With new stores, hot schools, reasonable home prices and an Old World feel, SE’s Woodstock is on the rise.
After living out of state for two years, Robin Krill and her husband Jeff returned to Oregon and settled in Southeast Portland’s Woodstock neighborhood, where they are raising three daughters, ages 2, 5 and 7. Their neighborhood feels like a small European town, where they can easily walk or bike to everything from parks, restaurants, the grocery store and the library to the vet or the laundromat.
“We don’t need to leave the neighborhood to get the everyday things we need — or even the big things,” adds Krill.
Growth of businesses and services over the last few years — including a new Grand Central Bakery, a ZoomCare and soon, a New Seasons Market — seem to be drawing more buyers to Woodstock, according to Tom Ramsey, a broker with John L. Scott Realty.
“Overall perceptions seem to have changed,” says Ramsey. Buyers no longer feel they need to purchase a giant house in Eastmoreland to live in a “good” neighborhood, he says. The median sales price for homes in Woodstock rose to $348,000 in a recent period, but Ramsey says house prices can be found below $200,000, particularly heading south toward Clackamas County.
Several private preschools operate in Woodstock. In addition, Portland Parks and Recreation runs a preschool at the Woodstock Community Center, and the Yu Miao Chinese Immersion preschool offers a program for children ages 3-5, and an after-school tutorial program for K-5 students.
Woodstock K-5 houses both a neighborhood school and a dual language Mandarin immersion program. Approximately two-thirds of the school’s students are enrolled via lottery in the immersion program and receive half a day’s instruction in English and half in Mandarin. The remaining one-third, neighborhood students, receive an English-only curriculum.
Lewis Elementary, with about 400 students, offers an Outdoor Education Center and learning garden program. A rarity in Portland Public Schools, all students have a weekly music class and access to additional music programs.
Both schools score slightly above the state average on state tests.
Laughing Planet and Otto’s Sausage Kitchen are just a few choices for hungry families looking for a good meal. In summer, the Woodstock Farmers Market includes a kids’ activity area for crafts and cooking demonstrations.
Parent-child classes for families with toddlers and preschoolers, as well as arts and fitness activities for older children and adults are available at the Woodstock Community Center, located in an historic 1928 firehouse. Nearby Mount Scott Community Center offers more amenities, including a swimming pool and roller skating rink.
Families can stay fit and enjoy nature along the nearby Springwater Corridor, a converted rail trail which runs east and west, crossing over Johnson Creek more than ten times and connecting several parks.
Close proximity to the Springwater Corridor is an attraction for bike commuters who use the trail to travel downtown says Ramsey. The Portland-Milwaukie light rail line is scheduled for completion in September 2015. 60 bicycle parking spaces are planned for Bybee station, approximately 20 blocks from Woodstock.
The green line of the MAX is just five minutes away, and several bus lines pass through the neighborhood.“ Lots of our neighbors bus or bike, and have no cars,” says Krill.
If they have to head out of town, Woodstock residents are close to both the Milwaukie Expressway (99E) and I-205.