What’s Happening to Division Street? The Gentrification of Portland

It feels like the aspects of Portland that are so valued are facilitating the influx of people that are destroying what we all love about the city.

There’s a phenomenon where a slightly run down neighborhood in an urban area, often with lots of warehouse space, becomes a residential area for artists, musicians and queers because the slightly run-down part and the older houses and warehouse space means artists, musicians and queers can afford to rent there.

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So they move in, they create businesses and artists studios and co-ops and homes. Those funky shops and artists studios attract people who like art and music and good food and kid-friendly neighborhoods and single dwelling and small shared housing.

And then the rent goes up. And then the landlords decide to demolish the turn of the century houses, the old warehouses turned into lofts and studios and small businesses for artisans, and build condos.

I’ve seen it happen to Minneapolis, Portland Maine, San Francisco. It’s happened to Pearl Street and the Rose quarter in Portland, and now, it’s happening to Division street.

She plays o' the viol-de-gamboys, speaks three or four languages word for word without book, hath all the good gifts of nature, knows a hawk from a handsaw, and can see a church by daylight. The rest is subject to fancy.