Real estate broker Jean Rychlik bought the vacant house at 2343 NW Irving St. for $250,000 last summer, then began fixing it up. Photo by Allan Classen

Real estate broker Jean Rychlik bought the vacant house at 2343 NW Irving St. for $250,000 last summer, then began fixing it up. Photo by Allan Classen

Finders Keepers

How good a deal is too good, and did a real estate agent take advantage of an elderly recluse?

Allan Classen

For 20 years or so, prospective buyers tried to buy the vacant, derelict house at 2343 NW Irving St. It was no turnkey affair, but its fully intact turret and distinctive features stamped it as the design of Edgar Lazarus, a leading early Portland architect.

Those who asked neighbors about the possible availability of the house learned that the owner was a reclusive Lake Oswego man who ignored attempts to reach him.

Jean Rychlik, the managing broker at Summa Real Estate Associates on Northeast Sandy Boulevard, went further. Last summer she knocked on his door and found him ready to sell.

That’s the sterilized version of the story.

To put myself in her shoes, I took the gently curving, shaded Goodall Road near Lake Oswego High School, passing homes that could be called mansions. ▶

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Height of controversy

Minority report stands up to plans for taller buildings in central city.

Allan Classen

Illustration from Building Height Policy Minority Report

Illustration from Building Height Policy Minority Report

As Portland’s City Council prepares to ratify a 20-year plan for the central city, a cadre of activists and professionals warns that the official public involvement process has been more about speed than deliberation.


The most obvious consequence of this rush to completion, from their perspective, is enshrinement of simplistic assumptions about building height and how it shapes urban economics and livability. 


While unable to persuade the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability that oversaw the drafting of ▶

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NW Examiner March Issue
Read this month’s issue
INSIDE:

Demolition on hold as city balks at replacement building Page 5 / Neighbors fight nighttime construction Page 8 / Le Vieux aims high, fires low Page 14 / Food Front board runs thin Page 22 / Finding something to buy in Pearl isn’t easy Page 12 / Old post office reborn as art college Page 20 / Parking permits required in most of Northwest District this month. / NW Examiner Community Awards May 9
And More

"The higher you build," the Mad Hatter insisted, "the lower prices go!"

"The higher you build," the Mad Hatter insisted, "the lower prices go!"

The height of density

Allan Classen

On my first day of college economics, the professor asked us students what determines the price of a product or service. Hands shot up.

“Supply and demand,” was the confident answer from the student called upon.

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