If you’re moving to Portland, you might be wondering which neighborhood to live in. You should first know the genius of the city’s layout, which is split into 4 primary areas: NW, NE, SW, and SE. They are divided by the Willamette River (going north and south) and Burnside Street (going east and west). This makes it easy to find just about any address in the city! And one of the best things about these sections is the micro-cultures that have developed in each of the neighborhoods within! You’ll find a different feel and advantages that come with each locale, with downtown right in the heart of the SW. Here are some of the neighborhoods that are popular among our technology consultants, and why you might want to live there:
Pearl District (in NW Portland)
This is one of the nicer (and spendier) areas in the city to live; the condo high rises here do not disappoint. Plus you are walking distance to some of the best shopping and restaurants in the city, with very close access to downtown too. Many successful tech startups have their office headquarters located in the Pearl area as well, including Opal, Cloudability, Vacasa, and Zapproved. This means that whether you want temporary or permanent work at a tech startup, it’s more likely to be just a few blocks away from your doorstep.
Downtown (in SW Portland)
You’re right in the middle of it all when you live downtown, between the Pearl and South Waterfront, with multiple bridges to cross the river and get to any other section of town too. You’ll also find newer condos as well as historical buildings to make your home in. If you’re a foodie, you’ll be in heaven and can choose from the best and oldest establishments, as well as plenty of the food carts that Portland is famous for too. You may not want to bother with a car, as parking can get expensive – but it’s easy to get by foot to tech firms like Lytics, Urban Airship, Act-On, and Edgelink.
Buckman/Eliot (in SE Portland)
This neighborhood in the southeast part of town has more recently grown to be one of the most trendy spots. With plenty of microbreweries and vegan food options, you’ll also find both newer condos amongst quirky homes and townhouses. And lots of bike commuting is witnessed in the area, which is ideal for cyclists and convenient if you prefer a slightly more traditional neighborhood feeling without needing a car to get downtown.
Forest Park (in NW Portland)
If you’re coming to Portland for the trees, this is the neighborhood for you. This area is like having a forest in your backyard, with tons of trails and wildlife to make your outdoor heart happy. It’s also fairly close to huge employers like Nike in Beaverton and the smaller startups in the Pearl District, so there’s plenty of technology jobs nearby to make your brain happy too.
Irvington/Grant Park/Rose City (in NE Portland)
There are not many tech employers headquartered here, but you will find the historical charm of early 20th-century craftsman style homes on almost every street. The peace and quiet you’ll find in the neighborhood can be surprising, since it’s so close to lots of entertainment right across the river. And the area has some of the easiest access to several different freeways and main streets that get you in any direction you want to go quickly.
Wilsonville (suburb south of Portland)
Great for suburbanites, it’s also close to big tech employers like FLIR Systems and Mentor Graphics. This is a great area if you like newer upscale homes with big backyards. It’s a good half hour drive to downtown, however, so you’ll need a vehicle, and we recommend a family minivan for carting around the kids in the neighborhood carpool.
Whether you’re a coffee, wine, or music aficionado, there are many other great neighborhoods in the Portland area that will fit your lifestyle and interests. And if you’re a technology professional looking for contract or contract-to-hire work, ProFocus can help you in your job search process. Plus we can help you navigate the city too, so give us a call! Our recruiters look forward to talking to you about the exciting technology projects we’re placing for.