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Planning and Sustainability

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West End

Photo of west end in PortlandThe West End is a downtown mixed-use and residential neighborhood. Its urban character is shaped by numerous historic buildings, new housing projects, many restaurants and retail activities, as well as a strong relationship with the South Park Blocks and Cultural District. However, the area also contains a number of surface parking lots.

Over the last decade, the West End has established stronger ties with Portland State University to the south and the Pearl to the north, effectively stretching the retail core from Downtown to the Brewery Blocks.

2035 Vision

The West End is a thriving, mixed-use urban residential neighborhood with a diverse and distinctive architectural character, a range of building ages and scales and a wealth of historical, cultural, institutional and open space assets. The district benefits from its pedestrian orientation and central location, with excellent multimodal access to Portland State University, the South Park Blocks, Goose Hollow and Providence Park, the Pearl and the Downtown retail core.

The West End hosts an attractive mixture of urban, family-friendly residential development with a range of scales, types and amenities that accommodate a socio-economically diverse population. It is a true mixed-use environment, where residents live in harmony with successful retail, cultural and office development.

2035 Vision 3D Map

Between 2010 and 2035, the West End is expected to grow by 3,000 households and 3,000 jobs, for a total of 6,800 households and 9,900 jobs. This rendering illustrates a possible development scenario approximating future growth. The arrows illustrate a potential “Green Loop” alignment and key flexible street connections leading to the river and adjacent neighborhoods.

Key Elements

  • Strengthen Jefferson main street as a neighborhood-serving retail commercial corridor
  • Integrate new development with historic fabric 
  • Explore freeway capping opportunities to better connect with Goose Hollow
  • Highlight the MAX/Streetcar interchange as a civic place
  • Re-envision SW 12th Avenue as a boulevard

Urban Design Concept

West End Urban Design ConceptThe West End has a predominantly residential character south of Salmon and a more mixed-use character to the north. The area is home to numerous attractions, including the Portland Art Museum and Central Library.

Key intersections and gateways include SW Morrison and Yamhill streets between 10th and 11th avenues where the MAX and streetcar lines intersect. Potential I-405 caps are also shown at SW Jefferson/Columbia and SW Yamhill/Morrison streets.

The concept diagram also highlights the desired retail/commercial character of SW 10th Avenue, West Burnside Street, SW Jefferson into Goose Hollow, Morrison and Yamhill streets; the desired boulevard character of SW Columbia, Clay and Market streets and SW 12th Avenue; and the signature east-west connection of SW Salmon Street.

Potential I-405 caps are shown at Morrison/Yamhill and Columbia/Jefferson, potentially offering new open space opportunities and improved crossing experiences.

View full-size maps in the PDF version of the Central City Districts.

Read about the Goals and Policies in the Draft Plan that will help with implementing the 2035 Vision and Urban Design Concept.