Once discounted as a failed experiment, the South Waterfront in Portland is a growing area, now being labeled as “Portland’s Newest Neighborhood.” Originally tailored to an older generation, this booming area of Portland is expanding into a diverse community. A once industrial area is now an ever-expanding high-density residential area with an interesting penchant towards a more natural habitat on the waterfront.
Businesses and Residents Benefit Alike
OPB’s Think Out Loud recently replayed “The Past, Present, and Future of the South Waterfront” with Dave Miller. In this interview with local residents and business owners, the shift towards a vibrant community is evident.
Daniel Nguyen, owner of Bambuza Vietnamese Bistro (where the show was aired) in South Waterfront Portland, noted that he saw the potential for this area in 2007, as he looked at mockups of what the area was to become. Upon opening in 2008, when the recession hit the area hard, business was slow. However, as the condo builders began to rent and people began to move into the area, he saw the potential he had envisioned slowly come to life in this area.
It was the kind of beginning of that sense of community where I’m dependent on my customers – the residents who live here – but then the residents want to see the business succeed so that it will attract other businesses, as well.
– Daniel Nguyen
Positive Changes Moving Forward
Now, over 6 years after the plummet of the recession, the area is starting to take shape of the potential Mr. Nguyen and others like him saw in those original plans. Area homeowners are seeing an increase in home value, which will likely only increase once the bridge at Tilikum Crossing is opened, allowing further connection to the east side by train, foot, or motor-less wheel. However, there is still a journey to reach this goal.
Currently, the lack of freeway access and missing grocery store has left this area feeling slightly isolated. For some, this is beneficial, as it doesn’t offer the high traffic concerns that other Portland neighborhoods may be experiencing. However, others find the lack of sufficient walkability to be disconcerting for the time being. For those, this is less like “Portland’s Newest Neighborhood” and more like “Portland’s Next Neighborhood To Be.”
Even with the current challenges, there’s no denying that this is an up-and-coming area, and thus a great real estate investment. If you’re considering moving into this area or purchasing investment property, call us today at 503-406-5232 to set up a quick coffee meeting to discuss your goals.
Want to listen to the whole show as you further consider this area?