Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Gentrification is nobody's friend

Read the Oregonian article and see the video (there is a warning for the video one should heed).

It doesn't matter where you live.  If you like your community the way it is, gentrification and the changes it brings can be tough.  But what's happening in Portland and around the county isn't just gentrification, and it isn't just change - it is transformation on a much larger scale than we've seen since probably right after WWII.  Whole blocks, neighborhoods, cities and metropolitan regions are being carved up and handed to developers on silver platters by governments eager to change their development codes and form urban renewal districts to get in on the race to.....?

Economic development and sustainability are the main reasons given for the rise of mixed-use development and changing planning goals.  The true test of Transit-Oriented-Developments that Metro and other regional metro areas (see blog post "Sim City") will be if these TODs ever become functioning communities where people put down roots and want to make them their long-term homes.  What is the success of Oregon's longest-operating TODs?  What is "success?"

Everything new is not good, and gentrification can leave a place ravaged just as it can restore and renew.

Forced to move when rental home sold for development, Division Street residents mourn changes to the neighborhood
The Oregonian
Rebecca Koffman | Special to The OregonianBy Rebecca Koffman | Special to The Oregonian 
on May 16, 2014 at 10:30 AM, updated May 16, 2014 at 1:23 PM
In April, the six tenants of the co-operatively run "Breakfast House" at Southeast 34th Avenue and Division Street received 30 days' notice from their landlord, who said he'd sold to a developer.  
"He said not to do a super-thorough clean," said tenant Kim Hack, "so we assume it will be demolished."

Hack and her housemates won't know who the developer is until the sale goes through May 21. But after chatting with their neighbors on either side, they believe the same developer is trying to acquire all three properties.

Breakfast House is not leaving quietly. Thursday afternoon, the occupants of the communal living arrangement that has, since 2009, hosted poetry readings, art-making events, neighborhood potlucks and free breakfasts from Food Not Bombs, put on one final afternoon breakfast.

A decade ago, Division Street was a slightly ramshackle strip of old-school businesses, quirky stores and modest single-family homes. Now buildings and businesses are being replaced with upscale restaurants and condominiums at such a jarring rate that many locals have a sense of whiplash.

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