When the Milepost 5 dream – a development where artists could work, and rent or buy affordable condos – took flight in 2007, Portland’s condo market was still healthy. City leaders were getting serious about supporting the “creative class” considered essential to Portland’s identity and economy. Milepost 5 represented an unprecedented marriage of private money and nonprofit idealism.
In the beginning, two buildings along Northeast 82nd Avenue were to be converted from their retirement-home origins into a utopia for artists who never dreamed of owning homes. In this “intentional community,” residents would shape what Milepost 5 would become. This experiment would be the launching pad for other such projects around the city. When the first phase of the development was completed in April 2008, hopes were high. The sky was the limit.
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