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Dream simple, not so big

Street of Dreams show highlights sustainable, smaller new homes
by: Jeffrey Basinger, NW Natural Street of Dreams celebrates its 35th year starting July 31 with affordable dream homes to fit today’s economy.

Up there in the hills west of downtown Portland, simplicity and sustainability meet sophistication as the NW Natural Street of Dreams celebrates its 35th year, opening July 31.

There was a day when Street of Dreams homes went for more than $1 million, or even $2 million. Not so with all of the homes today, as the Home Builders of Association of Metropolitan Portland asked the public for its input and heard one clear message: Smaller is better.

'The past couple years the theme has been they would like to see smaller and more sustainably built homes,' says Eric Stride, Street of Dreams show manager. 'It's more scaled-back homes. They are less expensive, because (most people) are definitely not going to buy big, expensive homes. These are more realistic and attainable. An $850,000 home is more attainable than a $2 million home.

'It's the (poor) economy, but it's definitely reflective of today's dream home.'

Returning to the west side of Portland, the eight-lot Street of Dreams is at Cresap Summit, atop Forest Heights off Northwest Skyline Boulevard, with condos on display nearby and in downtown Portland.

Located nearby Cresap Summit (a shuttle ride away), the prize home this year - it's actually sold - is a 6,000-square-foot Earth Advantage Gold home that combines European craftsman styling with a Pacific Northwest twist. It's called 'Forest Edge,' built by Elite Development Northwest and Jamie Harris and Natalie Long.

'Forest Edge,' befit with beautiful woodwork and stone, was listed for $1.7 million.

'These two women have an incredible eye for their homes,' Stride says. 'Their business is going crazy.'

A Hearth and Home house called 'Refinement,' by Karey Cresap, the Street of Dreams site developer, is another highlight. It's 3,400 square feet and Earth Advantage certified.

Cresap also has 'Transitions' - 2,800 square feet and Earth Advantage certified.

Renaissance Homes and Randy Sebastian built 'The Graduate,' which also is sold. It's 4,145 square feet and the first LEED-certified home in the Street of Dreams.

There are nine condominiums in the nearby Macleay Overlook, by Northwest Pacific Partners and Patrick Johnson, including 'The Maybeck,' a 2,400-square-foot bungalow-style space. Other condominiums are featured in downtown Portland as part of Street of Dreams.

Maybe the most interesting home is 'Fortino,' by ideabox, a 1,250-square-foot prefabricated model home designed to showcase compact, sustainable living.

'This is really cool,' Stride says. 'It's really, really sustainably built.'

'This year's show is a treasure trove of home styles and ideas,' says Rick Bernard, event chairman.

Street of Dreams is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day, July 31 to Aug. 29. Tickets are on sale at www.streetofdreamspdx.com. They are $14 in advance (peak times), $12 (non-peak times) and $10 for children 10 and younger. Tickets are $15 at the gate.