Portland South Waterfront Neighborhood Guide
After all, who would have considered 38 acres of largely decaying industrial land just south of Portlands downtown a dazzling new frontier? Those with vision, a viable concern for the environment, and a little money thats who.
Called Urban Pioneers, the new residents of Portlands South Waterfront community have moved into Americas first large-scale redevelopment to go 100% green. A public/private partnership between the City of Portland, the Portland Development Commission, and Oregon Health and Science University some of the same folks behind the creation of the Pearl District and the Brewery Blocks the South Waterfront is committed to a sea of green on the banks of the Willamette River.
To be nicknamed The River Blocks, the South Waterfront intends to achieve high LEED marks on every one of its buildings. An acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, LEED is the system of standards developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.
So what does all this sustainability mean in real terms? It means eco-roofs of soil that slow runoff. It means non-toxic paint, recycled building materials, high efficiency heating and cooling systems. It means a four-acre riverfront greenway linked with a two-acre neighborhood park designed not only for resident and visitor enjoyment, but also wildlife habitat creation. The latest stormwater management technology will reduce the impact of the River Blocks on Portlands already over-taxed stormwater system by filtering runoff from public streets through the greenways Bioswale treatment system before flowing into the river. In addition, each buildings stormwater will be collected and treated in Bioswales, planter boxes, and water features on the block.
Though seemingly glitzy in intent, the sky rise nature of the development also harmonizes with the goals of responsible land use. Preserving views of the river and downtown, the high-rises have intentionally small footprints, meaning residents of, say, the 31-story John Ross building wont be consuming the approximate 55 acres of land they would have if living in single-family dwellings.
Even the commercial office tower for Oregon Health and Science University, OHSU the obvious anchor of this community with the addition of 5000 new jobs aims at a nationally unprecedented level of sustainability. A two-story glass atrium that soaks up sunlight heats the buildings water. Chilled beams are used instead of conventional air conditioning, another national first, and the tower produces a third of its own electricity and treats its own water.
Transportation? Got that covered too. Instead of making medical staff and patients make the several hundred necessary trips per day to its sister medical complex and hospital up the Marquam Hill, by car on a winding, typically wet, two-lane road what did these developers do? They gave us what is intended to be the signature of Portlands skyline similar to that of Seattles Space Needle the Portland Aerial Tram.
Shaving what could be a 30-minute commute up the Marquam Hill to a cool two minutes, forty seconds, the tram carries 78 passengers at a time and conveniently links up right at its River Blocks station with the Portland Streetcar, which itself carries nearly 9,000 passengers daily and currently extends all the way from the waterfront to Nob Hill.
Video Tour of Developing River Blocks:
If you are interested in buying or selling a home in Portland's South Waterfront neighborhood, visit our Portland Real Estate Page for more information, or visit our Portland Real Estate Map to search the RMLS for Portland South Waterfront homes for sale.
Retail and Dining
The combined commercial space throughout the development will be comprised of approximately 250,000 300,000 square feet of urban storefront retail, dining, and personal service space organized into districts.
Tenants already secured include:
Daily Café at the Tram - OHSU Building
Already open and operating on the ground floor of the new OHSU building, Daily Café offers both breakfast and lunch, including a grab and go service, sit-down casual dining, and catering services for OHSU.
Currently serving Mon-Fri only.
Breakfast 7:00 11:00
Lunch 11:00 5:00
3335 SW Bond Avenue
Portland, OR 97239
Opening next month are the following businesses located on the ground floor retail space of The Meriwethers west tower:
Bella Espresso - The Meriwether
The goal here is your friendly neighborhood coffee shop imported from Italy. Featuring their own brand of coffee roasting, Bella Roasta, owners Kevin and Julie Countryman also serve up paninis, salads, soups, fresh fruit smoothies, and more. But doubtless not to be missed is the gelato that is literally imported from the streets of Milan. That alone has got to be a shortcut to delizioso.
Le Hana Japanese Grill & Bar - The Meriwether
As the name suggests, Le Hana is all about fusion, French and Japanese, that is. When major world cuisines come together, simple, everyday staple ingredients of each suddenly transform into something that sounds like wasabi crème frache and fuji apple balsamic reduction. Serving sushi, tempura, salads, sa shimi, and more, Le Hana will offer lunch and dinner as well as a full bar with signature cocktails. And it should be mentioned that, though its name sounds like a certain other Hana restaurant, this one has only one other location in the Hillsboro area so should not feel like dining around the corporate round table of the big conglomerate chains.
Urbana Market - The Meriwether
Even an Urban Pioneer needs some supplies now and then. Thats where Urbana Market comes in. A general store, Urbana Market will provide the new South Waterfront frontier with all the essentials: prepared foods, sandwiches, snacks, soft drinks, beer, wine (I told you all the essentials would be covered,) ice cream, cut flowers, household products, and much more. Proprietor Tina Chong will place an emphasis on prepared foods by Oregon-based food artisans, but familiar national brands will be available as well.
Bee Cleaners & Tailors - The Meriwether
A second generation Portland family-owned business since 1951, Bee is right at home in the green wave that is South Waterfront. Bee was one of the first cleaners in the country to use only environmentally safe solvents and have made it a point never to use the solvent perchlorethylene.
The Meriwether (west tower)
3570 SW River Parkway
Portland, OR 97239
Not yet open on the ground floor of the John Ross tower:
Umpqua Bank - John Ross Tower
An Oregon-based community bank headquartered in Portland, this unique bank will offer, in addition to what it claims are its distinctive banking solutions, a computer café, its own blend of coffee, chocolate with every transaction, and open meeting space for small business and non-profits.
The John Ross Building
3601 SW River Parkway
Portland, OR 97239
If you are looking for information on buying or selling a home in Buckman, including mortgage rates, loan calculators, home appraisers, school report cards, and crime reports, please see the Portland Real Estate page. You can also search for listings on the RMLS.
Keep checking back as the South Waterfront Develops. Enjoy our videos and photo gallery!
Riding the Portland Streetcar from the Tram to Downtown
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Zip Code 97239
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