The old neighborhood


That “luxury” apartment tower on the left occupies the same space of my beloved first residence in Portland: the Rose Friend* Apartments.  What was a five-story (maybe six?) building of studios and one-bedroom apartments that were in good, if bland 70’s refurbishment, condition have been replaced by studio and one bedroom apartments renting for much more than I could ever afford.  Right now a 500 square foot studio is priced at $1365-1525 per month.  My 342 square foot cost $500 in 2002 and had risen to $525 when I moved out in 2005.

In the foreground is the Sovereign, which is moving all its current tenants out by the end of this year. Such tenants include a gentleman who has lived in the building since 1980 and currently pays $750/month in rent.  He’s not going to find that anywhere else downtown.  As a grocery store checker, he won’t have much room in his budget to afford other things.

I loved living downtown, but I think downtown doesn’t have room for people like me.  Not the me who rented an apartment with only a temporary job, and not the me of today with my modest salary.  It’s a shame.

*Also sometimes called Rosefriend and Rosefriends.  Even when I lived there I was never quite sure how to write my rent check.

One thought on “The old neighborhood”

  1. Ahh, the Rose Friend. I remember that little apartment well. It’s sad that so many people are getting priced out of downtown Portland. I had so much fun living there, but then my rent was quite reasonable back in the day. I suppose this is how the cycle goes, though. People get priced out, downtown starts dying because no one can afford to live there, and eventually (hopefully) it becomes affordable again.

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