Neighborhood Spotlight: Central Eastside

Portland’s east side was first founded on a land claim by James B. Stephens in 1845. Back then, the area was mainly marshy ground and sprawling creeks, which made it a good place to grow produce. Much of the produce was sold and distributed via the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, which gave the east side its first nickname: “Produce Row.”

By 1869, the East-Side Oregon Central Railroad was built to connect East Portland to Salem. This helped increase the shipment of agricultural products and promoted the growth of businesses like hotels, churches, sawmills, shoe factories, and banks in what was then known as “East Portland.”

A few years later in 1887, the Morrison Bridge was built and was the first to link the west side (known as Portland) to East Portland. This allowed East Portland’s population to triple, with more people living, working, and supporting businesses in the area. By 1891, East Portland, Portland, and Albina combined to form Portland, and East Portland eventually became known as the “Central Eastside” area of the city.

Over the years, the marshy lands of the east side transformed into multi-story office towers, high-rise apartments, industrial buildings, and retail spaces. A report by the City of Portland says, “The slow evolution of the Central Eastside into an industrial area has shaped the urban form we see today. With each successive era, the types of buildings and transportation infrastructure in the district have changed to meet the business needs.”

The Central Eastside area runs west to east from the Willamette River to SE 12th Ave and north to south from E Burnside St to SE Belmont St. According to JLL, 477,000 square feet of new office space has been delivered since 2016 and tenant demand has remained strong. In addition to the 12 projects that were completed in the area in the last three years, there are eight projects under construction and seven proposed for the Eastside:

Projects Under Construction

Eastside Innovation Hub (under construction)

  • 808 SE Alder
  • $12 million investment
  • A full building renovation that includes an added 3rd story and a seismic upgrade.

Burnside Delta (under construction)

  • 1111 SE Sandy
  • A new 6-story building with 85 apartment units, 2 retail spaces, and bicycle and motorcycle spaces.

District Office (under construction)

  • 525 SE MLK
  • A 6-story, 90,400 SF building with one level of underground parking, ground floor retail, and 5 floors of office space.

Chamberlain Hotel (under construction)

  • 509 SE Grand
  • A major renovation of the 1897 building once home to Shleifer Furniture to create a new hotel with 57 rooms and retail space on the ground floor.

550 SE MLK (under construction)

  • 550 SE MLK
  • A new 7-story mixed-use building which includes 150+ hotel rooms, ground-floor retail, and two versions of parking.

Morrison Market (under construction)

  • 722 SE 10th
  • Upgrades that include a seismic retrofit and wall additions to create food pods, restrooms, and a bar area on the first floor.

Modera Buckman (under construction)

  • 909 SE 12th
  • A new 7-story mixed-use building with 170 apartments, 6,500 SF of ground-floor retail space, and underground parking.

5 MLK (under construction)

  • 5 SE MLK
  • A mixed-use 17-story building with 15,000 SF of ground-floor retail space, 120,000 SF of office space, 220 apartment units, and 160 below-grade parking spaces.

Proposed Projects

Ankeny Apartments (proposed)

  • 1122 SE Ankeny
  • A new 6-story 16-unit apartment building with ground floor retail and rooftop solar installations.

129 SE Alder St. (proposed)

  • 110 SE Washington
  • A new 9-story, 90,000 SF building with creative office space, underground parking, and a rooftop deck.

Alder.9 (proposed)

  • 820 SE Alder
  • A 9-story mixed-use building with 176 apartment units, 5,350 SF of retail space on the ground floor, and space for parking and bicycles.

306 SE 8th Ave (proposed)

  • 306 SE 8th
  • A new 7-story 120-unit residential apartment building with ground floor retail and underground parking.

Modera Morrison (proposed)

  • 1120 SE Morrison
  • A 7-story apartment building with 247 units, ground floor retail, and basement parking.

ODOT Blocks (proposed & pre-leasing)

  • SE Water Ave (spanning SE Main St, SE Salmon St, and SE Taylor St)
  • Three mixed-use buildings totaling 150,000 SF of industrial and retail space. The buildings will be connected by a promenade and feature two parking lots.

OMSI (proposed)

  • 1945 SE Water Ave
  • Redevelopment of 2 million SF for residential and commercial purposes.

Completed Projects

Tree Farm (completed 2019)

  • 826 SE 3rd Ave
  • $12.7 million development
  • A new 6-story mixed-use building with first-floor retail and residential units on floors 2-6.

7 SE Stark (completed 2019)

  • 7 SE Stark
  • $45 million development
  • A 10-story, 70,000 SF mixed-use concrete-and-steel building with 6 floors for parking and 4 floors of industrial office space.

Glass Lab (completed 2019)

  • 1805 SE MLK
  • $8.9 million development
  • Renovation of a 1960s industrial building into 46,000 SF of creative office space.

Modern Times Brewing (completed 2019)

  • 600 SE Belmont
  • Additions to the brewery include a mezzanine, rooftop patio, main floor tasting room, and canning line.

Grand + Belmont (completed 2018)

  • 514 SE Belmont
  • A new 7-story mixed-use building with retail and parking on the first level and 131 residential units on levels 2-5.

Modera Belmont (completed 2018)

  • SE 6th & Belmont
  • A 6-story, 200-unit apartment building with ground floor retail.

Jupiter NEXT (completed 2018)

  • 910 E Burnside St
  • A hotel expansion that includes 67 rooms, 8,000 SF of event space, and a 1,620 SF private garden and lounge area for guests.

Custom Blocks (completed 2018)

  • 1340 SE 9th Ave
  • Core and shell upgrades include a seismic retrofit, new roofing, plumbing, and a parking lot for industrial use.

Goat Blocks (completed 2017)

  • 1036 SE Belmont
  • A mixed-use development with 97,000 SF of retail space and 247 apartment units.

Clay Creative (completed 2017)

  • 240 SE Clay
  • A new industrial office building with 75,000 SF of creative office space as well as lower-level, below-grade, and adjacent parking.

120 Clay (completed 2017)

  • 120 SE Clay
  • A 3-story office building with basement-level parking, a rooftop deck, and a green roof.

St. Francis Park Apartments (completed 2017)

  • 1177 SE Stark St
  • A 5-story complex with 106 units of affordable housing.