News & Events

News & Events


McMonies Quoted in Portland Mercury Article About Seismic Safety in Older Buildings

Bookmark and Share

Lane Powell Shareholder Walt McMonies was quoted in an October 16 Portland Mercury article titled “Coding for Quakes.”  The article discussed the older masonry buildings in Portland that are in need of updates and seismic retrofits to comply with modern-day earthquake standards.  Seismic retrofits can be expensive for building owners, costing anywhere between $25 and $75 per square foot.  Very few owners of Portland’s historic buildings are taking it upon themselves to seismically retrofit their buildings, and many of them are hoping that the city will create some incentive for building owners in order to help defray the costs.  Members of the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management believe that these retrofits should be mandatory.  As a historic building owner and knowledgeable source on historic buildings and their seismic upgrading, McMonies was asked about making these retrofits mandatory for building owners in Portland.

“As a building owner if I were told I had to do this, I would probably balk,” says Walter McMonies, building owner and real estate lawyer at Lane Powell.  McMonies owns a 36-unit Nob Hill apartment building he says he voluntarily seismically retrofitted to the tune of $480,000.

“I think what has to happen is society has to find a way to help building owners pay for this,” McMonies says.

And while he’s planning more retrofits he estimates will cost an equal amount, McMonies says he knows he’s the exception.

Read the article.