Mayor: City will lease 'warehouse' site in Old Town for homeless camp

PORTLAND, Ore. - A building on Northwest Hoyt Street will likely become the new indoor destination for a controversial Portland homeless camp known as Right 2 Dream Too, according to Dana Haynes, director of communications for Mayor Charlie Hales.

Haynes said Wednesday the city and the developer have an "agreement on a lease" that will be approved if representatives for the Right 2 Dream Too camp sign off.

The camp, currently located at West Burnside and Northwest Fourth Avenue, is at the center of a dispute between the city of Portland and a group representing Pearl District residents and businesses.

City officials had planned to force the camp from where it currently sits to a city-owned parking lot in the Pearl District, beneath the western ramp of the Broadway Bridge.

But the so-called Pearl Group effectively opposed the move.

In early October, Mayor Hales postponed a zoning vote that would have forced the move after six hours of public input.

Later the same month, the Pearl Group proposed the site at 320 N.W. Hoyt as one of several potential alternative destinations for Right 2 Dream Too, all located near the city center.

But not every city official has embraced the deal.

City Commissioner Amanda Fritz confirmed the city is considering the Northwest Hoyt warehouse site but was not confident a lease deal would ultimately be signed.

"The building would need to be fixed up at such expense to make it usable that it does not make a lot of sense to proceed," Fritz said Wednesday.