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 building of studios and one-bedroom apartments that were in good, if bland 70’s refurbishment, condition have been replaced by studio and one bedroom apartments renting for much more than I could ever afford.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.