Tabor’s Neighbor

The Montavilla neighborhood offers inner Portland cool with outer Portland accessibility.

In the mid 1850s a small business district began to evolve around “Mile Post 5,” a rural area of farms and orchards, exactly five miles from Portland’s city center near 78th Avenue and Stark Street. By 1889, the area was platted as the Mount Tabor Villa Addition, but by 1905 locals had abbreviated that moniker to Montavilla.

Today the Montavilla neighborhood stretches from I-84 in the north to Division Street in the south. The western boundary stretches to 68th Avenue north of Burnside, then jogs over to 76th Avenue; 92nd Avenue marks the eastern border.

“Downtown Montavilla,” arguably Stark Street between about 72nd and 82nd avenues, has the walkability and atmosphere of gentrifying neighborhoods like Northeast Alberta, but with quick access to conveniences like Costco and Target.

Liz Mesberg and her husband, Zack, are raising their 2-year old son, Sam, in the neighborhood. Mesberg appreciates living in an area where they can walk to a restaurant for brunch, ride bikes to a park for a picnic and hop in the car to quickly run errands.

Housing Market

This 4-bedroom, 2 bath home near PCC Southeast Center was priced at $325,000.

This 4-bedroom, 2 bath home near PCC Southeast Center was priced at $325,000.

Prices in the area jumped about $25 per square foot in a recent three-month period, bringing the average selling price to $367,000, according to Kelsey Beeber, a broker with Realty Trust Group.

“The market in Portland as a whole is skyrocketing, and prices in Montavilla are going up, but not quite as quickly as areas closer in,” says Beeber.

Homes in the area typically sell in less than a month, largely to first and second-time home buyers, often couples in their mid-30s, with and without children.

Located near the Montavilla Community Center, this 3-bedroom, 2.5-bath home was recently on the market for $210,000.

Located near the Montavilla Community Center, this 3-bedroom, 2.5-bath home was recently on the market for $210,000.

Older Old Portland Style homes and farmhouses are common in Montavilla. Many are three-bedroom homes with one or two baths, with an average size of 1,800 square feet.

Local Schools

Montavilla students are currently divided between Vestal, Harrison Park and Bridger K-8 schools. Vestal and Harrison Park feed to Madison High School, while Bridger students move on to Franklin.

“Talking to people whose kids go to Vestal, I’ve only heard positive reports,” says Mesberg.

The Creative Science School, a Portland Public School focus option accessible through the PPS lottery system, is also located in the neighborhood, as are the Columbia Christian Schools.

Family Fun

The Montavilla Farmers Market is a popular neighborhood event.

The Montavilla Farmers Market is a popular neighborhood event.

The Montavilla Farmers’ Market, parks, shops, restaurants including The Country Cat and Flying Pie Pizzeria, and the historic Academy Theater, which offers babysitting during many weekend show times and a range of family-friendly movies, are just some of what the neighborhood has to entice families. The Montavilla Community Center and Pool is within the neighborhood boundaries, and the larger East Portland Community Center, with broader programming and an indoor pool, is just minutes away by car.

The Commute Proximity to 82nd Avenue means convenience for commuters, with easy access to I-205 and I-84. Traveling downtown or to points east, Montavilla residents have their pick of streets from Burnside to Division. Mesberg commutes part time by bike, while her husband commutes by bike daily to
his job near the waterfront, about six miles away.

For more family-friendly neighborhoods visit: metro-parent.com/MovingTo

Heather Lee Leap

Heather Lee Leap

Heather Lee Leap’s articles and essays about parenting, family and health have appeared in two dozen regional parenting magazines across North America. When she is not driving her three daughters to soccer practice and music lessons, she looks for new ways to supplement their education. Heather writes from her home in northeast Portland.
Heather Lee Leap

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