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The Southgate neighborhood of Portland, Oregon, comprises a portion of the southward suburban extension of the city and actually lies outside the southern city limits. It sits directly along the historic wagon trails that led settlers south to the Willamette Valley in the 1800s. However, today the Southgate/Milwaukee area claims recognition as a peaceful, relatively upscale but slightly cheaper place to live than neighborhoods closer to downtown.

Bounded to the west by the busy Interstate 205 bypass of downtown Portland, Southgate hosts a major retail strip that runs along the west side of the highway for over a mile. Clackamas Town Center, a large mall with a nearby public transit hub, and the Clackamas Promenade shopping plaza along with all the major national big-box retailers occupy the strip and draw many people to the neighborhood. State Route 213, now Portland’s 82nd Avenue also supports many commercial enterprises and brings a lot of bustle into Southgate.


Rent Trends

As of September 2017, the average apartment rent in Portland, OR is $772 for a studio, $1,039 for one bedroom, $1,225 for two bedrooms, and $1,534 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Portland has increased by 4.4% in the past year.

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60 Walk Score® Somewhat Walkable
50 Transit Score® Good Transit
68 Bike Score® Bikeable



The busy commercial and shopping district on the east side of Southgate bursts with restaurants. Along with all of the national chains, the 82nd Avenue strip has uncountable eateries, and includes what is now Portland’s China Town as well as a large Asian grocery store and shopping center just a few miles north of the Southgate neighborhood.

Southgate locals praise the Thai food at Arawan Thai Cuisine, a family-owned and operated eatery that dishes up all the Thai classics. Try the seafood curry with shrimp, squid, mussels and more, fried and with a rich sauce in the heat range of your choosing. The neighborhood also has an exceptional selection of sushi restaurants ranging from small shops such as Sushi & Maki near Walmart on Southeast 82nd Avenue, where U.S. state themed rolls capture diners' interest and taste buds, to the classic conveyor belt sushi joint Marinepolis Sushi Land in Clackamas Promenade. Marinepolis may be a chain, but the quality, variety and low prices make it a big hit with locals and well worth a try.

Gustav’s Pub and Grill specializes in authentic German and European food along with Northwest favorites and a wide selection of German beers. Fondues, handmade pretzels and smoked beer sausage all go well with a hearty brew, and frequent specials and a good happy hour make for economical dining.

For nightlife and beverages, residents can choose a bar and grill, for example, Stanford’s where northwest seafood treats combine with Wednesday discounts on bottles of wine to make for happy times, or a local side street bar. One such bar, Meadows Lounge on Johnson Creek Boulevard, manages to fit video poker, good happy hours and a busy Saturday night dance floor into a classic industrial location on a dirt parking lot. Another local favorite dive bar, Wichita Town Pub, sits square in the center of the neighborhood at 6106 Southeast King Road. Sports, pool tables, live bands and specials on food and drink keep a strong crew of regulars coming by.


Southgate’s history derives from its position along the ancient trail and sole wagon route up and out of the floodplain delta that marks the Willamette River’s confluence with the Columbia. The Willamette Valley terminates in river falls and a narrow hill gap just 4 miles south of the present Southgate neighborhood. The area around and just below the falls, originally a Native American fishing village, became the site of Oregon City, the first permanent Euro-American settlement in the Willamette valley. Founded in 1829, it was a base for fur traders and missionaries, and later became the end of the Oregon Trail. For travelers heading south into the Willamette Valley or coming north into the region that would become Portland, the enclosing hills and rushing river falls formed a natural barrier and gateway into and out of the southern portions of the settled delta lands running north to the Columbia's banks.


Private automobiles comprise the primary means of transportation for residents of Southgate. Light traffic in the neighborhood and free parking everywhere make local driving easy. Southeast King Road bisects the area and provides quick access to Oregon Routes 213 and 99 East as well as Interstate 205. Several taxi services will make runs to Southgate from their headquarters farther downtown, and Uber operates in the Portland area.

Locals who commute into downtown Portland often choose public transit to avoid the congestion and parking problems inherent to Portland’s compact urban core. The Portland TriMet light rail and bus systems serve Southgate well, with a major commuter transit center and park-and-ride located at Clackamas Town Center. Four different light rail routes run from the transit center, providing Southgate residents with good access to most parts of the Portland metropolitan area and an easy way to reach the Portland City Center.

In the interior of the neighborhood, flat terrain, quiet streets and bike lanes on the major arteries make cycling around the neighborhood a possibility. However, Southgate cannot be considered a walkable neighborhood since most of the commercial and retail activity in the area tends to be located either on the eastern fringe of the neighborhood in a strip between busy Oregon Route 213 and Interstate 205, or along the southwestern boundary marked by Southeast Railroad Avenue.


The cost of living in the Southgate neighborhood runs about 12 percent higher than the national average, but still below the Portland average of 26 percent above the national mark. A one-bedroom apartment in Southgate averages $862 per month. Savings can be found in transportation costs, with gas prices averaging about 12 percent below the national average and a ticket to the Portland City Center on the TriMet MAX light rail Green Line going for only $2.50. Beer prices range from a $2 happy hour special on a 16-oz domestic can to $6 or more for local artisanal microbrews.


The Southgate neighborhood, while blessed with large lots and several open green spaces, does not have many large city parks. Instead, formal sports fields such as those associated with LaSalle Catholic School and Seth Lewelling Elementary School provide residents with valuable play and exercise space. Furnberg Park, a tiny 3-acre pocket park surrounded by houses, gives residents a green space to relax and enjoy a walking trail, picnic facilities and play equipment. Mill Park, another small green space with picnic tables and a playground, has a nice location on the forested banks of Johnson Creek on the north edge of the Southgate neighborhood.

A highlight of the area and rare urban wilderness, the Three Creeks Natural Area, tucked down in the southeast corner of Southgate and just across the road from the major shopping centers, holds a surprising amount of wildlife habitat against the encroachment of the roads, houses and industrial facilities all around. Its 89 acres of streams, wetlands and upland old-growth oak habitat harbor streams with native fish along with otter, mink, deer, coyote, long tailed weasel, beaver and many bird species. Undeveloped trails and paths cut through the area, making it a perfect destination for dog walkers.


The major shopping district in Southgate concentrates along the Interstate 205 corridor to the east of the neighborhood, where the Clackamas Town Center mall and the smaller Clackamas Promenade shopping center anchor a large retail district. Grocery shoppers can go to Walmart or Costco in this area, over to Albertsons on Southeast Railroad Avenue or to Natural Grocers on Southeast 82nd Avenue for organic foods and health supplements. The nearest farmer's market to Southgate, Lents International Farmer's Market, makes its home a short distance north at Southeast 92nd Avenue and Foster Road and operates on Sundays June through October. While the Southgate shopping scene tends to be dominated by the large shopping centers and many national chain outlets in the area, some interesting specialty shops remain tucked in here and there along 82nd Avenue. Sublime Clothing occupies a historic wooden building and caters to women who like trendy clothes, accessories, gifts and a little bit of everything. Deals abound at Southgate's Deseret Industries thrift store. Located on Route 213 just north of SE King Street, this haven for the budget-minded carries clothes for adults and children alongside an array of home goods. The Shabby Shed on Linwood Avenue in neighboring Milwaukee specializes in quality vintage and antique furniture redesigned and hand-painted in shabby-chic style. Stuff on Southeast 82nd Avenue deals with many types of used, new and surplus items and promises to have nothing you need and everything you want.


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Apartments for Rent in Southgate, Portland, OR

The Southgate neighborhood of Portland, Oregon, comprises a portion of the southward suburban extension of the city and actually lies outside the southern city limits. It sits directly along the historic wagon trails that led settlers south to the Willamette Valley in the 1800s. However, today the Southgate/Milwaukee area claims recognition as a peaceful, relatively upscale but slightly cheaper place to live than neighborhoods closer to downtown.

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