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We worked for a long time to get a lease and invest in a startup business in the South Waterfront. When we began the effort, there was no park but just a muddy field; condos had sold previously but the newer buildings were not selling, and meanwhile more units were under construction. Retail leases were not being signed. You had to visualize the potential, and it wasn't always easy. The local developers who had created that vision ceded ownership to out-of-state investors with no connection to Portland or the neighborhood.
Today, however, things are looking brighter, and we're glad we continued to see the potential and went ahead with our business. The park finally opened and is well used. At least one local investor has bought a bloc of commercial space and been able to negotiate leases to bring in several new services and businesses. The attractive Mirabella continuous care community has opened and is steadily filling its residences and beginning its health services for those who need it. The John Ross is sold out, and rental apartments are over 90% occupied in the large buildings south and southeast of the park. The newest residence, the Matisse, claims to be doing well also. The community garden was a place of beauty and abundance last summer. Young families are seen more often now, a nice complement to the predominantly older residents. More and more people (and dogs) are out on the sidewalks and walking the paths and plazas. Cultural events and other activities are more frequent. OHSU has taken an important next step in its goal of developing new facilities north of the bridge. The South Waterfront population is taking on an international flavor, which is only one dimension of what's proving to be a very diverse and interesting community of people.
We're very much looking forward to the coming months and years. Like Portland as a whole, the South Waterfront faces challenges ahead but is a special place that will continue to attract people who enjoy each other and the place they live.
posted 2 years, 5 months ago
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