Lane Powell Shareholder Walt McMonies was quoted in an April 27 Oregonian article titled “Cities, Counties Could Make Seismic Upgrades Easier for Private Property Owners.” The article discussed Senate Bill 85, which passed with ease by the House of Representatives on Thursday, April 23, and cleared the Senate last month. The passing of the bill authorizes local governments to implement programs to make loans or facilitate private financing of seismic rehabilitation of multifamily residential dwellings or commercial or industrial buildings by property owners.
The bill came from the Portland Development Commission and was a recommendation from the Oregon Resilience Plan, a document aimed at preparing the state for significant earthquakes. Supporters of the bill say they want owners of unreinforced masonry buildings to spend the dollars needed to keep their buildings, many built before 1940, from crumbling onto the sidewalks and streets if an earthquake hits.
The cost to upgrade a building to “life/safety” standards can cost $800,000 to $1.6 million on a 40,000-square-foot apartment or commercial building, McMonies said. Most owners already have a mortgage on their property, and secondary loans are difficult to finance, he added.
Passing of the bill will make it easier for some property owners to borrow money for these costly seismic upgrades.
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