“The best thing Brentwood-Darlington has going for it is the strong community vibe,” says Will Mohring, a father of two and realtor with Metro Portland Home Search. “Neighbors support one another like I have never seen before, and I have lived in seven different states.” This is also apparent on the Brentwood Darlington Connect Neighbors Facebook group; it serves the diverse neighborhood stretching from SE 45th Avenue to SE 82nd Avenue, with a northern border of SE Duke Street and southern border of the Clackamas county line. Brentwood-Darlington, or BD as neighbors call it, has a lower median home price than Portland’s overall median single-family home price of $565,500. And while walk scores are low due to lack of sidewalks in many areas, the City of Portland is looking to improve walkability with two projects slated for 2023-2024 — sidewalk infill on Duke and Flavel, and a neighborhood greenway on Knapp and Ogden. And the Lower SE Rising project is currently taking input from neighbors on additional infrastructure needs. Mohring says he hopes to see more sidewalks on north/south running streets as well. There is one group who does find the neighborhood walkable: an ostentation of wild peacocks that can be spotted elegantly traipsing up 52nd Avenue.
What Neighbors Say
Lindsay Strannigan, mom to a 7-year-old, has lived in Brentwood-Darlington for five years. She echoes Will Mohring’s statements about a strong sense of community. “People look out for each other in the BD,” says Strannigan. “There are so many free fridges and little free libraries — and there was even a pop-up pantry that started during the pandemic that gave out free food to anyone who needed it.”
Another plus? “The affordability of this neighborhood is a draw for many young families,” she says. “Our street is full of families like us who are first-time homeowners.”
Safety can be an issue though. “Our first home in BD was broken into shortly after we moved in, but it’s forced us to get to know our neighbors and look out for one another and we haven’t had any issues since,” says Strannigan.
Many native plants and shrubs thrive in Errol Heights Park – part of the Johnson Creek Watershed. And it’s even home to beavers! Walk the trails to spot the trees they’ve chewed down. Neighbors also connect at Brentwood Park. Its amenities include a fenced dog park, paved paths, picnic tables, a playground, soccer and softball fields, and tennis and volleyball courts.
Unlike many neighborhoods in Portland, Brentwood-Darlington does not have a main drag with abundant commercial dining and retail options. But neighborhood staple Mehri’s Bakery & Cafe, offers tempting dishes like baked French toast and veggie lasagna with garlic bread. Close by in Woodstock, families flock to Bai Mint Thai, Hawaiian eats at Ate-oh-Ate and pub fare at Double Mountain Brewery. And the popular Cartlandia food cart pod is at the neighborhood’s eastern border. BD is also home to Three Sisters Nixtamal, the Northwest’s premier organic, stone-ground corn tortilla and masa purveyor. While its tortillas are sold in stores and served in restaurants throughout the city, you can pick up stacks of tortillas directly at its factory at SE 72nd Avenue and Flavel.
To read about more fun neighborhoods like this one, check out the rest of our Neighborhood Guide.