The Central Eastside is one of the most dynamic and rapidly changing parts of Portland’s Central City. Ever since its initial development in the late 19th century, the district has had a unique mix of industrial, commercial and residential uses.
This continues today with new residential and office buildings being built along historic main streets lined with older warehouses that have been rehabilitated for manufacturing and compatible industries.
The Central Eastside is a large, multi-modal and vibrant industrial employment district where existing industrial and distribution businesses continue to thrive while the district’s job base grows and diversifies to attract new and emerging industries. Bridges and other connections between industry in the district and academic partners west of the river support access, collaboration, innovation and business development activities.
The district’s riverfront is a regional amenity and destination for employees, residents and visitors, with a variety of attractions and activities that bring people to, along and in the river. The riverfront by the OMSI light rail transit station area is a major hub for a variety of commercial, educational, and other uses. River recreation and transportation flourish along the riverfront, supported by docks and other amenities.
Between 2010 and 2035, the Central Eastside is expected to grow by 7,000 households and 8,000 jobs, for a total of 7,900 households and 25,000 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.
- Preserve the industrial sanctuary while allowing for higher employment density
- Strengthen the transportation system for all, promote active transportation and accommodate freight
- Support manufacturing, industrial services and other Central Eastside sectors as part of the Innovation Quadrant
- Enhance livability and activate mixed-use corridors
- Create a regional riverfront destination
Urban Design Concept
The Central Eastside is predominately an industrial and employment area organized around several mixed-use corridors. Attractions include the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) and the Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade. Key intersections and gateways include the Willamette River bridgeheads, East Burnside and Sandy Boulevard.
The diagram highlights several sites for potential new parks or open spaces in the district, many of which are along the waterfront or adjacent to new transit station areas.
The concept diagram also highlights the desired retail/commercial character of Sandy, Hawthorne, Powell and northern MLK boulevards, Grand and Water avenues, East Burnside, SE Morrison, Belmont, and Division streets, and the desired boulevard character of SE 11th and 12th avenues, NE Couch, Stark, Belmont and Madison streets.
The diagram also shows a few potential alternatives for the Green Loop alignment through the district, acknowledging that more process is needed to effectively balance freight movement with active transportation facilities.
It identifies a flexible design character for SE Ankeny, SE Salmon, Clay and Caruthers, 6th and 7th avenues, the Vera Katz Eastside Esplanade, and the areas under the Morrison and Hawthorne viaducts.
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.