From Woe To Whoa In 19 Hours

The three huge white towers of apartments along Harrison Street called Portland Center have been sold. The new owner is turning them into condos.

The University Park Apartments in the Park blocks, next to P.S.U, are going condo as well.

Elliot Tower is an eighteen story condo tower being built across from the new Safeway, on the lot the old Safeway used to occupy. A twenty-two story condo tower called The Benson is being build at tenth and Clay on the lot where the Benson House used to stand. There's another condo tower coming to the 1300 block of SW Broadway,

This past week, I've been watching the building outside my windows being repainted. "Hhmmm," I thought to myself. "It seems odd to be repainting an old run down nameless low income apartment building." Well, it isn't nameless. It's called "The Chandler," and the reason D. and I saw so many people moving out of it this summer is because it's going condo.

the Chandler

At first, I was excited to see so many condos coming to this part of town. In fact, I used to live in one of them. But now, I've come to realize that anyone with an income of under $50K is being pushed out of downtown. Prices are going up, yet - somehow - vacancy rates are going down. Previously, when looking for an apartment, the trick had been to ask for discounts. An apartment renting for $850 could be had for just under $700 by getting a discount for signing a year lease, or by putting down a deposit the same day you looked at a place - or both. These days, the discounts are gone. The market is tight.




Eventually, I accepted that I'd have to move out of downtown. The Pearl District is crazy expensive, so I decided to look for an apartment in Northwest.

But Northwest is looking pretty scary too. Absolute garbage is renting for $850+, and it's getting snapped up quickly by people who can't afford downtown or The Pearl. Last weekend, I looked at a crappy one bedroom in NW that had little more than a view of a brick wall. The bathroom was disghusting, and the front door didn't even fit on the hinges anymore. There was a gap at the top of the door-frame that allowed light from the outside hallway to stream through.

And it's renting for $925.


The worst part isn't the price... it's that someone is going to pay it - because there aren't many options for renters right now.

This was intended to be last night's rant. I was angry. I was depressed. I felt I was being pushed out of downtown, and there wasn't anything I could do about it. But here's the thing about this guy named Rob...

...I have the best luck ever. I don't know how - I can't explain it - but, somehow, things always work out for me. Always. And this was to be no exception.

At 6:13pm last night, I gave up writing my apartment rant and popped over to Craigslist for what must have been the tenth time that day. And what's this? An ad was just posted for a rental condo in the Mosaic building!?!? The building is directly across the street from the new Safeway downtown, and the ad had been posted no more than five minutes!!! I fired off an enthusiastic email with my phone number and a bit of Jalpuna Charm. Minutes later, I was first in line to see the place.

By my 9am appointment this morning, the owner told me she had fourteen people interested, and she'd set up back to back appointments every half hour through noon.

If you're into the urban lifestyle, who could resist a 515 square foot loft with...
A Fireplace.
Hardwood floors.
High ceilings.
Crazy colors inside and out.
A damn cool kitchen.
Floor to ceiling windows down an entire side of the condo including a protruding section that hangs over the sidewalk giving a birds-eye view down Columbia.


The Mosaic

The Mosaic

The Mosaic

By this afternoon at 1:15, a credit check had been run, and the condo was mine. I couldn't possibly be more excited! But it's amazing how quick you've got to jump on this stuff for any hope of renting. The ad was posted ten minutes, and I was the first person to see the place.


There are some great spaces downtown, but finding them is getting tougher and tougher. But this was to be my lucky day!

P.S. I guess I shouldn't take all the credit for my luck with this one...

the note


::::: | Tuesday, Oct 04 2005 at 2:40 PM
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bonnie said:

woo! that's a cool lookin building.

also, crazy that they're turning all the apartments downtown into condos. that's kinda sucky.

::::: | October 5, 2005 12:02 AM

Me! said:

Y'know... I agree... and I can admit that this is where I become a hypocrite. I don't like seeing downtown go condo crazy. It worries me... and yet, this will be the second time I've gotten a really cool place to live thanks to someone else's condo purchase.

I guess I should just be thankful for the affordable rental I've found.

I've read that the city has plans for a lot more apartments downtown in the so-called West End - but many of them (if not all of them!) are still five to ten years away.

Jefferson West is coming down. The Plaid Pantry and adjoining parking lot across the street are going away. The parking lot next door to the Empire Apartments bricker appears to be on the chopping block, as is the parking lot at 12th and Salmon (somewhere around there anyway).

All of these look like they're going to become large apartment buildings if things go as the city hopes.

And that's good. But still I worry.

Portland's been good to me. I just hope it will be as good to people without the luck I've been having here, rental-wise.

Wow, I've been lucky! Even with the space I'm in now above the Safeway... It's listed at $1400 a month, but D. and I got it for a grand thanks to superb timing last year. I can't imagine it renting for less than $1200 after we move out. (it's a huge loft, and the building managers are great!)

::::: | October 5, 2005 12:26 AM

lisa said:


and wow... no going for a midnight glass of water in your birthday suit

::::: | October 6, 2005 1:59 PM

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