By Jack Rubinger

From his studio in the 21-story Yard apartment building on the corner of Burnside and NE 2nd, Stuart Coates enjoys unbeatable views, an easy walk to downtown and an even easier commute to work at the Knot Springs health club and spa (a quick elevator ride).

The Yard is part of a development project called the Burnside Bridgehead at the NE end of the Burnside Bridge. This is an area which has undergone a major transformation at the former site of a used car lot and Fishel’s furniture.

Coates used to live near Division and 30th near Pok Pok and other popular SE restaurants. He’s been a resident of the Yard since day one in 2016. He was born and raised in Portland and has lived both in SE and SW on Capital Hill.

Many residents are attracted by The Yard’s community amenities including electric car charging stations, indoor community lounge and event space, bike storage and repair station, free WiFi and garage parking.

The apartments feature bicycle racks, high end appliances, hardwood floors, patios and balconies.

Portland is continuing to grow up rather than out with many prime city corners being developed. What these new high rise structures offer is an alternative lifestyle for single professionals who are looking for good food, good friends and good places to work out.

Coates spends a lot of time cooking for himself and others, attending urban development lectures, and designing brand identities for wild ideas.

“I love the centrality,” he said. “It has really changed the way I interact with the city, making every quadrant more accessible, including downtown. The design details and finishes of the apartments are minimal without sacrificing quality or a sense of identity.”

While Coates knows many of the residents by name, he doesn’t really hang out with his neighbors outside the building.

“Not many people can say their commute is about 20 seconds,” he said. “It’s really shaped the way I live my life. For a number of reasons, I don’t need a car as the whole city is extremely accessible to me.”

Outgoing and adventurous hair stylist Heather Greene discovered The Yard on Craigslist. A seriously fun dog lover, she and her pit bull Abby are happy to have found home in a high rise.

She didn’t move far to find her happy place as she used to live in Sellwood and before that across the river in Vancouver. An avid reader, she loves being just blocks away from Powell’s where she enjoys researching and working on various creative projects.

Greene is delighted with living here. “Portland feels like home. The people, lifestyle, creative culture, all of it,” she said. “I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. The Yard has been nothing short of an awesome experience. The sense of community here is great, and I’ve made some phenomenal friendships.”

Heather and Abby

After moving in, she sold her Toyota Corolla in hopes of utilizing her bike and public transit more. Walking to work has made her way more active, and jogging along the waterfront continues to be “amazing.”

“I think the Yard is a dog lover’s dream. With no breed restriction I was finally able to adopt a pit bull, which is a difficult thing to do as a renter. All in all, between location, community, and dog friendly staff, The Yard has been a great home for me,” she said. Her only gripe, which many fear, too, are the rising costs of living in Portland.