Student Housing in downtown Portland
January 24, 2015 11:18 AM   Subscribe

My eldest will be heading off to Portland this summer, with plans of attending the Paul Mitchell School downtown. I'm trying to get a sense of what our housing options are, so I can budget and she can plan (she really likes things to be planned out). My ideal would be something as dorm-like as possible-in the sense that there are staff onsite, or available much of the time, other students around, and perhaps some of the extra costs are already rolled into your rent (utilities, internet, etc).

I've heard about University Pointe and College Housing NW. Any thoughts on those specific places? Any other recommendations? Other perks that would be nice would be laundry onsite, and easy walking distance to public transit and a grocery store.

She will be only 18 when she moves up there, and struggles with some anxiety issues-while we have family nearby, I am trying to minimize the extra things she has to get anxious about in her first year or so away from home, to improve the odds it doesn't all go to crap.

Bonus question: any personal experience with the Paul Mitchell school itself? She's committed to a career in beauty, and likes this school, which we've toured, a lot...but I'd love some opinions from those who aren't trying to sell it to me.
posted by purenitrous to Grab Bag (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
One way to find out how much you like the school, now that the sales pressure is off and your daughter is a student not an applicant, is to ask the school the first paragraph of your question and see how helpful they are.
posted by ADave at 10:23 PM on January 24, 2015

The school recommended University Pointe-reviews online are pretty mixed, but then I see elsewhere that apartment complex reviews are notoriously negative, so was hoping to find mefite experience.
posted by purenitrous at 10:22 AM on January 25, 2015

I went to Portland State, and University Pointe is more or less "on" the PSU campus. And honestly, though I lived off campus, the Pointe's reputation is bad enough that I'd suggest you look elsewhere. The units are laughably overpriced, with rents on par with nearby luxury apartment buildings. They're shoddy, the offered "roommate matching" exists in name only, the management is glacial in responding to broken stuff in the units, leases are harder to break than normal if you want to get out of there, and so on.

Given your situation, I think you guys would be better off without this place on your list.
posted by sacramental excrementum at 10:59 AM on January 25, 2015

I lived near the PSU campus in downtown Portland for quite a few years (I just found out the building has a wikipedia page?!), and while I don't know about much about the two buildings you mentioned, I can say that any place you choose downtown is going to be walking distance to public transit. For groceries on that side of town, your store is going to be the Safeway on SW Jefferson. The whole area near PSU is going to feel student-friendly- while there isn't much in the way of actual dorms, as far as I know, there are lots of students nearby during the day and many coffee shops and restaurants designed with students in mind. The campus area is open- I've spent time in the library when I was not a student (I am currently a student). When the weather is nice sometimes there's outdoor music, and there's a farmer's market on the weekends.

I'm not specifically recommending the building I lived in, because it's been about 6 years since I moved and I can't be certain what might have changed (mainly, how much rent may have skyrocketed.) When we lived there it did have laundry on site, a friendly building manager who lived in the building, and an easy walk to transit and groceries. It also had a specific type of vintage charm that's not for everyone, with downsides including frequent all-building water shut-offs for plumbing repairs and occasional cockroaches. But if by some chance this building ends up on the short list let me know and I might have a few tips.
posted by Secretariat at 3:05 PM on January 25, 2015

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