Multnomah County chose right mark for new courthouse: Guest opinion

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By Eric Dahlin

The Multnomah Bar Association Board of Directors strongly supports a Multnomah Board of County Commissioners’ preference to build a new downtown building as good as a commissioners’ new unanimous preference selecting a site for a courthouse. The stream courthouse, that is some-more than 100 years old, is drastically old-fashioned and presents a reserve risk to a hundreds of employees who work in a building and a thousands of people who revisit it each week as jurors, witnesses, litigants and observers.


Building a new building has been on a county’s bulletin given 1968, though notwithstanding a best intentions of before commissioners who attempted to pierce this formidable plan along, a plan always stalled. The stream commissioners, however, comprehend a village can no longer means to check this plan and have done it one of their tip priorities.

Some people have criticized a preference to locate a new building on a “L” made lot owned by a county immediately south of a Hawthorne front and have suggested that not adequate suspicion went into a preference to select this site. we can assure you, formed on my possess impasse in this project, that a county has clinging substantial time and resources over many years to identifying and selecting a best probable site for a new courthouse, including sites owned by a city of Portland and a sovereign government. The county also exhaustively complicated a probability of renovating and retrofitting a existent building though resolved that it was not economically or most possibly to do so.

Everyone concerned would have elite a site that had no limitations; though this was a best site accessible deliberation a criteria and bill for a project. Selecting this site, that is owned by a county, will save a taxpayers roughly $20 million. Under a circumstances, a commissioners chose a best option.  

To those who advise a building should be located outward of a downtown core: The county did cruise sites on a easterly side of a river, though those sites did not measure as highly. The MBA Board of Directors believes it is critical that a building be downtown since of a unsentimental need to be nearby a Justice Center and jail — that are dual blocks from a comparison site and can be connected by a tunnel, thereby augmenting open reserve and dwindling a responsibility of transporting prisoners. The comparison site is nearby open travel and a existent downtown infrastructure that supports a authorised community. It’s also critical that a courthouse, as one of a pivotal black of a complement of probity and one of a incongruous centers of a community, be in a core of a community. The site selected by a commissioners has a combined advantage of being a “gateway” into downtown; selecting a distinguished site for such an critical village building helps showcase a county’s joining to justice.

Too often, sluggishness prevails in a complement of supervision when a presented with a formidable problem. We extol a commissioners for holding genuine movement toward building a long-overdue new courthouse.  

Eric Dahlin, an profession during Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP, is a member of a Multnomah Bar Association’s Board of Directors and chairs a MBA’s New Courthouse Committee.

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