Welcome to South Waterfront
The South Waterfront represents the largest and most expensive redevelopment effort in Portland history, and reflects a change in how we view Portland’s future. The plan is for some 20+ high-rises to be based here, taking shape in luxury condos with expansive views. A shimmering expanse of steel and glass – with many of the references to the proposed skyline conjuring up the futuristic sets found in science fiction movies. Much of what can be said about the South Waterfront will have to wait – but if the future matches only part of the optimism surrounding it – the future will place the South Waterfront as the premier living community in Portland.
South Waterfront At-A-Glance
Where is Southwest Waterfront?
South Waterfront is a neighborhood in Southwest Portland. It’s bordered by the Downtown, Homestead and South Portland neighborhoods as well as the Willamette River. Southwest Waterfont Neighborhood Association is part of Southwest Neighborhoods and is included in City of Portland's Office of Neighborhood Involvement.
Real Estate Year-in-Review for 97239
It was another strong year for residential real estate sales within the 97239 Zip Code. Based on data from Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS), there were 301 homes sold last year with an average sales price of $540,353. The average Combined Days On Market (CDOM) for 97239 in 2016 was 42 days. The Sold-Price Ratio was 98.22 percent, which denotes the percentage of difference between the original list price and the sale price. Buyers were represented by their own agent (separate from the listing agent) in 91.36% of the transactions listed in RMLS for this Zip Code.
Southwest Waterfront Schools
Neighborhood attendance areas for the Southwest Waterfront neighborhood include the following schools: Ainsworth Elementary (K-5), West Sylvan Middle School and Lincoln High School. For more information on schools, bus schedules, attendance areas and a host of other useful information please visit Portland Public Schools. For ratings, visit GreatSchools.org.
Southwest Waterfront Demographics
According to public records, the Southwest Waterfront neighborhood has a total of 15,893 total households, with significantly more white collar workers (21,848) to blue collar workers (8,482). Most residents are college educated. 7,763 residents have a Bachelor’s Degree, while 6,638 have post-graduate degrees. Median income for those aged 45-64 is $79,502, while those over 65 show a median income of $67,978. Average household income is $93,030. Average household net worth is $557,881.
South Waterfront Lifestyle
It’s best to view Portland’s newest span across the Willamette at night. Tilikum Crossing is bathed in colorful swathes of colored LED lights reflecting the current conditions of the river’s speed, temperature and height. It’s an impressive sight. Also impressive is that Tilikum Crossing will be the first cross-river artery directly into South Waterfront as well as being the only bridge in the country dedicated to carrying commuters without their cars. Tilikum Crossing is dedicated to the new MAX Orange Line, the Portland Streetcar, bicycles, pedestrians, and buses - but no cars.
Tilikum Crossing also represents a type of steely optimism for Portland and the South Waterfront – as much of it has yet to be developed. The plan is create the type of high-density urban districts found in larger American cities – but to do it with an eye to sustainability (using recycled and non-toxic materials), progressive architecture and an overall environment-friendly philosophy.
The South Waterfront represents the largest and most expensive redevelopment effort in Portland history, and reflects a change in how we view Portland’s future. The plan is for some 20+ high-rises to be based here, taking shape in luxury condos with expansive views. A shimmering expanse of steel and glass – with many of the references to the proposed skyline conjuring up the futuristic sets found in science fiction movies.
This high-rise condo living at it’s finest – and choices currently abound and promise to be even more plentiful. Some current options include the twin condominium towers known as the Meriwether, the 31-story John Ross, the 22-story Atwater Place, and the 31-story apartments found in The Ardea.
Offices and labs for Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) factor prominently in all the South Waterfont development plans - the 16-story OHSU Center for Health & Healing has already been established.
To gain a feel for the South Waterfront, take a stroll through Elizabeth Caruthers Park, a greenspace with paths to wander and kinetic sculptures to marvel at.
Much of what can be said about the South Waterfront will have to wait – but if the future matches only part of the optimism surrounding it – the future will place the South Waterfront as the premier living community in Portland.
Southwest Waterfront receives the following grades form WalkScore: Walk Score: 69, Transit Score: 74, Bike Score: 91.
Getting Around Southwest Portland
There is no argument that the area of Southwest known as Portland Heights occupies a pride of place among the cityscape of Portland. Adjectives fall short here. Stunning, cultivated and refined elegance is on perennial display in the homes and in the tree-lined streets as you wind your way to Washington Park. The stunning vista that awaits you - the panoramic view of the city and the Mountains - Hood, St. Helens and Adams - offer a panorama unrivaled by cities anywhere in the world.
If this were all Southwest had to offer it would be enough, but the surrounding natural beauty of Marquam Nature Park and the many offerings of Washington Park will leave you breathless with opportunity. Situated on 140 acres, Washington Park provides more than 15 miles of hiking trails, a Zoo, the International Rose Test Garden, The World Forestry Center, The Portland Japanese garden and the Hoyt Arboretum — noted for bringing world-class entertainment as part of it’s summer concert series - as well as boasting a collection of Coast Redwoods more than 150 feet tall. I’ll go out on an old-growth limb to say that no other city has so successfully and tastefully integrated its communities into the very fabric of its sublime natural beauty.
And there’s so much more to Southwest. Staying on the Southwest side of the city brings you Providence Park - home to the Portland Timbers - a point of pride for Portland as this soccer team brought us our first National Championship since 1977 (when the Blazers took the NBA finals). It’s also home to the Multnomah Athletic Club, Portland’s most exclusive athletic club - and one of the finest in the country. Closer to downtown find Union Way - a modern arcade-style shopping experience housing 9 shops (including Oregon’s own high-end outfitters Danner, Will Leather Goods and Steve Alan classic apparel) in a bright alley that connects Powell’s Books to the Ace Hotel. Take a break from all the shopping - window or otherwise - by treating yourself to the handcrafted offerings of the trendsetting tavern Clyde Common that never disappoints - their happy hour can’t be beat. Living in close-in Southwest means a luxury address with access to the finest Portland has to offer.
But the allure of Southwest only increases as you travel out of the city along Barbur Boulevard through Burlingame, Markham and Multnomah. Massive evergreens and lush forest challenge the notion that you are still within the borders of a major metropolitan area. Here you’ll find a collection of neighborhoods that easily shrug off any description as a ‘suburb’ - rather they exist as independent, vibrant communities that seem to have more in common with the notion of a town within a city. Take Multnomah as example, at it’s core is Multnomah Village where streets lined with cafes, art galleries, and shops brimming with antiques provide the perfect backdrop for sophisticated - yet grounded - neighborhood living so close to the city.
The same holds true for the adjacent neighborhoods. Many of the homes capitalize on the natural surroundings, allowing for larger lots, lush mature landscapes and homes that suit starter families (entry-level ranches) toestablished families (large contemporary homes with impressive gardens). Moving here with your family also provides the added advantage of the highly-ranked public schools that contribute to Southwest’s reputation of being one of the best addresses to have in the city.
These urban communities will forever challenge the notion that suburban offerings can’t match those of their big-city cousins. The Chart House on Terwilliger offers astounding vistas to rival those of Portland Heights, and world-class health care is found in either of OHSU's two hospitals (OHSU Hospital and Doernbecher Children's Hospital). Moving or relocating to just outside the psychological boundaries of Portland means losing nothing and gaining a whole lot in return.