There Goes the Neighborhood
Well, in addition to anything else, I like to keep up with what’s happening with my local Portland Idle Org.
To recap, in 2008, after regging every public they could find to empty their bank accounts, take out second mortgages and rob their children’s college funds, the Church bought the historic 12-story Stevens Building in downtown Portland in an all-cash deal for $5.38 million.
Of course, they emptied the building out, encouraging the existing tenants of the building to move out before their leases expired. It was all rush, rush, rush to start the renovations.
Well, two years went by, and still the building stood empty. They were supposedly regging money for the renovations. How much they collected from their field, we don’t know.
Then, on March of this year, it was suddenly announced that the Church was selling the Stevens Building. After two years of contemplating the empty building, they suddenly decided it was “unsuitable for their purposes.” There “wasn’t a space big enough to have a large church service or a large church event.” Really. It took them two years to realize that.
Nevertheless they unloaded it. The asking price was 4.95 million. By my calculations, if they bought it for 5.38 million and are selling it for 4.95 million, that’s a $430,000 loss – if they got their asking price.
Well, the next chapter of the saga is that they have now bought a six-story office building at the corner of Third and Oak. It’s currently the location of a Ruth’s Chris Steak House, a national restaurant chain.
The only problem? Well, it’s not exactly a posh neighborhood, as this article points out. The block is lined with strip clubs, tattoo parlors, seedy retail stores and shabby grocery stores – the kind with heavy bars over the windows and doors. The article says,
“So it’s not exactly news that the Portland location of national chain Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse is moving from its strip-club flanked locale into fancier digs downtown (the long-standing rumor was confirmed today that Ruth’s will anchor downtown’s Pacific Center on the corner of Southwest Taylor and Broadway).
“Here’s what’s hilariously newsworthy: Ruth’s old digs on SW Third will apparently be turned into the Portland headquarters for the Church of Scientology (we shit you not), which, as we would like to remind you, will be flanked by strip clubs. Amazing.”
There goes the neighborhood.