With many organizations that focus on building community, Lents in Southeast is on the rise.
In Southeast Portland, Lents is known as one of the largest neighborhoods, geographically, with the most culturally diverse population. Residents describe it as up-and-coming, and appreciate the affordable, international vibe. Play at Lents Park or catch the MAX Green Line and you are likely to hear English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Russian spoken. The neighborhood is home to several unique community resources such as the East Portland Collective, Lents Youth Initiative and Zenger Farm, and is decorated in vibrant and colorful public art. In fact, a new mural by local artist Molly Mendoza depicting community members engaging in various park activities was slated for completion at the end of August 2020 as part of the Walker Stadium expansion.
The 38-acre Lents Park could be considered the nucleus of the neighborhood, with baseball and soccer fields, a dog park, and an accessible playground that was fully renovated in 2017. It also holds Walker Stadium, home of collegiate baseball team the Portland Pickles. (Fingers crossed we get a 2021 season!) Running along much of Johnson Creek, the nearby 21-mile Springwater Corridor is a bike and pedestrian trail that stretches from the Willamette River to Gresham. The Lents International Farmers Market runs Sundays June through November and has new safety precautions.
Residents can name multiple favorite local cafes, watering holes and eateries, including Bella’s Italian Bakery and Market, a must-try for espresso and a fresh pastry in the morning, a prosciutto sandwich for lunch, and housemade lasagna or weekly pizza night for dinner. Zoiglhaus Brewing Company serves both authentic German drinking food and American brewery classics.
Corrine Young with her wife and toddler have owned their home in Lents for nearly three years.
“It is such a lovely community of both well-established and newer folks who care about the neighborhood,” says Young. Prior to the pandemic, they enjoyed the myriad community events: chili cook-offs and ice cream chill-offs, kids’ yoga, therapeutic horticulture classes, queer/trans open mikes hosted by the East Portland Collective, and opportunities to grow food and connections at the Malden Court Community Orchard, which has reopened. They regularly peruse Little Free Libraries, and pre-COVID-19 visited favorite cafes and eateries such as Refuge Coffee House and Chinese Delicacy. They look forward to their son attending a Russian immersion program at Kelly Elementary.
About 50 minutes to downtown on the MAX Green Line or about 60 minutes on the 14 or 10 bus lines.
53 Transit score
57 Walk score
79 Bike score
$333,684: Home value in Lents
$1,757: Median rent in Lents
To read about more fun neighborhoods like this one, check out the rest of our Neighborhood Guide.
- Dive into the World of Neighborhood Buy Nothing Groups - January 18, 2021
- Neighborhood We Love: Maplewood - December 26, 2020
- Neighborhood We Love: Lents - August 17, 2020