Today, Metro officials and representatives of the coalition opposing the proposed Oregon Convention Center hotel project announced that they have reached a global legal settlement of all of the ongoing litigation.
Metro has been pursuing a public/private partnership to fund construction of a convention headquarters hotel for several years. Paige Richardson and Michelle Rossolo spearheaded the grassroots coalition efforts, with the support of representatives of the Portland hotel industry that included Aspen Lodging Group, headed by Gordon Sondland. Both sides have agreed to terms that settle all of the current lawsuits, avoid future legal challenges, and create the potential for additional future hotel projects in the convention center area.
“The convention center hotel project is critical to creating jobs in our region and supporting the state’s tourism economy,” said Metro Council President Tom Hughes.
“I respect that the coalition and Metro had different views on the mission and funding mechanisms of this public/private project,” he continued. Gordon Sondland and the other members of the coalition are pillars of the Portland community and I value their insight and opinions. We talked long and hard, looked each other in the eye and agreed that, if we settle, opposition to the convention center hotel is over and we can get back to the business of growing the Portland economy. To that end, as part of the global legal settlement and because of our commitment to public/private collaboration, Metro will transfer ownership of a parking lot near the Oregon Convention Center to Aspen Lodging Group to facilitate future development in the convention center area.”
“Tom Hughes and Metro have worked diligently on this project. We were finally able to come together and, with thoughtful deliberation, reach a global settlement that allows this project to proceed and the Convention Center hotel to be built. If it performs as Metro has predicted, it will be a boon to the community. Should construction of a headquarters hotel create the convention demand that Metro anticipates, this settlement could even pave the way for future hotel development to accommodate even larger events at the convention center,” added Gordon Sondland, head of Aspen Lodging Group and coalition member.
The 600-room Hyatt Regency is slated for construction groundbreaking in late 2016. It will be located directly north of the Oregon Convention Center and is anticipated to open in late 2018. More information can be found at www.oregonmetro.gov/hotel.
- Stephanie Soden