Letter: Midtown developer responds to Portland city manager

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In reference to the Midtown development dispute with the city of Portland, the anger expressed by City Manager John Jennings comes as old news to us. Unfortunately, Jennings has allowed that anger to influence the city’s decision-making.

Jennings has made it known that he feels this transaction was a “bad deal.” That is open to interpretation. But what is not are the contractual obligations of both parties as a result of that deal. We should not be punished for prudent and timely investing; likewise, Jennings should not be punished for a deal that precedes him. However, he must abide by the terms of those contracts and must put his anger and bias aside.

This will be the third time we’ve implemented legal action since Jennings’ arrival. The facts surrounding the current matter are easily summarized: The city has been in undisputed default of its obligations for almost six months, while we remain fully compliant. As we took efforts to compel the city to cure its numerous defaults, the city engaged outside counsel and aggressively asserted itself, while curiously refraining from denying its default under the agreements. The lack of legal merit in the city’s written position, and its aggressive and uncompromising stance, are reminiscent of the bullying that we acquiesced to previously.

Under these circumstances, we have decided to pursue legal action. We will not waiver in demanding that the city hold up its end of the bargain. This action will undoubtedly unearth the callous behavior that has plagued this project for years and caused us to expend massive amounts of time and money on what, to date, has been a fruitless exercise.

Jonathan Cox, chairman
The Federated Cos.
Miami and Boston

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