For the third time since the 1980s, Hillsboro is preparing to welcome the greater Portland area to the NW Natural Street of Dreams, which kicks off this weekend.
For decades, the annual showcase has given Portland-area builders the chance to flex their creative muscles, constructing luxurious homes and inspiring locals.
Crews have been working around the clock to finish the seven homes in time for Wednesday's preview night.
Street of Dreams officially opens Saturday, July 28, in South Hillsboro, the massive new housing development currently under construction along Tualatin Valley Highway near Century Boulevard and Cornelius Pass Road. The homes on display during Street of Dreams are the first to be built on the expansive construction site.
"This is the launch of South Hillsboro," said Adrian McCarthy, a spokeswoman for the Home Builders Association of Metro Portland, which organizes the annual show. "People will see it through Street of Dreams."
Organizers of this year's show say the annual Street of Dreams offers something for everyone — be they homebuilders, home buyers or do-it-yourselfers.
"They want to see what the trends are," said designer Wendy O'Brien. "Women love to come and get ideas. A lot of people in the industry, too, want to come and see what we're doing. Everything is special, it's not just run of the mill materials."
For more than four decades, the Street of Dreams has been drawing people from across the Portland area. Organizers expect close to 100,000 people to attend the month-long showcase.
"It's a tradition," McCarthy said. "People come year after year to get inspired. Your home is where you live and you want to be inspired by it."
The annual show tours the Portland area, building one-of-a-kind homes in a different city each year.
Hillsboro has been host to the Street of Dreams twice before. The event came to the Jackson School neighborhood in 1981 and again in 2001.
Tiny home a first for show
Each of the homes built for this year's show offer views of The Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club, 4805 S.W. 67th Ave., in a neighborhood known as Vendage at The Reserve. Each has a different personality, McCarthy said. Some are inspired by Asian architecture, while others strive for modern, contemporary designs.
The homes are currently for sale, likely fetching between $1.7 and $2 million, McCarthy said. Two homes in the show are already sold. McCarthy expects the rest of homes to be sold before the end of the month-long show.
The biggest house in this year's show is 5,190-square-feet, smaller than the 12,000 square-foot behemoths Street of Dreams built in the early 2000s.
That reflects trends in the homebuilding community, McCarthy said. Many of this year's homes are built to age in place.
"Baby boomers can purchase a home here and live here forever," McCarthy said. "It has the accessibility needed to do that."
Street of Dreams is all about reaching for the stars, McCarthy said, and offer plenty of the Street of Dreams flair that has made the show a hit with attendees for years.
"We want to pause and say, 'Let's build spectacular homes that showcase the best from our builders and provide an opportunity for people to come and have a good time.'"
One home features a putting green in the backyard. Another features a prep kitchen hidden from the main living space, a third includes a separate garage for golf carts.
By far the most eye-catching of the homes on display at this year's show is the 203-square-foot tiny home on display between its two impressively sized neighbors.
The home is a first for Street of Dreams and will be auctioned off during the show and moved to a new site later this year. Proceeds from the auction will go to local veteran's organizations.
While most tiny homes use propane for heating, the Street of Dreams home utilizes natural gas.
"We've been approached many times to do tiny homes in the show, but we can't promote propane," McCarthy said. "All these homes have to be powered by natural gas."
Michelle Bredeson Boyle, who built the tiny home, said what it lacks in size it makes up for in character.
"People come out to the show because they are looking for ideas," Boyle said. "This has the same inspirational qualities of any other home in the show.
Despite its size, there's still plenty to love, McCarthy said.
"It has all the luxury finishes," McCarthy said. "You can still live moderately and have luxury."
Each of the builders in Street of Dreams donated time or materials to construct the tiny home.
'People will come'
The NW Natural Street of Dreams runs from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day through Aug. 28
Every Wednesday, local chefs will be on hand offering cooking demonstrations to the public from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Home Builders will offer free tickets to local veterans and up to three guests on Aug. 7.
"That's our busiest time of the year," McCarthy said.
McCarthy said the show offers people something they can't get at local Home and Garden shows.
"You can see products in a booth at a show, but here they can see them in action," she said. "It's not your average showroom."
Dennis Pahlisch, owner of Pahlisch Homes, which is hosting the event in South Hillsboro, told the Tribune last fall the show is a chance for home builders to experiment and have fun.
"Street of Dreams is a place where economics don't always have to make sense," Pahlisch said. "It's a dream home."
The seven homes are only a fraction of the 8,000 homes and apartments planned for South Hillsboro over the next two decades.
South Hillsboro is the largest planned housing development in state history. When finished, the area will have as many as 20,000 residents, and the neighborhood will be complete with its own trail systems, parks, schools and shopping centers, city officials say.
It will be decades before South Hillsboro finishes construction. McCarthy said she expects Street of Dreams to return to the area eventually.
"I'd put some money on it that we'll be back in South Hillsboro at some point," she said. "We want to build homes where people want to live. This is an opportunity to show we can build in these areas and people will come."
By Geoff Pursinger
Editor, Hillsboro Tribune
Visit Hillsboro Tribune on Facebook and Twitter
Follow Geoff at @ReporterGeoff
Subscribe to our E-News and get the week's top stories in your inbox
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.