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Though the Pearl District of Portland existed as a highly industrial neighborhood back in 1980, much of the industry has transformed into a ritzy, eclectic environment full of art galleries and astonishing eateries. As the area just west of the Willamette River, the Pearl District has its own charms and has staked its claim as part of Portland’s eccentric downtown area.

Start-up businesses, artists and other locals have turned the district from the warehouse center of Portland into a walkable, urban hotspot with a large number of iconic Portland businesses and a phenomenal transportation network.

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Rent Trends

As of August 2017, the average apartment rent in Portland, OR is $1,325 for a studio, $2,016 for one bedroom, $2,770 for two bedrooms, and $2,620 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Portland has increased by 5.7% in the past year.

Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent
Studio
537
$1,325
1 BR
757
$2,016
2 BR
1,085
$2,770
3 BR
1,114
$2,620
Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent

Ratings

97 Walk Score® Walker's Paradise
89 Transit Score® Excellent Transit
98 Bike Score® Biker's Paradise

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Parks

The North Park Blocks, which have been a historic fixture in the Pearl District since the 1940s, have long been plagued by the homeless and panhandlers, but, since the recent gentrification of the neighborhood, those problems have largely gone away, making the parks safe and free for kids who want to climb on the big elephant statues or play on the playground.

The Fields Park, a large stretch of green grass perfect for sports and rough play, is often the location for musical and theatrical performances, though the park remains quiet during the day and open for free public use.

Shopping

Don't go to the Pearl District without visiting Powell’s, the famous bookstore that takes up an entire city block and then some. With both used and new books, Powell’s remains independent and provides locals with readings from well-known authors on a regular basis.

After that, you can stroll down 23rd Street, which houses many local boutiques. If you prefer to stay close to Powell’s, Buffalo Exchange is right across the street and offers used modern and vintage clothes for reasonable prices. Anthropologie and Madewell also lie within a block of the iconic bookstore if you want the chain-store atmosphere. Don’t forget to visit Mabel & Zora, a boutique that gives you that special date-night look that you can wear again and again for an affordable price.

For groceries, Whole Foods claims space near Powell’s, but the Saturday Market, which — despite the name — opens on both Saturdays and Sundays all through much of the spring, summer and fall, provides homemade spices, beers, wines, food, art and clothing, making it a central location for both tourists and locals.

Cost

Like most major cities, the cost of living in any neighborhood in Portland typically escalates beyond the national average. Living in the Pearl District costs about 25 percent more than the national average and about 5 percent more than the Portland average. Though the area first became attractive because of the low rent, the area has gentrified, making a one-bedroom apartment cost about $1,200 per month.

You can easily get a beer for $6 at any of the many pubs in the area, and the cost of groceries in the Pearl District remains similar to that in the rest of Portland. Gas prices are about the same in the Pearl District and the rest of downtown Portland, though the average price hovers at about 7 percent more than the national average.

Transportation

Though the I-5 and I-405 lie within a mile or two of anywhere in the Pearl District, the hectic morning and evening commutes dissuade many from using the freeways during those times. To beat the rush, locals take advantage of either the Portland Streetcar, which serves much of the Pearl District, or the 20 bus, which takes travelers on Burnside to Gresham on one side and Sunset on the other. Alternatively, the Max light rail system makes getting to other areas of Portland a breeze.

Though many parking garages and 2- to 3-hour parking meters exist in the area, parking often frustrates locals because of the lack of availability and the outrageous costs, which encourages more people to take one of the many methods of public transportation since a 2-hour ticket for either the bus or train only costs $2.50 as opposed to the $10-plus you might spend for a few hours of parking in a garage.

Portland, as one of the world’s most bike-friendly cities, offers full bike lanes on nearly every street totaling more than 5 miles, and you can trust that Portland’s drivers have grown accustomed to yielding to both bikers and pedestrians because so many of them line the streets of the Pearl District.

Though calling a cab remains an option and the cab companies work both night and day, Uber has become a more popular choice in Portland because of the decreased costs.

Restaurants

The Pearl District has made its way as a throbbing center of nighttime life and a center for dinnertime delights. Among the local favorites is Masu, a sushi restaurant just off Washington and 13th. Its selection of off-the-boat, seasonal fish and both hot and cold appetizers will amaze your taste buds and leave you wishing you could eat there every day. Edamame comes free with every meal, and the miso soup, only $2, excites your palette to get you ready for rolls like the Death by Sushi, a creamy salmon and crab roll, or the Lotus, deep fried with tuna, crab and avocado. Go at lunchtime to avoid the dinner rush.

Within walking distance from the central restaurant location along Burnside lies Heart, an upscale coffee shop with a small menu and a big following. Though coffee at Heart can get expensive, locals love the fresh-brewed smells, the assortment of gluten-free and vegan-friendly baked goods and a selection of healthy sweeteners. Locals have said that the coffee itself, particularly the mocha or the very spicy spiced chai, makes up an experience in and of itself.

For breakfast, lunch, dinner or a midnight snack, The Roxy remains the popular choice for club goers once the night has ended. With a 10-plus page menu that cracks jokes at every entrée and a not-safe-for-work environment, Roxy represents Portand’s slogan, “Keep Portland Weird.” Don’t forget to try either the Democrat or the Republican — essentially the same sandwich — before you leave.

The nightlife, from Scandals — a relaxed, hip gay bar, lounge and club — to McMenamins Crystal Ballroom — an indie music venue — varies between urban chill and straight-up crazy, but the Pearl District has something for everyone. Be sure to stop by The Big Legrowski and try one of their 15 craft beers always on tap. Grab a growler on your way out to enjoy at your own convenience.

History

In the early 2000s, Thomas Augustine, owner of a local art gallery, coined the term “Pearl District” after noticing that the industrial parts of the city had become dilapidated, while several “pearls,” which included high-class art galleries, lay hidden within the neighborhood. Since then, the area became more populated, and the industrial portions of the neighborhood have largely been removed to make way for new shops, restaurants and residential communities.

Every year, the Pearl District Neighborhood Association hosts a large fall block party with live music, raffles and prizes for residents in the area to raise money for their efforts to keep the Pearl District clean. The event offers the opportunity to get to know others in the neighborhood and keep abreast of the other community events going on throughout the year.

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Pearl Apartments For Rent

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Block 17
1315 NW 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97209
1 / 112
New
$1,902 - 4,271 Studio - 2 Bed Available Now
844-797-9589
Bridgetown Lofts
1850 NW Front Ave, Portland, OR 97209
1 / 32
1 hr
$1,460 - 2,640 Studio - 2 Bed Available Now
702-605-3936
Couch 9
115 NW 9th Ave, Portland, OR 97209
1 / 25
New
$1,417 - 5,484 Studio - 3 Bed Available Now
503-925-5669
Modera Pearl
1481 NW 13th Ave, Portland, OR 97219
1 / 6
New
$1,610 - 3,635 Studio - 2 Bed Available Now
844-862-7472
The Louisa
123 NW 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97209
1 / 74
New
$1,607 - 7,946 Studio - 2 Bed Available Now
855-815-3689
NV
1261 NW Overton St, Portland, OR 97209
1 / 71
10 hrs
$1,705 - 4,490 1-2 Bed Available Now
844-338-8214
Asa Flats + Lofts
1200-1220 NW Marshall St, Portland, OR 97209
1 / 42
10 hrs
$1,461 - 3,852 Studio - 2 Bed Available Now
844-617-3521
Fremont Apartments
1430 NW Pettygrove St, Portland, OR 97209
1 / 31
1 wk
$950 - 1,115 Studio Available Now
844-264-7545
Enso
1400 NW Marshall St, Portland, OR 97209
New
$1,355 - 3,536 Studio - 2 Bed Available Now
844-286-2962
The Parker
1447 NW 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97209
New
$1,264 - 3,877 1-2 Bed Available Now
844-292-4487
10th @ Hoyt
925-925 NW Hoyt St, Portland, OR 97209
3 hrs
$1,342 - 2,337 Studio - 2 Bed Available Now
844-350-3279
The Wyatt
1221 NW Marshall St, Portland, OR 97209
New
$1,500 - 5,315 Studio - 2 Bed Available Now
844-511-7792
Block 17
1 wk
922 NW 11th Ave Unit 503
Portland, OR 97209
$2,350 Condo for Rent Available 09/01/17
503-894-7363
Bridgetown Lofts
Couch 9

Apartments for Rent in Pearl

Though the Pearl District of Portland existed as a highly industrial neighborhood back in 1980, much of the industry has transformed into a ritzy, eclectic environment full of art galleries and astonishing eateries. As the area just west of the Willamette River, the Pearl District has its own charms and has staked its claim as part of Portland’s eccentric downtown area.

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