An officer said that while they didn’t find squatters, there had been people holing up in there in the days before. Police have been running round-the-clock patrols at the building since last Friday. The city’s Central Bike Squad showed officers using battering rams to break down doors and access locked rooms in the building, which city officials called ‘in crisis mode.’ Mayor Ted Wheeler said later that evening: ‘The city is confident that the building site is empty of trespassers. There were no immediate threats during this process.’ Read the full story:

Building owner Barry Menashe is working with contractors and the police to completely board it up and try to get rid of what The Oregonian called ‘rampant drug trafficking.’ The city has been working on a plan to secure the building with Menashe and his daughter Lauren, his real estate company’s principal. Menashe has, in the past, offered to simply let the city use it as a homeless shelter but they’ve yet to determine an official purpose. Wheeler said that ‘would likely require substantial retooling prior to future use.’ Read the full story:

Eric Zimmerman, the city’s central policy advisor, would rather the property be boarded up than continue to serve as a drug house. ‘We’ve given them the go-ahead and said, ‘If you want to line up 90-degree corners and box the whole thing out, we would be very supportive of that,’ Zimmerman said. ‘Even it required that we’d give up the sidewalks — whatever it takes to secure it.’ People passing by the property simply told Zimmerman ‘good’ and finally!’ in response to hearing what had happened. Many assumed there’d been a murder. Read the full story:

Conservative journalist Andy Ngo openly suggested the building looked like a scene from the HBO video game adaptation The Last of Us. It’s unclear where the building will be put to use in the future because people are waiting to see what happens after the police fully secure it. ‘The appetite to be visionary or try out new ideas is a little bit subdued until we can stop the bleeding,’ Zimmerman said of potential owners for the building in the future. ‘We’re just trying to be measured, to not put too many carts before the horse.’ Read the full story:

The Democratic city has one of the most deserted downtowns in the United States, with soaring crime rates and homelessness scaring away both locals and tourists. In 2021, there were 90 homicides amid a surge in gun violence, which shattered city’s previous record high of 66 set more than three decades ago. There were 101 murders recorded in 2022 – a new record for the city. Portland currently has more than 700 homeless encampments across the city within less than 150 square miles. Some of the most charming, trendy and expensive neighborhoods of the Pacific Northwest city are now overrun with tent cities crowding residential sidewalks and littered with trash. Read the full story:

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