Sponsored by Oregon Business

Live-work units: a tiny, happy place for real estate

| Print |  Email
Friday, August 01, 2008


STATEWIDE As bad-news headlines for the real estate industry continue month after month, one sliver of the Portland metro and Bend market is actually growing: live-work units, townhomes where the ground floor is dedicated to commercial and the upstairs to living.

In the first six months of this year, 60 live-work units have been sold in the Portland metro area, according to the Regional Municipal Listings Service. Compare that to 2007 and 2006 when, respectively, 50 units and 22 units were sold.

On the west side of Bend, Brooks Resources Corporation, the developers of NorthWest Crossing, currently are building eight of 30 planned live-work units. Three  already have been sold and interest in the others remains strong, says David Ford, general manager at Northwest Crossing.

While that number is small, those units are some of the only ones in Bend. Ford finds the three sales remarkable because of what he sees as a reticence on the parts of most buyers in the current market to purchase anything that isn’t 100% completed.

Despite the higher numbers of sales, developers and marketers still have to take the current real estate market into account. The buyer’s hesitancy that Ford sees is the reason the Kaiser Group has kept their still-under-construction five-unit live-work building in North Portland off the market, says marketing spokeswoman Erin Livengood.

“Our thought was to let people actually see it and then have the ability to close in 30 days rather than months,” she says.

Regardless of what the real estate market does this year or next, Shawn Busse, a Portland live-work advocate, thinks the demand — and community interest — in live-work units will continue to grow. Busse started his design firm out of his living room and knows how different it would have been had he been in a live-work unit.

“It doesn’t require a big outlay of cash to start a business in one of these,” he says. “It’s a great model that allows someone to be a business person without a lot of usual hurdles.”


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


More Articles

The Love Boat

November/December 2015
Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Vigor’s values don’t stop at truth. Walk into a company office, conference room or on any shipyard site and you’ll most likely see a poster inscribed with the words “Truth. Responsibility. Evolution. Love.” Otherwise known as TREL, Vigor’s culture code and the prominence it is accorded can be a bit surprising to the unsuspecting shipyard visitor.


Big Geek

October 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015

To attract technology companies, the U.S. Bancorp Tower repositions itself as open, light and playful.


100 Best Nonprofits: Working for equality inside and out

October 2015
Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Striving for social equity is the mission of many nonprofits, and this year’s 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon survey shows employees are most satisfied with their organizations’ fair treatment of differing racial, gender, disability, age and economic groups. But as a national discourse about racial discrimination and equity for low-income groups takes center stage, data show Oregon’s 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For still need to make progress on addressing these issues within their own organizations.


Let it Rain

October 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015

This year has been so dry we were caught napping when it finally started to sprinkle. Hopefully you didn’t get caught in a downpour while eagerly awaiting — don’t deny it — our curation of Oregon-grown wet weather wear.


Have a baby and keep a job? It won’t be easy in Portland

The Latest
Friday, October 02, 2015
100115kimblogthumbBY KIM MOORE

Our intrepid (and expecting) research editor finds the child care search involves long waiting lists, costly fees and no certainty of securing a place before she goes back to work.



Linda Baker
Thursday, November 12, 2015
111215-taxilindaBY LINDA BAKER

Raye Miles, a 17-year taxi industry veteran, lacked the foresight to anticipate the single biggest trend in the cab business: breaking the law.


OEN takes Portlandia route in new video

The Latest
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 3.27.58 PMBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Several Portland entrepreneurs make appearance in patently silly "The Dream of the Startup is Alive in Oregon" promo.

Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02