Kenton Property Management

Neighborhood

Kenton: So Many Great Things in a Small Package

Just south of Hayden Island on Interstate 5 lies the quaint Portland neighborhood of Kenton. Home to the iconic, 31-foot-tall Paul Bunyan statue which has graced many a postcard, Kenton offers a classic slice of Portland culture far (but not too far) from the downtown bustle. Down-to-earth, artistic, and full of individual charm, Kenton is a great place to grab a good cup of coffee, find a rare vintage treasure, or even get some new ink at one of the local tattoo parlors. And with a MAX station just a quick walk from the center of town, anything you can’t find in Kenton is within easy public transit reach. If you’re looking for a Portland neighborhood that combines trendy vibes with a small-town community feel, stop by Kenton today!

From Company Town To Modern Community

Like many settlements on the Columbia River, Kenton has deep industrial roots. Before the 1900s, the land was used for agriculture or not developed at all. Early in the 20th century, the area became the site of a company town for the Swift Meat Packing Company, which purchased the land and set up a new meat-packing plant along the Columbia River. Though they wanted to name the settlement “Kenwood,” that name was already taken by a different city in Oregon. And so, the town of Kenton was coined. 

As a company town, Kenton residents all shared the same livelihood as well as the same geographic location. Even as the town continued to grow and host other companies, Kenton’s central identity has remained strong. By 1911, twelve manufacturing firms called the Columbia Slough home, making Kenton one of Portland’s most important manufacturing centers (second only to St. Johns). 

But like many Portland industry towns, Kenton has faced challenges as centralized stockyards closed and industry in the area declined. After the Swift Meat Company closed its doors in 1966, Kenton lost the source of jobs and identity that had bound the community together for half a century. Many residents saw hard times in the years that followed, facing unemployment as the area’s jobs moved away. 

In the modern-day, the Kenton scene has undergone a vibrant transformation. From an industry town to a thriving Portland suburb, Kenton’s downtown has transformed into a flourishing commercial strip with a wide assortment of independent eateries and shops. As it continues to carve out a new identity in a world quite different from the one in which it began, Kenton has evolved into something exceptional.

Downtown Kenton: Cozy and Compact

Downtown Kenton may be small, but it’s packed with excellent places to eat and shop. In a 15-minute walking radius, you can find enough shops, restaurants, and activities to fill an afternoon easily. 

If you like to start your day with a cup of coffee or tea (and let’s be honest, it’s hard to live in Portland without becoming a coffee shop connoisseur), the Kenton neighborhood has what it takes to keep you energized all day. Stop by Posie’s for a full spread of pastries and sandwiches, or grab a lavender matcha latte from Presso Coffee. Once you’ve gotten your caffeine and sugar fix, you’ll want to check out Kenton’s vintage and thrifting scene. Give & Take might catch your eye with its steeply discounted clothing racks outside the door, and it’s worth a look inside this funky consignment boutique. Kenton Antiques & Collectibles is a typically eclectic antique shop with a wide selection of old treasures to browse through. The musically inclined should check out Speck’s Records & Tapes and flip through their used vinyl selection. Kenton also hosts a branch of the Multnomah County Library system, so pick out a page-turner and stroll down to Kenton Park a couple of blocks away for a reading date under the trees. 

For lunch, you can’t go wrong at Po’ Shines Cafe De La Soul for BBQ and Cajun classics like catfish or chicken and waffles. Swift and Union is Kenton’s local New American gastropub and named after two of the meat-packing plants local to the area in the 1900s. Another echo of Kenton’s meat-packing history, Cason’s Fine Meats is an independent meat market that has served premium cuts to Kenton locals for 35 years. Grab a couple of steaks to cook for dinner and a few bottles of beer from the Mayfly bottle shop.

Going Out, Coming Together

 

Aside from a vibrant local business selection, Kenton hosts fun community events for locals and visitors alike. From June to September, the Kenton Farmers Market sets up shop on Wednesday afternoons to bring fresh local produce, craft goods, and live music to Kenton’s residents. The annual Kenton Street Fair is another outpouring of food, fun, music, and community spirit in the early summer. From coaster car racing to wine tasting, Kenton has it covered. 

Perhaps one of Kenton’s most convenient attributes is its proximity to two major travel corridors: either I-5 or the MAX Light Rail service. If avoiding rush hour traffic is your style, you can hop on the tram and be in downtown Portland in under half an hour. Or you can cruise the Interstate for easy access to all the Portland metro area has to offer.

Kenton’s Bustling Rental Market

Kenton homes harken back to the homey mid-century, with lots of bungalows, cottages, and craftsman construction mostly dating back to the 50s with a few stately Victorian houses in the mix. If you take a walk around the neighborhood, you’ll find a good variety of properties kept up with love and care. Kenton isn’t just a place to live, it’s a community to thrive in, and Kenton homes reflect that. 

Trendy, up-and-coming neighborhoods with easy access to the Portland metro area are an appealing prospect for renters, so Kenton is a hot place to live. Real estate website Redfin lists Kenton’s real estate market as highly competitive, with most homes getting multiple offers and selling above listing price. People interested in living in Kenton might therefore find renting an attractive option. Because nearly two-thirds of Kenton residents own their homes, rental properties are in high demand.

Turn Your Home Into a Rental

If you’re lucky enough to own a home in the lovely Kenton neighborhood, it’s never been easier to turn your property into an investment. At Rent Portland Homes by Darla Andrew, we handle all the details of the renting process so you can sit back and reap the benefits. Starting with our free rental evaluation, we work to get your property ready for tenants, compose professional listings across a variety of housing sites, screen renters, and collect rents. At the end of the day, we help ensure your return on investment stays high while your investment of time and effort stays low. If you’re interested in capitalizing on Kenton’s growing popularity, reach out to us any time by calling or texting (503) 515-3170 or head on over to our website’s contact form. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have about turning your home into a rental!

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