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Portland’s Central Eastside: Exploring the Past, Present, and Future of the District

The Southeast Quadrant, which includes the Central Eastside, Clinton Triangle and South Banfield Portal, is currently the most dynamic and evolving part of Portland’s Central City. Over the past decade, the Central Eastside (CES) has been an economic development success story, playing an important role in the city’s economic and job growth. This success can be attributed to a number of factors, including its unique characteristics and advantages as well as City policies.

Success has revitalized the district as new businesses set up shop in the area’s distinctive warehouses and industrial buildings. Cruise along any street in the inner eastside, and the energy and change is palpable. Husks of old warehouses are being rehabbed across the street from new commercial buildings. Pedestrians and cyclists are just as likely to travel the streets as a variety of freight vehicles. And the new light rail line taking shape across the river and south to Milwaukie will soon connect with the streetcar loop and provide additional opportunities for development around new station areas.

With change come new questions. What are the issues facing the Central Eastside as an industrial and employment center? How can different modes of transportation and parking issues be accommodated in this increasingly active area? Where should retail uses be located? And what policies and investments are needed to ensure the success of the district into the 21st century? These are just a few of the questions the SE Quadrant Plan will try to answer.

Defining the future character of the Central Eastside and developing strategies to balance the needs of traditional and new uses within the district will be the focus of this planning effort. Businesses, residents, transportation interest groups and others are invited to join the discussion and participate in the process of developing a long-range plan for the district over the next year (2014), which will then be rolled up into the Central City 2035 Plan.

Over the next month, this blog series will give the community a basic understanding of the area . . . past, present and future. To learn more about the Central Eastside and the planning efforts for the Central City Southeast District, read the Central Eastside Reader and visit the SE Quadrant Plan calendar for future events.