According to the latest estimates, more than a million people will be moving to Portland in the next 25 years. I’ve worked with many newcomers to Portland over the years and one of the main things they want to know is, “Where is the best place to live?” Luckily, there are many fantastic, walkable neighborhoods in Portland. Here’s a quick lowdown on a few of the areas. Contact me for a great map and to have a discussion on how to figure out where exactly you want to live in Portland.
Portland has four quadrants: NE, NW, SE and SW. It is split north and south by Burnside Street, and east and west by the Willamette River. Here’s a little taste of each quadrant.
NE Portland has seen amazing growth over the past ten years or so. It’s more culturally diverse than the rest of the city, which has made it an attractive place for young Portlanders to live and open businesses, although there are many well-established neighborhoods as well. Neighborhoods include Alameda, Alberta Arts, Beaumont, Boise-Eliot, Concordia, Grant Park, Hollywood, Irvington, Kerns, King, Laurelhurst, Lloyd, Rose City, Sabin, and Sullivan’s Gulch.
SE Portland is chock-full of laid-back cafes, low-key shops and beautiful houses. It’s got just about everything you could think of and a few things you might not – the only extinct volcano within a US city’s limits, a college that has produced more than 30 Rhodes scholars, and a wildlife refuge for avid birdwatchers. Neighborhoods include Belmont, Brooklyn, Buckman, Creston, Eastmoreland, Hawthorne, Mt. Tabor, Richmond, Sellwood, Westmoreland, and Woodstock.
NW Portland is where I live. My neighborhood is the Pearl District which, about 15 years ago, was a warehouse wasteland. It has been transformed into a haven for condos, shops, galleries and restaurants. The west side is a little hillier than the east side, which is reflected in many of the neighborhood names – Hillside, Kings Heights, Lair Hill, and Nob Hill.
SW Portland is the financial and political center of the city. Downtown Portland is full of activity both day and night – people actually live, shop and party here. Other neighborhoods include Arlington Heights, Goose Hollow, Healy Heights, Hillsdale, Homestead, and the Southwest Hills.
North Portland, the Fifth Quadrant
People say Portland is split into quadrants, but that doesn’t include North Portland, the Fifth Quadrant. NoPo is another burgeoning area which mixes established residents with young, first-time homebuyers. Neighborhoods include Arbor Lodge, Kenton, Mississippi, Overlook, Portsmouth, St. Johns and University Park.