St. Johns Property Management
St. Johns: Art and Authenticity
Nestled in the crook of the Columbia and Willamette rivers, the historic St. Johns neighborhood is an out-of-the-way Portland treasure. This Northeast corner of the metropolitan area is a growing neighborhood with something for everyone, whether your tastes run to treks through nature or walks down the main drag, sips of coffee or swigs of beer. St. Johns isn’t just at the confluence of two waterways; it’s at the junction of culture, authenticity, and everything that makes Portland great. This little town of 12,000 people is an artistic, down-to-earth retreat!
From Past To Present
St. Johns’ history begins with its founder James John, who gave the original town its name. In the mid-1800s, James John settled in the area and began to build the community that would one day make St. Johns such a great place to live. The town’s founder was known for his giving spirit, offering meals to the hungry and land to the homeless. When he died, James John willed a piece of his land and funds to build a nondenominational school open to all religious practitioners. It’s that spirit of charity, openness, and community that makes St. Johns such a wonderful neighborhood to this day.
As the small town began to grow, St. Johns laid down its industrial roots. Lumber and sawmills were a common sight in the area, and in fact, the city hosted the first-ever electric sawmill built in the United States. The construction of the Oregon Railroad brought an even greater surge of manufacturing business to St. Johns. In 1915, St. Johns was annexed into Portland itself, ending its career as a small town and beginning its time as a fantastic Portland neighborhood.
An Outdoor Playground
One of the best things about the St. Johns neighborhood is its proximity to nature. At the convergence of the Willamette and the Columbia rivers, water recreation is never in short supply. Cathedral Park is a local favorite, boasting a boat ramp, canoe launch, and peaceful riverfront views. If you’re into history, you’ll be happy to know that Cathedral Park is one of the 14 Lewis and Clark landing spots in the Portland-Vancouver area. It was also the site from which James John operated his ferry across the Willamette.
A trip to St. Johns can’t possibly be complete without a jaunt in the shadow of the St. Johns Bridge, which stretches above Cathedral Park across the Willamette River. Constructed in 1929, it’s the only suspension bridge in the Willamette Valley and a beautiful feat of architecture.
Birders and hikers rejoice: The Smith and Bybee Wetlands are a treasured part of the Northern Portland nature scene, offering a lovely walk on the Interlakes Trail through one of America’s largest wetlands. Bring your binoculars to get a peek at the otters, eagles, deer, and other critters living in the area. From April to June, you can rent a canoe or kayak to see the wetlands up close.
Eat, Play, Love It
As St. Johns grows, its downtown has seen a boom of independent eateries and shops. If you’re looking for a good cup of coffee or an ice-cold craft beer, you won’t have to look far. Two Stroke Coffee is a local joint serving up cups of joe in trendy motorcycle-themed digs. Browse local art at Cathedral Coffee after a stroll through its namesake park, and be sure to try a pastry. Fans of old dive bars should swing by Slims, which has been serving beer to St. Johns residents for over a century. Kombucha-drinkers must visit SOMA, which markets itself as a “kombucha speakeasy” with several exciting flavors. And of course, there’s a number of top-notch restaurants in the St. Johns neighborhood, from contemporary Italian at Gabagool to a fusion of South Asia and the American South at Mama San’s Soul Shack. Naturally, there’s a McMenamins, that beloved Portland staple — this branch doubles as a second-run movie theater as well as a brewpub, so keep your eye on it as pandemic restrictions loosen.
The main drag in St. Johns has seen a ton of fantastic independent stores pop up in recent years. Hound & Hare Vintage offers cute knick-knacks and old-style clothes, and be sure to stop by Vinyl Resting Place if you’re in an old-school mood (and who doesn’t love a good pun?). You won’t need to go far for a routine run to the big-box shops, either. Aside from its small but thriving local downtown, St. Johns is a quick trip from Hayden Island, where a smorgasbord of retail opportunities awaits the dedicated bargain hunter.
St. Johns knows how to have fun, too. For 37 years, the neighborhood has played host to the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival, the longest-running free jazz fest in the West. Though the festivities were conducted online in 2020, hopefully this year we’ll all be jamming out in person again. Lastly, you can’t miss the St. Johns Bizarre outdoor craft fair and beer garden extravaganza. Browse local artists’ wares while enjoying good food and live music in keeping with Portland’s dedication to the weird.
St. Johns’ Shifting Rental Market
St. Johns boasts a wide variety of home types due to its long history, from old Victorian homes to updated ranches. As Portland expands, housing prices in its outlying neighborhoods have steadily risen. In St. Johns, new boutiques and fancy coffee houses have meant exciting new amenities but also rising property values and a shift in the neighborhood’s overall feel. Like many neighborhoods, St. Johns has been challenged to preserve its soul amidst the tide of modern growth.
Real estate website Niche characterizes the St. Johns neighborhood as having a dense suburban feel, with an average home price of $291,000 and an average rent of $1,215. This is still competitive compared to the average $1,484 rent in Portland as a whole, which makes St. Johns an appealing choice for renters wanting to balance culture and budget. The neighborhood is also home to Portland State University, which brings with it a built-in market of student renters. In fact, 46 percent of people living in St. Johns rent their homes. It’s a great time to be in the rental market in this neighborhood — have you considered turning your home into a rental?
Turn Your Home Into A Rental Investment
If you own a home in the St. Johns neighborhood, you’re perfectly poised to take advantage of the competitive real estate market by turning your home into a rental. At Rent Portland Homes by Darla Andrew, we’re here to guide you through the process every step of the way. To start, we conduct a free rental evaluation of your property.
If you decide to work with us, we take care of all the details: finding the perfect tenants, handling all maintenance, collecting rent, and keeping your ROI high. If you’re interested in hearing more about how you can turn your property into a successful rental investment, reach out to us any time by text or phone at (503) 515-3170 or head on over to our website’s contact form.
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