Beaverton was chosen as one of Apartment Therapy’s Coolest Suburbs in America 2019. We showcased the burbs nationwide that offer the most when it comes to cultural activities, a sense of community, and simply a good quality of life. For more on how we define “cool” and what exactly counts as a suburb, check out our methodology here. To view Apartment Therapy’s other Coolest Suburbs in America 2019, head here.

The living is easy in Beaverton, a suburb of Portland, Oregon. Neighbors are chatty. Bike trails to neighboring towns and downtown Portland abound. Hop in your car to dozens of box stores minutes away. It seems like everyone composts. Parking is readily available and free. There’s never a line at the post office. City employees return calls swiftly. I could go on. Have I mentioned that all aspects of life are comically uncomplicated? Especially compared to a stint in Manhattan? They are.

Beaverton particularly excels at public spaces and programming: Well-maintained trails weave through mossy forests right out of “The Hobbit,” in a dozen residential neighborhoods. Full rosters of movie nights and festivals fill warm evenings.

Get here sooner rather than later, because housing prices continue to rise. If you envision the West Coast as a very expensive block of cities, the Portland region is the cheapest destination on an overpriced block, which will continue increase in price. Beaverton’s many imports from L.A. and San Francisco constantly say things like “I would’ve moved here a decade ago, if I’d known how nice people are.”

Editor’s note: Beware that locals scratch their heads at the Beaverton city map, which is inexplicably oddly shaped, with Beaverton entirely circling multiple downtown areas. The main impact on locals is that many residents who appear to live in Beaverton technically do not, and thus miss out on cheap parks and recreation classes. This guide covers the Beaverton area.

Average rent price:

$1,337, according to Rent Café.

Median house price:

$392,200, according to Zillow.

Price per square foot:

$223 in Beaverton, vs. $231 in the surrounding metro area of Portland/Vancouver/Hillsboro, according to Zillow.

Walkability score:

48, according to Walk Score.

Median household income:

$64,619 according to Census data.


97,000, according to the City of Beaverton.


View the full article here at Apartment Therapy

The plan to bring Major League Baseball to Oregon is rounding the bases, and its founder believes this summer is going to be a grand slam.

You’d be forgiven for thinking the plan to build a Major League Baseball stadium in Portland has struck out. Or at least faced a rain delay.

The Portland Diamond Project, a group of investors with their hearts set on building a major league baseball stadium in Portland hasn’t made a peep since April, when they revealed design concepts for the proposed waterfront stadium.

Not that the Diamond Project has stayed out of the news. Recently a story on made it seem like the project was about to stumble. The article concerned the group’s exclusive access to its preferred building site, a 50-acre marine cargo terminal in Northwest Portland.

The exclusivity agreement with the Port of Portland is set to expire at month’s end, meaning the project could end up having to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep the spot reserved.

But according to Craig Cheek, founder and president of the Portland Diamond Project, the Port of Portland agreement isn’t a cause for concern. “We’ve had a lot of discussion with the port. Everyone still wants to help get this thing through,” he says. 

According to Cheek, the Portland Diamond Project is engaged in a “city-led process to pour over the viability of the port site,” meaning that state and local authorities can speed up or slow down the process, depending on their inclination. The site still faces zoning and transportation issues that need to be resolved before the build.

But it’s important to note that although plans to build a stadium have been around for a while, the situation with the Port of Portland is only 10-weeks old. “We have the support of the city. We have support of the bureau heads.” says Cheek. He adds talks with the city are “going very well.”

Despite the Port of Portland’s deadline, Cheek believes the city, the business community and the public at large are warming up to the idea of a waterfront stadium.

“It would be the most transformative site as far as the city is concerned,” he says, referencing the need for development in the area. “You would create a new Northwest edge to the city. Our project would bring new life and a whole new district there.”

The stadium would likely be a windfall for local businesses, and not just food and entertainment. The project could introduce a civilian ferry to make use of the waterway. Cheek has also floated the idea of a completely carless stadium, a welcome relief to Northwest Portland, which already faces monumental parking problems.

Another reason to believe the project is about to swing for the fences? It’s star-studded, ever-growing list of backers, including Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, his supermodel wife Ciara, former Chicago Cubs player Darwin Barney and Harvey Platt, retired CEO of Platt Electric. The project has raised $1.3 billion already, nearly half their $3 billion estimate.

On the local front, Olympia Provisions and Breakside Brewery have already tested new products at Diamond Project events, and the project’s swag is selling like hotcakes.

Though there has been much chatter from the dugout lately, the project isn’t going to be silent much longer. “We’re going to be very active in the business community over the summer,” says Cheek. “We’re going to be talking to businesses small, medium and large to get their support.”

But backing from the city and the business community are only two parts of a three-piece puzzle. Not wanting to repeat New York’s Amazon headquarters disaster, in which the e-commerce platform failed to garner broad public support for its new headquarters, Cheek says public support will be a critical element moving forward.

“We’ve encouraged fans to help us create a groundswell for [the stadium.] Thirty-three thousand people have already signed our petition, and we want to grow that number up to 50,000 in the coming weeks.”

Not only could the stadium be an economic grand slam, the project would also introduce Oregon’s sustainability values to major league sports. When completed, the new ballpark could be the most sustainable professional stadium in the country.

For reference, the greenest sports stadium in the nation holds gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. “We want our stadium to be the first one to reach platinum,” Cheek says.

As of now, the Diamond Project has its eye on the ball. The project’s summer marketing push is about to commence, and with a few MLB team’s futures up in the air, the project could be coming to a head at just the right moment. 

But for all of his dreamy ambitions about revived waterfront, budding baseball culture and sustainability dreams, Cheek’s message to the business community is far more matter-of-fact.

“Portland is in competition with other places trying bring this kind of project to their city,” he says. “If we don’t jump on this, someone else will.”


View the full article here at Oregon Business

IF YOU’RE CRUISING AROUND PORTLAND, Oregon, and come across across a six-foot-tall cut-out of Patrick, the pink, portly starfish from SpongeBob SquarePants, chances are good that Mike Bennett left it there for you to find.

For the past few months, Bennett has been busy with plywood, paint, and power tools, speckling his front yard and the city streets with playful, oversized figures. It all started after a snowstorm, when he was noodling over his collection of Calvin and Hobbes books that his parents had recently shipped to him and thinking about a scene where Calvin makes a big snowman. Bennett hadn’t had a front yard in years, and wanted to figure out how to make it fun. What if the delight of some mounded-up snow could last all year, and never run the risk of melting?

He headed to Home Depot, came back with a jigsaw, and went to town on wood from a nearby ReBuilding Center. Bennett, who was once active on the short-video app Vine, where he recreated scenes from movies and TV with little paper dolls, began to fill the yard with pop-culture characters. “Familiar stuff brings more smiles to people’s faces,” he says.

And then he took the show on the road—within reason. “I’m a pretty big baby when it comes to trespassing,” he says, and he’s also careful to avoid damaging property or plants. He’ll sometimes fasten his wooden characters to light posts, trees, or telephone poles with a few hooks and twine. His information is printed on the back of the figures, so if someone gets in touch to say that they want one to come down, he can swing by and grab it. (So far, he says, he hasn’t encountered any issues.) To make it easy to keep an eye on things, he installed them along the routes he tends to follow each day as he drives around for his day job as an assistant for a real estate company. “They’re my babies now,” he says. “I like to check in on them.”

Bennett loves a good scavenger hunt, and invites people to go out looking for the figures he’s scattered around Portland. (He sometimes drops location hints on TwitterInstagram, or Reddit.) Taking a cue from a geocaching log, he affixed a little form to the back of each one. There, visitors can jot down their name, the date, and a positive thought.

Some of the signs also nod to culture and quirks that are more particular to Portland. The city famously hatched The Simpsonscreator Matt Groening, and some of the show’s characters borrow their names from Portland streets. Bennett decided to play that up by installing a cutout of Homer’s chummy neighbor Ned Flanders on one corner of NE Flanders Street. When he saw the street sign and made the connection, Bennett thought, “What? Come on,” he recalls. It just seemed too perfect to pass up. He’s also setting his sights on slightly more out-there local lore. “Oregon being the way it is, we’re into Sasquatch,” he says. By August, he hopes to make more than a dozen Bigfoot cutouts, each sporting different proportions and fur colors.

In the more immediate future, he’s planning to confetti the city with little cutouts of Diglett, the petite, pink-nosed Pokémon that sticks its head out of the ground. Bennett intends to make a brigade of the little guys—about 100 in all—with scrap wood he’s accumulated from his larger-scale figures. He’ll tamp them into dirt around the city over the course of June. Each creature will be about five inches tall, and anyone who finds one is welcome to adopt it and make their own yard or windowsill a little more wonderfully weird.


View the full article here at Atlas Obscura