“Trendythird” Goes To The Heads

by | Apr 19, 2009

photo by Faith Cathcart

Ryan Frank, The Oregonian’s real estate writer, looks at the commercial real estate situation on Portland’s NW 23rd Avenue and paints a not pretty picture.

The 23rd Avenue shopping strip, Portland’s palace of posh, is fraying under the weight of the recession. Empty storefronts are now as visible as double lattes.

From every street corner between Everett and Raleigh streets — 13 blocks — shoppers can spot a “For Lease” sign or plywood-covered window. Demand has fallen far enough that a head shop called Mary Jane’s House of Glass can now afford a 23rd Avenue storefront.

Let’s look on the bright side. Frank points out that things were worse during the Dot Bust of ’01; easy access to a head shop isn’t necessarily a bad thing; and enterprising businesses in need of space can find good deals on rent right now.

Trendythird wasn’t always an expensive shopping district. In fact, not long ago at all, it was a forest. Tomorrow, it’ll take on another hue.