Gentrification hits Portland’s elementary schools the hardest

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PORTLAND, Oregon—Across Portland’s Albina district, chic cafes advertise pour-over coffee and delicacies such as blueberry basil donuts. On Mississippi Street, hollowed-out school buses and roadside stands sell vegan barbecue and bacon jam empanadas. The street signs read “Historic Mississippi,” a nod to the area’s century-old roots, but it’s increasingly difficult to find spots that don’t evoke the decidedly ahistoric hipster vibe that now makes Portland famous.

One notable exception is the neighborhood’s pre-K–8 school, Boise-Eliot/Humboldt—known as Boise for short. Sandwiched between a block of newly renovated bungalows and160607_TEST_Portland-Op-Orray a strip mall with a yoga studio and a combo bar and laundromat, the two-story red brick building hasn’t changed much in decades. Unlike the neighborhood’s new residents, a majority of its students are black and low-income. Many of their families have been priced out of the Albina area and relocated to outskirts of Portland, a move known as going “out to the numbers” because of those areas’ numbered streets. So the students take public transportation to attend Boise, a revered institution in Portland’s black community. Most newly arrived white families, meanwhile, transfer their children out of Boise into schools that they consider better—and which are definitely whiter.

When neighborhoods gentrify, schools often don’t follow—at least not nearly as quickly.
It’s a phenomenon playing out across America as middle-class white families move into urban neighborhoods that real estate agents might have once called “undesirable.” Think Harlem in Manhattan, Oak Cliff in Dallas, the Bywater in New Orleans, the South Loop in Chicago, or the Mission District in San Francisco. They may be hip destinations with attractive amenities, but most of their public schools don’t get the same love from new arrivals. The problem is particularly acute in Portland, which is already the whitest big city in America and growing whiter.

160607_TEST_Portland-Op-Davoisier… Despite the changes in the area, the student body remains a hair under 60 percent black and only 15 percent white. That’s almost opposite of the surrounding neighborhood, which according to the 2010 census is 63 percent white and less than 20 percent black (down from more than 50 percent black in the 1980s, and almost entirely black in the 1960s). School staff say the neighborhood has grown even whiter in the past six years, with the school demographics changing at a much slower rate.

Portland Public Schools previously allowed parents to enter their children into a lottery and select schools of their choice. Now, the district relies on a petition system that allows students to transfer with district approval—a requirement it said would prevent families from fleeing (mostly minority) schools with low enrollment. But the petition policy is lax. Parents affected by the system say they view it as an extra step, but not one that prevents them from getting their children into the schools they want.160607_TEST_Portland-Op-Aaliyah

This system allows many black students who’ve moved away to petition to attend Boise, but Bacon says even more simply fake their addresses—listing the home of an aunt or a grandmother who still lives near the school. “This school has always served Portland’s black community. They have relationships here—trust,” says Bacon. “The school has delivered for their relatives, and they want that for their kids.”

The entire article including larger photos and additional student statements can be found HERE on Slate.com

This golden West Linn Mansion could be yours for $18mill!

-26669323748e2973A West Linn mansion listed for $18 million comes with bidets, a Benihana hibachi table and bragging rights that Bruce Willis slept here.

It’s not the most expensive residential listing ever in Oregon, but the Mediterranean palace on 35 acres, named Villa de l’or (house of gold or mountains), is at the very top right now.

Listing agent Tina Wyszynski of Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty has been quietly trying to sell the ritzy compound at 1707 S.W. Schaeffer Road since November.

Four days ago, she listed it on the Regional Multiple Listing Service’s searchable real estate database, and on Wednesday, she’s inviting journalists to take a tour inside the mansion with marble floors, gold-colored fixtures and crystal chandeliers. Qualified buyers or their representatives can see it anytime.

The house, with 14 bedrooms (not to mention servant quarters) and 10 bathrooms, would be sold furnished. Furniture and decorative accessories cost more than $550,000 when new in 1996. Drapery and upholstery fabrics alone were several hundred dollars a yard.

A member of Wyszynski’s sales team, who asked not to be named, said they are looking for a very specific buyer: Perhaps someone who might want it as a boutique resort.

Or the home could be a “repository for art,” he said, for a deep-pocket collector who sees value in Oregon’s absence of sales or use taxes.-5d80dc4f7591db6d

Elaine Wynn, the co-founder of the Wynn casino empire in Nevada, avoided paying as much as $11 million in use taxes in her state by lending the $142.4 million Francis Bacon’s triptych “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” to the Portland Art Museum before shipping it to her Las Vegas home.

Most likely, Wyszynski will find a buyer outside of the state, since, according to research her team has conducted, there are only about 330 people in Oregon who have investment assets of $30 million or more. That’s the bottom line the team decided would be needed to purchase and maintain the 16,359-square-foot residence – larger than the Pittock Mansion — as well as the private soccer field, tennis court, gym, pool, pool salon and horse arena.

Unlike most extreme estates with a sprawling main house, this one doesn’t have detached guest houses or large outbuildings. “It’s not Hearst Castle,” in central California’s coast with casitas as large as 5,875 square feet, said the sales member.

But there is an enormous stone Tuscan-styled wine vault that can store imported bottles and estate wine made from grapes grown in four acres of vineyards.

Don’t worry if the family that built Villa de l’or will be struggling to find a replacement. According to the sales team, they have other homes “just like this one” over the world, including in London, England, and Nice, France.

The husband and wife attended Portland State University and have business interests in the area and donate to local causes, according to documents, but they are only here two weeks a year, said the sales team member.

The complete article and additional photos can be found HERE on Oregonlive.com

Comming soon in Lents

A new food cart pod, pub and a market-rate apartment building are likely on the menu for the Lents neighborhood after the Portland Development Commission approved the sale of a slice of property at the corner of Southeast Woodstock Boulevard and Southeast 93rd Avenue.

The PDC Board of Commissioners voted 5-0 Wednesday night to approve the sale of two parcels oflents land to Clackamas construction company Lisac Brothers Construction. The latter is planning two phases of development, the first of which would be a commercial building and a pavilion for a small food cart pod. According to information from PDC, an “affiliated entity” will occupy the commercial building and operate a restaurant and pub.

The second phase will be a multi-unit, market-rate apartment building.

PDC bought the two properties, which sit at the southeast corner of Southeast 93rd Avenue and Woodstock Boulevard in 2000 for $122,000 and $143,000. The agency is selling them to Lisac for $500,000. In April, the properties were appraised at a total of $469,000.

PDC spokesman Shawn Uhlman said the process now shifts to due diligence for the developer.

The project, according to PDC, falls in line with the agency’s five-year plan for the Lents Town Center.

“The proposed housing element of the project would help achieve community desires for a broad spectrum of housing choices within the Lents Town Center including new market rate housing,” PDC staff wrote in a report. “In addition, the project brings new private investment to the Lents Town Center providing new market comparables for other private investment opportunities in Lents … (It will also) provide much needed active uses along Southeast Woodstock Boulevard, and the food cart pod and proposed restaurant are uses identified by the community as highly desirable for the Lents Town Center.”

The proposed development is just one of a handful that PDC has been working to kickstart in recent months.

Original article can be found HERE on the Portland Business Journal Website

New Apartment building designed for bike enthusiasts

bike aptIn Portland’s Eliot neighborhood, a cycling-centric apartment building is wrapping up construction along Northeast Cook Street.

The mixed-use, 206-unit Cook Street Apartments is the largest complex in the North Williams Corridor and borders North Williams Avenue, a bike route that connects commuters over the Broadway Bridge directly into the City Center, about two miles away.

“The ongoing redevelopment of this area is starting to move toward mixed-use facilities, that’s kind of the trend in this zone right now,” said Aaron Rieck, the onsite project manager with Sierra Construction. “Also, it’s very cycling-centric — that’s part of the difference in the coding, they don’t require parking at all — it’s designed for cycling-centric commuting into town.”

… Cook Street Apartments was developed by Lake Union Partners, designed by LRS Architects and built by Sierra Construction. Its neighborhood is one area that has become more economically valuable than in the past due to its proximity to downtown.

Even though the site is on a bike route directly into downtown Portland, and zoning doesn’t require developers to build parking lots, Cook Street Apartments has parking for 146 cars and 252 bikes.

“In the grand scheme of things, everyone’s going to ride a bike,” Rieck said. “But there are still people who own cars and you end up in a condition where the overflow is moving into the neighborhood, taking up everyone’s spare spots.”

JULES ROGERS - The sculpted orb, made from bicycle gears, represents the cycle-centric buildings amenities and location.

JULES ROGERS – The sculpted orb, made from bicycle gears, represents the cycle-centric buildings amenities and location.

As for other amenities, the residents’ rooftop patio on the sixth floor has indoor-outdoor fireplaces, BBQs, huge sliding doors that connect a community kitchen to the outdoors and a restroom. Two plazas on the southern corners of the lot add landscaped greenery and artwork in the shape of a prominent sculpted orb made from bicycle gears…

The total project cost $30 million, including a little grant money from the Energy Trust of Oregon to add efficient lighting and low-flow water fixtures. At the peak of construction more than 140 workers were onsite, according to Rieck.

The U-shaped building cradles an above-ground parking lot roofed by metal racks that will soon be covered in growing vines. Handpainted murals of historical architecture in the neighborhood adorn the enclosed street-level parking lot.

… The market-rate units range from $1,270 for a small studio to $2,575 for a spacious two-bedroom. Thirteen of the units are already leased.

The entire story can be found HERE on the Business Tribune’s website.

 

Neighborhood clean-up calendar

Curb too close?  Dump too far?

Do you have items in your home that are difficult to dispose of because of their size and shape?  Neighborhood cleanups make disposing of bulky waste (old furniture, cat castles, etc.) easy.  Plus they cost less than fees garbagerequired at the dump and help to fund community activities like picnics, movie nights and more!  Eight different cleanups are scheduled April-May 2016 throughout SE Portland…

Click the link HERE for the cleanup calendar and the fine print, brought to you by SE Uplift.