Downtown Portland specifically refers to the
area south of Burnside Avenue, and east of
I-405. But several areas surrounding what
is technically considered downtown, are
often lumped in with that same label. These
neighborhoods, particularly the Southwest
Waterfront and The Pearl District, offer the
highest concentration of urban living opportunities, outside of that one square mile.
Both The Pearl District and the Southwest
Waterfront are technically outside of downtown, but they come with all of the access
and amenities that one is looking for in
Many of the old warehouses in The Pearl
District have been transformed into lofts
with chic, industrial appeal. Located just
north of downtown, this upscale neighborhood has cleaned up its grittier past to make
space for high-rise condominiums and ware-house-converted lofts. Pearl Townhouses,
Chown Pella lofts, Marshall Wells lofts, The
Avenue lofts, and City Lofts are all unique
spaces that reflect the neighborhood’s industrial past. This area has maintained a low
skyline, but developers are now moving in
with plans for taller buildings. Not all Portlanders are a fan of blocking the sunshine
that graces The Pearl District’s streets.
Regardless, these high-rise buildings are
coming, and expanding the residential
options for those looking to live in the area.
Residents of The Pearl District will enjoy
the city’s highest concentration of breweries,
Just south of the downtown square mile,
you’ll find the Southwest Waterfront neigh-
borhood with many high-rise apartment
buildings. While you might find yourself
further from the ground here, you’ll be much
closer to the water with riverfront access
nearby. The option to kayak or hop on a
stand-up-paddleboard (or SUP) is appealing
to the many outdoor types who find them-
selves in Portland.
Southwest high-rises include Riva on the
Park, Essex House, Harrison Tower, and
more, all of which will provide the high-er-end amenities that many downtown
KNOW BEFORE YOU BUY
Are you ready for the downtown lifestyle?
Portland’s downtown neighborhoods offer
some excellent perks, from accessibility
to public transportation, to the concentration of culture on nearly every block.
But downtown living is not a perfect fit for
Many downtown residential sales are in
high-rise buildings, and living in one of
them will require some adjustment from a
traditional single-family home.
Those thinking of making the switch to
downtown residence should do some self-ex-
amination. Do you want a yard? Do you
need your car every day? Do you enjoy the
energy of downtown crowds? Portland is
known for a leisurely pace, but as with any
downtown environment, that pace quickens
in the commotion of city streets.
Most downtown buildings downtown offer
small courtyards and nearby parks. But you
won’t find a backyard pool in downtown
Portland. You can find buildings that offer
parking, but you’ll pay a premium for access
to your own spot.
Many downtown dwellers in Portland
choose to forgo their own automobile for
public transportation and walking, instead.
While you can find most things you need
within walking distance, you have to enjoy
being out and about in the city to take
advantage of the downtown walkability.
Portland serves up a hefty portion of rainy
days each year, and while it’s rarely raining
hard enough to need an umbrella, being
out and about in our Pacific Northwest
drizzle doesn’t work for everyone. If you’re
someone who is accustomed to driving
from place to place, or only walking when
the sun is shining, this might take some
Portland’s downtown is undeniably an
exciting place to live and it attracts a diverse
crowd of residents. If you’re a city person
who enjoys the energy and accessibility of a
city center, then downtown Portland might
be the place for you. l