Early plans for urban renewal would have spread tax-increment financing over twice as many acres, but the district shrank to avoid residential neighborhoods.Metro still predicts enormous growth for Gateway over the next three decades.
"That sort of set a mood."Few of those envisioned improvements happened., pushed for its inclusion: "We want it to be urban, but quieter and greener than downtown Portland," said Hales, who ran the city's planning department at the time.The boom didn't last long.
Woodland's City Council granted annexation and zoning approvals for the Gateway II project but reduced it from the proposed 234 acres to 61.3 acres, and imposed mitigation measures to reduce urban decay both downtown and at the existing County Fair Mall. Cities that, because of their geographic location, act as ports of entry and distribution centers for large geographic areas. There's a small concession stand, but no place away from the din of arriving buses and trains to talk with friends or enjoy the view of Rocky Butte over coffee.Among political types, the sense was that a critical mass of voters was coming to the city's newest neighborhoods, particularly to those adjacent to Gateway. For another, neighborhoods closer to the central city can only take so many more residents. If we can get something that makes people stop and look at what we have, everything changes," said Ted Gilbert, a developer who owns the equivalent of eight city blocks near the transit center.In 1992 mayoral candidate Vera Katz and her young campaign manager, Sam Adams, seized on east Portland's anger. In exchange for City Council support to create the area, members of a citizens advisory committee agreed to spend their initial $682,000 on thePlanners say their vision for Gateway may have been, in hindsight, unsophisticated and overly ambitious.The question is whether that growth will improve quality of life and city budgets or add to east Portland's existing woes., a real-estate broker and a leadingand declared the area one of eight "regional centers."A 2000 study summed up the promise of Gateway: "More than anything else, it is expected to become a place to be proud of - an embodiment of the values and aspirations of the east Portland community.""We have no signature place," Kimura said.He named the place Gateway, and erected a tall concrete arch signifying the entry to a new kind of community."I don't think what's happened in Gateway is in any way a result of the projects we've chosen to invest in," said Patrick Quinton, the Portland Development Commission's executive director.