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Post office talks continue between Troutdale, commission

The discussion between the city of Troutdale, Portland Development Commission and Port of Portland has continued concerning a potential relocation of the United States Postal Service regional distribution center to the Troutdale Reynolds Industrial Park.

Troutdale Mayor Doug Daoust revealed the PDC expressed interest in relocating the center to the TRIP property in early September, but it appears that potential is closer to becoming a reality.

“We had a good discussion,” Daoust said of a Sept. 21 meeting between the three parties involved.

The PDC has long advocated for the Post Office’s relocation, as the center currently occupies 14 acres of valuable real estate in Portland’s Pearl District.

“The PDC has been working with USPS for quite some time on their central facility in downtown Northwest Portland,” said Shawn Uhlman, PDC Public Affairs Manager. “It’s long been identified as a site for tremendous redevelopment potential.”

Daoust said during the meeting, further details were discussed of the potential venture. The Post Office is eyeing lots seven and eight, just south of the FedEx center, to construct a 789,000 square foot facility.

“There’s a quick budget cycle that we talked about, meaning a lot of things happening next year in 2016,” Daoust said.

Uhlman said the meeting was intended to answer any lingering questions, and because the project is still in the negotiation period, it’s tough to determine the project’s specific direction. He added similar meetings are happening with a few other potential sites, both in and out of Portland, but that the list has been narrowed down to a small handful of potential locations.

“From what I understand, the meeting went well,” he said. “It was meant to understand what Troutdale’s priorities are.”

Those priorities include the city’s concern for loss of property taxes. As a federal agency, the post office would not pay property taxes on the valuable land it would occupy. Daoust said there has been talk of a payment in lieu of taxes as a part of the agreement, but Uhlman said he could not confirm that potential payment at this time.

“Where I’ll leave it is when we know more about this, we’ll bring it to the council for further direction. It will be the council’s decision on the development of our prime industrial land to a federal agency that does not pay property taxes,” Daoust said. “The Port of Portland has agreed numerous times that it will support whatever the city of Troutdale wants to do. So we’ll see how it goes.”



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