Community Spotlight: Columbia Shores

Columbia Shores is a neighborhood just about a mile east of the new Waterfront. This area was part of an urban redevelopment of the western most portion of the industrial area that once housed Kaiser Shipyards back in WWII. Most of the former shipyards remains as heavy industrial with Thompson Metal Fabricators taking up a large portion of the area. The neighborhood covers just about 35 acres south of SE Columbia Way out to the river and includes some retail, office, hotel, commercial, restaurant, and of course condos. Notable restaurants in the area are McMenemins on the Columbia and Beaches both offering excellent riverfront locations. The entire neighborhood has excellent freeway access with SR 14 ramps immediately north of SE Columbia Way. The south side of the neighborhood features the Renaissance Trail that connects all the way to the new Waterfront.

As far as residential goes, there are three condominium projects in Columbia Shores and a 4th small infill development is under construction now. The latter is a townhouse development but I am not sure how the title will be on that project, multi-family rental, traditional townhouses, or condominiums. The three condo developments currently in place are The Village at Columbia Shores, Northwynd, and Meriwether. These are three very different communities that all share the same excellent neighborhood. Today we will look at all three.

The Village at Columbia Shores:

This development was built in the mid 1990s with most of its 135 units completed in 1996. The project had two distinct housing sections. The first section is a series of townhomes that front the Columbia River and are perched up above the Renaissance Trail offering spectacular river views. Although these are built like traditional townhomes they are configured as condominiums. Units here rarely come up for sale and they tend to fetch north of $1 million.

The second section is the condo tower which features a partially underground parking garage with secure entrance followed by 4 levels of condominiums, the top floor units feature a loft that acts as a defacto 5th floor. This is a nice building with secure access. South facing units on the 3rd and 4th floors offer nice views of the river and city lights at night. First floor units are a half floor off the street level offering some additional security. Units in the tower range in size from 1 bed 1 bath 700SF to larger loft units over 1300SF. Prices can be as low as $300,000 for a dated small unit to nearly $700,000 for a completely remodeled larger unit. The Village has an outdoor swimming pool and community clubhouse available to homeowners. The outdoor pool is seasonal. There is also a small fitness center just off the clubhouse. There are deed spaces in the garage each with a small private closet.

To the west of the development the Renaissance Trail continues towards Downtown and includes park space managed by the National Park Service as part of the Fort Vancouver National Historic Park.This provides an excellent spot to walk and enjoy the riverfront.


Northwynd is a townhouse community with ownership as condominiums. These row houses are two the three floors tall with garage under layouts. It has a bit of a European flavor with narrow streets and a vertical feel when walking around. There is some retail frontage on the south and east side offering coffee, mini-market, and some commercial retail office. Directly across the street to the south is two locally popular riverfront restaurants, Beaches and McMenamins. Since these are laid out as townhouses, there are no neighbors above or below, only along side. Also as condominiums the exterior maintenance such as siding and roofing is handled by the HOA.

Northwynd units range in size from 800 SF to more than 1500SF with 1, 2, and 3 bed layouts. Like the Village, Northwynd is a short stroll to the Renaissance Trail and Fort Vancouver NHP. Prices in Northwynd tend to run from the low $300s to just north of $500,000 depending on size and condition. Northwynd does not have direct access to the Renaissance Trail or the river but it is just a street crossing and short stroll away. Northwynd sees a fair bit of activity as it has more than 200 units.


These are mostly large and luxurious units all situated in a single four story building with a secure underground garage. Every unit faces south and overlooks the Columbia River. The building has a Mediterranean flavor featuring outside covered veranda style walk ways in the rear accessing the units which then look out over the river. Not many units come up in the building and when they do they tend to fetch prices well north of one million dollars. These units are mostly over 1000 SF and some feature more than 3000 SF of living space. This is one of the smaller condo projects we follow here at Urban Living it has 19 units.

Columbia Shores is a tidy and compact neighborhood with a nice mix of urban housing and a slightly slower and more quiet pace. With immediate access to the SR-14 freeway, Downtown is seconds away and PDX is only about 10 minutes away.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s