Portland homeless shelter project already $500K over budget

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A business leader’s project to launch a homeless center in downtown Portland is in question after being half a million dollars over budget.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Lisa Marandas, deputy director of Oregon Harbor of Hope, the developer-run nonprofit overseeing the project, says the overspending stems from the cleanup of the site beneath the Broadway Bridge where the shelter will go.

City documents show soil on the lot is contaminated from nearby railroad tracks and must be covered with a protective cap estimated to cost $170,000.

Marandas told Portland’s development commission that Harbor of Hope has blown past its $100,000 budget for site cleanup and spent “in the $600,000 range.”

Mayor Ted Wheeler says he is “aware of the issue.”

Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle announced in April that he had donated $1.5 million for the project.