Sellwood Moreland Improvement League

MONEY MAGAZINE: "Portland Most Livable"; Sellwood Cited

December Issue of the Magazine Lauds the Rose City

On November 14, MONEY Magazine made a copy available to THE BEE newspaper of the article in its December "double issue" in which Portland, for the first time, ranked #1 in "Best Places To Live". THE BEE shared it with this website....

The article is [c] 2000, Time, Inc., and excerpted here by permission...

"Some places are blessed with superb geography. Some are meccas for arts and culture. Others have great schools, low crime, and a thriving job market. All of those things can make a place great. Yet it also takes so much more, whether it's childhood memories, family ties, or close friends. After all, great places are as much about the feelings they evoke as the amenities they offer. Which is why selecting our annual best places to live is so challenging.

"Last year, MONEY editors put San Francisco and New York City on the top of the list, which created quite a stir. They're still compelling, of course, but the economic growth that put them at their peak last year has now made them even more expensive. that's why this year we focused on economically vibrant cities that are also successfully managing their growth and providing the highest quality of life around. Along with our usual emphasis on solid schools, low crime and job growth (according to U.S. Census and demographic data compiled by Fast Forward, a consulting firm), we also wanted areas that have avoided urban sprawl and overcrowding, where city fathers have put a premium on green space, culture, and having an accessible city center. That is why you'll find Portland, Ore. as the No. 1 choice for 2000 and Sarasota as our best small city. We've also awarded top honors regionally to Providence (in the Northeast), Chicago (Midwest), Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill (South), and Salt Lake City (West). . . Of course, any list like this is subjective. . ."

"Ask nearly anyone who lives in Portland what makes it great, and you'll be listening for a very long time. Portlanders are deeply passionate about their city--and rightly so. There's plenty to be proud of, especially the city's successful transformation from an old timber town to high-tech hub. Portland is home to more than 1,200 technology companies, from Intel--the largest private sector employer with 11,000 workers--to Hewlett-Packard, Epson, NEC, and scores of small software firms. That's made it one of the best job markets in the country. The region ranks in the top 20% of all metro areas in recent job growth and is expected to see a 26% increase in jobs over the next 10 years.

"If all this tech talk makes it sound a bit like San Francisco, well, it is, but without the hassles and expense. That put Portland high on our list, yet there's so much more that makes it this year's best place to live. Let's start with the great character of the city itself. Three decades of keen planning have reined in urban sprawl and given rise to a mini-metropolis with short, easy-to-stroll blocks renowned for java joints, brewpubs and bookstores. A superb light rail network and a new streetcar system are helping to make it a cinch to get around. There's loads of culture, from the Portland Art Museum to local rock clubs.

"Planners are working on redeveloping the barren riverfront area and on building a new extension of the light rail that runs to the airport. They have successfully turned the one industrial Pearl District into a vibrant place to live and work--a Pacific Rim version of New York City's trendy Soho. More people than ever before want to live downtown, and so many companies are clamoring fror space there that the vancancy rate is a slim 3%.

"'We're growing gracefully,' says Mayor Vera Katz. 'And that's because we made decisions early on about our urban-growth boundary, to honor the pedestrian over the automobile and to plan out growth and transportation as a region.' Adds city bureau of planning director Gil Kelley: 'We're reinventing ourselves as a very urban place by incorporating the natural environment, transportation, parks and neighborhoods.'

"Those qualities--and a high-tech job--lured Yeng chen, 31, and his wife Lisa from New York City two years ago. 'It's a great community,' says Chen, the vice president of product development for Performance Logic, a software company. 'It's urban but not hectic. You can walk to restaurants, and it's quite affordable.' The Chens rent a two-bedroom, 1,100-square-foot apartment downtown for $1,000 a month and have signed a deal to buy a 3,000-square-foot home in Irvington in northeast Portland.

"Margaret Tuchman and her husband Tom, who moved to Portland from Alexandria, Va. seven years ago, are also unabashed fans of the city. 'We've really liked it from the get-go,' says Margaret, 41, a vice president and financial advisor with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter; Tom, 40, runsa natural-resources consulting firm. 'It's an easy, manageable place to live, and once we had kids, Portland became even more appealing.' The Tuchmans have settled with six-year-old Helen and Emmy, 5, in a four-bedroom turn-of-the-century home in Portland Heights, a family-friendly neighborhood where parents gather on the street to chitchat in the evenings while their children play tag and jump rope.

"Then there is the other major reason to recommend Portland: its stellar location in the heart of the beautiful Pacific Northwest. It's an area of unparalleled natural beauty, abundant with recreational opportunities, from skiing at majestic Mount Hood to windsurfing at the Columbia River Gorge and white-water rafting on the Clackamas River. Overall, there are 9,500 acres of parkland in the region, twice as many as in Denver. Not enough fun for you? Oregon's wine country is a hop away,, as are rugged Pacific Ocean beaches. 'Within an hour of the city you can be on a mountain, at the beach, in the desert or in the middle of a forest,' says Portland native Matthew Subotnick, 28, creative services director for KXL radio. 'You can't beat it.'

"To be sure, Portland faces plenty of pressures. The median price of a single-family home is $165,700, ranking it in the top 100 most expensive areas in the U.S. The building boom downtown has pushed some condominiums to the half-million-dollar mark and beyond, 'I can't afford to live there,' says Mayor Katz. the city's low-vacancy rate, while great for landlords, can be tough on companies looking for space. Oregon's 9% personal income tax leads some businesses and workers to seek out opportunities across the river in Washington, which has no such tax. And there are 152 days a year with some precipitation.

"Still, Portland residents, like high-tech entrepreneur Wyatt Starnes, love their city. Three years ago, Starnes founded Tripwire, a software security firm, in the heart of downtown. Today the company has 125 employees. 'Portland has a wonderful urban feel, lots of restaurants, music, culture,' he says. Just as important, he says, is that 'people here just aren't in it only for the money. The workers really want to contribute something of value. they want to build careers and live here and are looking to the longer term.' But for him, Portland's lure is deeper. 'There's a feeling that there's room to breathe here.'

Special Mention Of Sellwood

On page 150 of the magazine, on the second page of the ten-page article, in the middle of the discussion about Portland, there is a vertical column containing some capsule information:

POPULATION: 1,765,400






TOP NEIGHBORHOODS: Irvington, Multnomah Village, Pearl District, SELLWOOD.

HOT SPOT: Brazen Bean bar for its great happy hour and $3 martinis.

FUN FACT: Portland is the only U.S. city with a volcano inside the city limits.

Posted by smile333 on 12/14/2000
Portland, Oregon 97202

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