Street of Dreams rolls over neighbors

By William MacKenzie,

The NW Natural Street of Dreams has long been a showcase for over-the-top homes in the Portland area. Thousands of curious visitors descend on the sites to explore unique residences during the event and nearby homeowners and local media have generally enthusiastically welcome them.

This year may be different as hordes of looky-loos descend on surprised nearby residents.

Produced by the Home Building Association of Greater Portland, the 2024 NW Natural Street of Dreams will feature more than 12 builders and 18 custom homes, luxury remodels, condominiums, and apartments scattered in and surrounding the Portland area, including including Portland itself, Hillsboro, Sherwood, Lake Oswego, and more. A ticket will provide entrance to all the locations to visit any time during the show hours.

The event, which will run from August 1 to August 18, 2024, will be open extended weekends only, Thursdays through Sundays, with varying hours and different open weekends.

Likely anticipating nearby homeowners and renters will be less than pleased with an invasion of their neighborhoods, the addresses for all homes on the tour are going to be a closely held secret until the eve of the event. They won’t be disclosed until emails are sent out the week before the show to all ticket holders.

Nan Binkley and Alec Holser of Lake Oswego have already sounded the alarm.

Four of the tour’s homes will be in established residential neighborhoods in Lake Oswego, they say, including one right next to their home. “We are sure our neighbors know next to nothing about this upcoming event,” they wrote in a June 19, 2024, Letter to the Editor published in the Lake Oswego Review. “Since when is it okay to let a commercial venture operate at such a large scale in small neighborhoods?” they wrote. “…it feels like the Home Builders Association is waiting until the last minute to apply for an event permit for something that will need shuttles, blocked roads and police oversight.”

Whose idea was this anyway? NW Natural and the Home Building Association of Greater Portland clearly didn’t think this through. As a result, they are likely in for a very public shellacking.