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|Articles - August 2011|
|Wednesday, July 20, 2011|
By Ben Jacklet
“This is probably the largest private cleanup on the Willamette River to date,” he says as he walks from Zidell headquarters toward a shoreline degraded by PCBs, heavy metals and petroleum waste. “It’s huge. What an opportunity.”
The 30-acre parcel, once used to build and later dismantle World War II Navy ships, has sat as mostly vacant rubble for 16 years as the Zidell family negotiated a cleanup agreement with environmental regulators. With that deal approved in February teams of commercial divers, barge operators and asbestos abatement workers are rushing to bury the pollution of the past and set the stage for urban development. The $20 million cleanup coincides with nearby efforts to build a light-rail bridge over the river and a pedestrian bridge over I-5, turning a former dead zone into a hive of activity.
Contractors have removed upland “hot spots” of pollution and are capping the riverbank with sand and rock armor to seal off the contamination, followed by “habitat gravel” for the fish. Landscaping will follow, along with street grids and eventually, the city’s newest neighborhood. The Oregon University System is developing a life sciences research center at an adjacent property owned by OHSU, and plans are being hatched for as many as 20 new mixed-use towers, park blocks, green spaces and a waterfront bike path. The Zidell barge-building facility will remain for a while but will likely be dismantled eventually.
ZRZ Realty, the holding company for the property, plans to develop the area piece by piece, following the market. “This is the next really interesting part of the city to develop,” says ZRZ’s Matt French.
Fishman and Zidell are consulting with environmental officials to make sure the fast-moving cleanup meets the company’s obligations. They expect to finish by November 2012. Then begins the work of building an urban center from scratch, at a time when the city’s real estate market may be recovering — or not.
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Transforming the culture of Oregon’s educational leadership.
The Board dismissed a petition related to efforts to unionize the Northwestern University football team.
Every once in a while we receive a letter in the (fictional) mailbag that is tough to describe and quite compelling. This week, Isabel, the new HR manager at LabCo (and someone who is new to HR), wants to know whether she may fire the owner’s son for having an Oregon medical marijuana card. In passing, Isabel also makes a number of alarming admissions about her motivation. Here is Isabel’s nerve-racking question and our response to it.
Oregon Sick Leave is here, and changes to the federal white-collar worker regulations are on the way. This workshop will prepare you for both. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to start planning now for the future impact on your operations and finances.
Presented by OEN + CENTRL + YESpdx.
This Roundtable will cover numerous issues under the employer "shared responsibility" rules of the Affordable Care Act, including how to track the "full-time" status of variable-hour employees, temporary or seasonal employees, and employees who experience a change in status or a break in service. Additionally, we will provide a brief overview of Code sections 6055 and 6056, which require most mid-sized and large employers to submit their first information reports to the IRS in early 2016 regarding the health insurance coverage being offered to employees. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to prepare for the future impact of the shared responsibility rules on your operations and finances.