic retrofit of the Library.

The latest cost estimate has the Rose Gardens/Epping Parcel
at $66.1 Million
So besides magic, how do you cut the costs in half?

One virtue, I suppose, of this site proposal getting traction is that SCV proponents will seriously have to dig in and show how their numbers are superior to the City's.  (Maybe they are, but they haven't been persuasive yet.)

Two proposals, side by side
City alternative using car lot on left
Salem Community Vision SWAG on right
The site is distant from downtown and the Civic Center, so we'll also have a serious analysis of the operational costs entailed by a remote site, as well as talk about the property taxes the City would miss out on.

At the same time, this is a neglected part of town, and there are real possibilities, especially with the prospect of a mixed-use development and even public-private partnership here. Though a commenter on the SJ's piece notes that "Having the State police on Portland road had little impact to the blight of the area" and asks "what makes [folks] think adding the city police department there would improve things?"

Overall, it's far from a crazy idea, and there is much to commend it. But it just seems really unlikely that it can be done as cheaply as SCV seems to think, especially if we are honest about lost property taxes, ongoing operational costs, and possible future capital costs arising from a non-central location.

(The Northgate proposal first came into the picture here on December 5th, and questions about the SCV swag first arose on December 18th here.  The whole series of posts, going back to 2010, can be read here.)


Curt said...

It was nice to see that the neighbors see value in having public services, jobs and development come to the neighborhood. A refreshing dose on YIMBYism. If they are willing to fight for it and CANDO and SCAN are not interested in keeping it, maybe they deserve it.

The fact remains the police like the civic center best. SCV is at best indifferent to the needs of the police and at worst dismissive.

WTF N3B? If you think Portland Rd. is the best place for the police, a third bridge would indeed enable them to provide better services more efficiently to West Salem. Without a bridge, patrol cars would be driving right past the O'Brien lot on their way to West Salem, which is just a stones throw from the civic center.

And it would just export more jobs and services from the core of the city, promote more sprawl, and increase the pressure for bigger faster, more violent and expensive stroads.

Jim Scheppke said...

WTF, Curt. Please don't misrepresent N3B on this blog. Read the comment again. It says nothing about supporting a Portland Road site for the police station.

Curt said...

Readers can judge that for themselves. I am free to express my opinion about the intellectual integrity of N3B in whatever forum I wish.

N3B is guilty of misrepresentation. ODOT is in charge of the bridge planning process and not the city. The city is only one interested party. But its easy to conflate the city and state in order to establish a certain pattern of behavior if that is what your goal is.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Friends! Please, "let's debate policy, not people."

Also, whether it's considered as the dispositional charity we regularly extend to friends, or even just as a calculation of pure political pragmatism, shouldn't we generally avoid criticizing our allies in public? We need to be united on things like the bridge!