Welcome to western Washington County, Street of Dreams
There's plenty of excitement along Tualatin Valley Highway these days.
The Street of Dreams runs this month in South Hillsboro, a stone's throw from Rosedale Elementary School and The Reserve Golf Course, bringing thousands of people to western Washington County over the next few weeks to learn about the latest in building materials, decorating ideas and catch a glimpse of how the other half lives.
Presented each year by the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland, the annual tour of luxury homes travels the Portland area each year, and returns to Hillsboro this month for the first time in decades.
Seven homes are on display at this year's show, each one different and unique. The homes range in size from a few hundred square feet (yes, really), to large stately manors.
Rumors of Street of Dreams returning to Hillsboro have swirled since 2014, when home builders said they saw potential in the site.
We're not surprised. We can't think of another spot in Washington County more perfect for this year's Street of Dreams.
The homes are the first to be built in the massive South Hillsboro development — a decades-long construction project that plans to build 8,000 new homes and bring 20,000 people to Hillsboro.
The showcase is, after all, about showing off the best of the best. It's about celebrating the latest in architectural and interior design.
In short, it shows us what is possible, if we try hard enough.
In many ways, Street of Dreams is a metaphor for the greater South Hillsboro development, which has been in the works for decades at Hillsboro City Hall and only now is starting to take shape along TV Highway.
Street of Dreams is about more than just luxury homes. It showcases Hillsboro — and western Washington County — as a place on the cutting edge.
For decades, western Washington County was known for its agricultural roots, and while the industry remains at the heart of the county, a lot has changed since the last time Street of Dreams came to this part of the county back in 2001. The county is growing, and it's more high-tech friendly than ever, firmly embracing its title as the heart of the Silicon Forest.
When finished, South Hillsboro will be a city unto itself in all but name, with its own trails, parks, shopping centers, apartments and single-family homes, and as many as three public schools.
The neighborhood is the first master-planned development of its kind in Oregon history, not to mention the largest residential construction project attempted in Washington County.
All that makes Street of Dreams an important unveiling for South Hillsboro. It is the first time people will set foot in this new part of town, and while not every home built in the area will sell for $2 million, it shows that Hillsboro is more than its stereotype.
It hasn't gotten nearly as much press as the important conversations currently underway about the need for more affordable housing, but Hillsboro has had another type of housing shortage for years.
So-called "executive housing" has been needed in this part of the county for some time, leaving employees with Nike, Intel and other local businesses to commute from outside the area.
While we hope to see more affordable housing plans in South Hillsboro over the next few years, the area will strive to be appealing to everyone, offering a mix of everything from apartments to luxury homes in the coming years.
We have hope that South Hillsboro homes will help revitalize Tualatin Valley Highway. The homes are a stone's throw from Aloha, an area in desperate need of some tender loving care. Adding 20,000 new neighbors next door can only do good things for it, and adding luxury homes with neighbors willing to spend money means even better things.
We'd be surprised if this is the last time Street of Dreams builds in South Hillsboro, and organizers with the HBA have agreed with us, telling reporters last month that South Hillsboro is the perfect site to showcase the best local homebuilders have to offer.
Here's hoping they come back, soon.
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