Sponsored by George Fox University
Home Back Issues February 2014 From the editor: Digging out

From the editor: Digging out

| Print |  Email
Articles - February 2014
Tuesday, January 21, 2014

0214 EDITOR

A number of years ago, The Oregonian published a captivating photo of a group of businessmen eating lunch while peering, mesmerized, into the massive crater that was the beginnings of the Park Avenue West Tower downtown. It was an image straight out of Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, the classic children’s story about a man and the steam shovel — Mary Anne — he refused to abandon, even though competition from gas and diesel shovels was ruining him. 

Determined to show off Mary Anne’s prowess, Mike digs the foundation for the town hall of Popperville while its residents gather en masse around the deepening hole to cheer him on.

The design and building of a city is one of humankind’s greatest achievements. When building stalls, the whole city suffers — from job losses and sluggish economic growth, along with lack of dynamism and morale.

Five years after the crash knocked most residential and commercial projects off their foundations, building is back. That building is the theme of our February real estate issue: the Portland neighborhoods that are being transformed by the apartment boom; the reset of the Park Avenue West Tower, located around the corner from the Oregon Business office; and myriad projects in Bend and Ashland. 

So much building is taking place, and so fast, that many Oregonians are already sounding a cautionary note about another housing bubble, along with social and traffic impacts of too much growth. 

Not to belabor the comparison — I’m not a firm believer in the All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten school of business — but those concerns are also resonant of Mike Mulligan, a story about the old being replaced by the new and the nostalgia we often feel for old ways of doing things. 

Hint: Mike deals with the problem by converting Mary Anne into a furnace, something like our current practice of using waste heat to power buildings.

When times are bad, people worry about not enough growth; when times are good, we worry about the adverse effects of growth. Such is the fickle nature of, well, human nature — and the business cycles that swing from one end of the spectrum to the other. 

Today the real estate cycle is on the move. For those who want cheap entertainment, there is no shortage of holes in the ground (with modern-day steam shovels) to peer into. So bring your lunch and watch the city grow.

— Linda Baker 

 

More Articles

Interview: Dr. Mark Goulston

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, July 10, 2014
JustListenBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

Tom Cox interviews Dr. Mark Goulston, author of Just Listen, Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone.


Read more...

Reader Input: Energy policy

June 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014

How serious a problem is climate change? Readers want to have their cake and eat it, too.


Read more...

Q&A: David Lively of Organically Grown Co.

News
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
OGCLogoBY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

Demand for organic food continues to soar: Last year, sales of organic food rose to $32.3 billion — up 10% from 2012. In Oregon, organic produce wholesaler Organically Grown Co. has been championing organic growing methods for four decades.


Read more...

The barber is back

June 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
BY MIKE GREEN

An old profession is new again.


Read more...

13 West Coast seafood species now 'sustainable'

News
Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Fishing OrBiz Fishing 0357 ADOBErgbCiting the transition to catch shares management as a key to rebuilding stocks and reducing bycatch, 13 species caught by the West Coast trawl fishery today earned designation from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) as sustainable.


Read more...

Trends in business succession

News
Thursday, July 03, 2014
TrendsBY TED AUSTIN & MIKE BAELE | GUEST CONTRIBUTORS

The Office of Economic Analysis announced that Oregon is currently enjoying the strongest job growth since 2006. While this resurgence has been welcome, the lingering effects of the 2008 “Great Recession” continues to affect Oregon businesses, especially with regard to estate planning and business succession.


Read more...

Salvage operation

June 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
BY JONATHAN FROCHTZWAJG

For Far West Fibers, one of Oregon's largest and oldest mixed-recycling companies, garbage alchemy has long been big business.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS