Alberta Property Management

Neighborhood

Art & History on Alberta Street

If you asked any random stranger to imagine the perfect Portland street, chances are they’ll describe someplace a lot like Alberta. A quintessential Portland neighborhood in all the best ways, Alberta is a vibrant and storied district with a long history and deep cultural roots. You can’t walk a block down Alberta Street without stumbling across a funky art gallery, a unique independent eatery, or a beautiful street mural. Whether you’re staying for an afternoon or a lifetime, there’s always something surprising in Alberta.

Alberta’s History Resonates To This Day

Looking at Alberta today, you might never guess that the area had a reputation for gang violence and crumbling infrastructure as recently as the 1990s. Now, Alberta fosters a thriving community that has continued to evolve. But to understand the neighborhood’s character, it helps to dive into its history. 

From 1903 to 1948, streetcar service helped this Portland neighborhood grow, bringing business and consumers to Alberta’s streets. However, not long after the city discontinued streetcar service to Alberta, construction began on the Interstate 5 highway. This new project tore through a large swath of Alberta’s traditionally Black neighborhoods and cut off Alberta street from Portland traffic and commerce. 

With the loss of the streetcar service and the coming of the Interstate 5 highway, Alberta fell on hard times. Many banks refused to finance houses located in the Alberta neighborhood, citing low property values —though many have also pointed to racial discrimination as a motivator. Businesses began to shut their doors, and in the 1980s, the area became a hotspot for gang activity and drugs. 

Action from within the community tipped the balance in the opposite direction. Local activists formed task forces and committees to bring Alberta back to its thriving roots. The Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs’ efforts saw the western end of Alberta Street included in the Oregon Convention Center Urban Renewal Area, which brought much-needed funding to the neighborhood. A large part of Alberta Street’s revitalization goes to Roslyn Hill, a Black business owner who purchased and revitalized several neighborhood blocks. Her cafe “Shades of Color” would be the first of many businesses celebrating art and good food on Alberta street. 

In the present day, Alberta has become a bustling commercial district with a strong sense of community. Like many areas in Portland, it has also struggled with the effects of gentrification, pushing out existing residents as rent and the cost of living rise. As Alberta continues to grow, the area’s strong sense of community and close ties to its history keep it grounded. In honor of Alberta’s Black community, look for the Black Heritage Markers up and down Alberta Street, speaking to the area’s triumphant past and bright future.

Alberta’s Convergence Of Culture

In many ways, Roslyn Hill’s groundbreaking garden cafe set the tone for the rest of the neighborhood. You could hardly find a bad cup of coffee on Alberta street if you tried, and certainly not from lack of options. An Alberta bean tour absolutely must include stops at Proud Mary Coffee, Barista, Case Study Coffee Roasters, and Fuel Cafe. The list goes on, with enough Alberta coffee shops to give even the most hardened coffee-drinkers a case of the jitters. Of course, sometimes getting a “coffee” is just an excuse to get a pastry to go with it. Indulge your sweet tooth at Sugar Street for elaborate confections and decadent cupcakes. Angel’s Donuts & Ice Cream offers up old-school treats in classic digs, and of course, Petite Provence always has a delectable assortment of French-style pastries at hand. 

Alberta has no shortage of savory food, either. Grab a pint and some traditional Irish fare at T.C. O’Leery’s or a shawarma bowl at Dar Salam just across the street. There’s Thai Noon for green curry and Bollywood Theater for korma, with the bonus of old Bollywood films showing on a projector against the back wall. You can find fried plantains at Teote Mezcaleria, biscuits and gravy at Pine Street Biscuits, pappardelle at Gumba, and schnitzel at the Swiss Hibiscus. All in all, Alberta is a delightful patchwork of cuisines that has something to offer every palate.

A great way to check out the Alberta area is by bike. With multiple Biketown locations to rent some wheels, you can grab a bike from Alberta locations and ride your way across a tour of local eateries, cafes, and shops. Of course, the area isn’t called the Alberta Arts District for nothing. The numerous galleries that line this street are a massive part of what gives the area its distinct character. Though the COVID-19 pandemic pushed Alberta’s famous Last Thursday art walk online last year, hopefully the community will be able to experience this tradition in-person soon. The Alberta Rose Theater has also offered an eclectic collection of events since 1927 and currently has many online offerings while COVID-19 restrictions remain. 

The Alberta Rental Market Is Tight

 

Alberta’s quirky, artistic vibes and plethora of eating and entertainment options have made the property and rental market highly competitive. According to Neighborhoodscout.com, the Alberta district is one of Portland’s most desirable neighborhoods, with the North Williams and Alberta Street area coming in as number one in the Portland area. Northeast Alberta made the top ten list at number eight.

Rising home prices have made Alberta a trendy place to rent: the ratio of renters to owners in Alberta is about 50-50. It’s easy to see why so many people want to join Alberta’s thriving community, and it’s certainly a great time to own a property or rental in the area.

Turn Your Alberta Home Into A Rental

With Alberta properties in such high demand, it’s an excellent time to consider turning your Alberta home into a profitable rental. Such a task might seem daunting, but with a bit of help from Rent Portland Homes by Darla Andrew, you’ll have nothing to worry about. We handle all the details of managing a property, from crafting an eye-catching listing to vetting tenants, taking care of maintenance, collecting rent, and more. Our Portland metro area experience gives us the skills we need to keep your property investment on the cutting edge. If you’re interested in learning more about what we can do to help you turn your home into a rental, reach out by phone or text at (503) 515-3170 or through our website’s contact form.

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