Lonnie Scott, the president and CEO of the Kansas City-based Mid-America Minority Business Development Council, just got back to returning a request for comment on the Trail Blazer’s plan to bring a controversial developer to the Rose Quarter, and he did not have encouraging words.
The Trail Blazers want to bring the Cordish Companies to Portland to build “Jumptown,” a year-round entertainment district in the Rose Quarter.
The company has a controversial past, with strong allegations brought against it that it used a dress code in Kansas City’s Power & Light District, a similar development built by Cordish, to keep African Americans out of its venues.
“Cordish has done nothing for minorities,” Scott told the Portland Observer.
He said that Cordish promised to work with minority contractors during the construction phase, but claims they failed to deliver.
Scott also said that renting a venue in Power & Light District is so high that it’s nearly impossible for a minority entrepreneur to get their foot in the door.
When asked what advise he had for Portlanders on doing business with Cordish he offered a terse: “Get it in writing.”