Port of Hood River Gives Consensus On Esplanade Concept
Goes to Urban Renewal on October 9.
Port of Hood River Commissioners gave their consensus to have Port staff pursue the concept of an esplanade on the west side of the Nichols Boat Basin proposed by Port Commission Chair Jon Davies and Hood River Mayor Arthur Babitz. Davies told the Commission he and Babitz felt the debate surrounding the cable park proposed by Naito Development had the potential to damage the community. He said the goals of the proposal included providing economic benefit for the Port’s adjacent Lot 1, preserving public water access, and riparian enhancement. Tax revenues in the Waterfront Urban Renewal District would be used to leverage financing, and Babitz said for the plan to be feasible Naito Development’s hotel on the south end of the basin would need to move forward. While Steve Natio of Naito Development said they were in favor of moving forward with the plan, he told the Port board they won’t withdraw their application for a cable park until they hear from Friends of the Waterfront attorney Brent Foster about concerns that group still has with the hotel, and whether those can be addressed. Foster was not in attendance at the meeting. Babitz and Davies take the esplanade proposal to the Urban Renewal Board next Tuesday.