Yesterday’s O tells us that the County is so in need of a lot for a new courthouse that it is considering condemnation for a block that a developer is eyeing for a substantial tower (a very bicycle friendly one by the way).
But the companion story makes an interesting point. The adjacent lot currently hosts an exit ramp for the Hawthorne bridge. By moving the ramp for about $10M, the county could create a developable parcel. The lot they are currently targeting is assessed for slightly more.
So if the cost is approximately a wash, why not avoid a controversial negotiation (remember the heat the county got for buying a building out from under Columbia Sportswear) or an even more controversial eminent domain taking, and create a new developable property in the heart of downtown instead?