Milwaukie- Gaining Speed With The Max

What the New Orange Max Line Means for Milwaukie:

It’s here!  A major bridge has not been added to Portland’s skyline since the Fremont Bridge was completed in the early 1970s.  That is until this past month when the Tilikum Crossing was officially unveiled.  The bridge’s construction came about to accommodate the city’s other major addition – The New Max Orange Line!   

The new Orange Line is spurring growth and attracting investors to the outlier neighborhoods and towns to Portland’s south, namely Milwaukie.  Nestled against the Willamette River, this quaint town of only 4.85 sq. miles has always had its appeal. But, now the commute just got easier and greener.   Instead of grinding their gears through traffic in their gas guzzlers, happy residents are zipping along via the Max to downtown Portland in only 27 minutes!

New max orange line to portland's south

“Catch the Orange” is the newest slogan around town. Residents in Milwaukie are taking full advantage of this perk that takes them into downtown Portland in no time at all. Neighbors to Portland’s south are getting a bump in their real estate values too. Image Courtesy: Sam Churchill

As prices in Portland continue to rise, young families and other 1st-time homebuyers are looking for an affordable option.  Their eyes are turning to Milwaukie.  With a slew of amenities, they’re discovering that this alternative town is the solution they’ve been looking for!  Milwaukie’s schools and healthcare are ranked well, and crime is comparatively low. In fact, this riverside town of about 20,000 inhabitants has been haled by local sources as one of the best places in Oregon to raise a family.

The Willamette River in Milwaukie, Oregon.

The Willamette River in Milwaukie, Oregon. Image Courtesy: Jeff Hart


Buyers can still find great homes in the 200k range, allowing you to get more home for your money.  There is limited inventory, however, so professionals recommend striking now while the iron is hot.  Since the opening of the Orange Line, investors are also clamoring to pick up property along the transit’s route.  Home values in Milwaukie have risen about 12% from 2014 to 2015, and home sales increased 24%.

As of September 2015:

Average Price/ sq.ft.: $167

Median Sales Price: $280,000

Average Listing Price: $315,768

Popular Neighborhoods’ Average Listing Prices:

Lake Road: $282,553

Lewelling: $286,800

Come Tour this Sweet one level bungalow just blocks from the new Orange Max line. Located at: 2324 SE Park Ave.   Contact Home Sweet Home Realty: (503) 515-2986


Local Schools Overall Grade – B+ (according to

Local School Rankings (according to

Milwaukie is making a name for itself for a safe environment and good schools. They've been named one of the best places in Oregon to raise a family.

Milwaukie is making a name for itself for having low crime and good schools. They’ve been named one of the best places in Oregon to raise a family. Image Courtesy: Ryan Harvey

Riverside Elementary School

4 stars

Oak Grove Elementary

5 stars

Whitcomb Elementary

4 stars

Milwaukie Academy of Arts

5 stars; 9 out of 10 ranking

Milwaukie High School

3 stars

Putnam High School

4 stars


Now that the orange line has improved accessibility, many people are day tripping down to explore this quaint neighbor to the south.


A grand opening ceremony was held on May 1, 2015, for Phase II of this park.  The Milwaukie Riverfront Park is located on Milwaukie Bay between McLoughlin Boulevard and the Willamette River. Officials anticipate the project will provide a region-wide attraction, and an opportunity for family-fun recreation for local residents. The park offers a boat ramp, a riverside path, a public lawn for festivals, and twice as many trees as before!

The city is currently raising funds for Phase III, which will include a playground and an amphitheater for live performances.

The New Milwaukie Riverfront Park outside of Portland is a family friendly place.

The New Milwaukie Riverfront Park outside of Portland is a family-friendly place. Image Courtesy: Ian Collins


Set to run along the old Portland Traction Company’s Oregon Line streetcar route.  The Trolley’s glory days took it from Milwaukie to Gladstone back in 1893 until 1968.  The trail, when complete, will be part of a 20-mile loop connecting Portland to Milwaukie, Gladstone, Oregon City, and Gresham.  There is currently a 6-mile stretch completed for use by pedestrians and bikes, and it can be accessed through the Milwaukie Riverfront Park.


Almost 80 vendors take the stage at this eclectic and fun farmers market.  Find local produce, freshly baked treats, plants for sale, wood workers and other crafters, and more!  Check their site for more information and musical lineup.  Winner of “Best Small Farmers Market” 2012 by The Oregonian.

EVERY SUNDAY from May through October. 

Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Located at: SE Main Street & Harrison Street, Milwaukie, OR


This park has it all!  There is a lap pool for the serious swimmer, Jacuzzis, a wave pool, numerous waterslides and a rock-climbing wall.

Located at: 7300 SE Harmony Rd, Milwaukie, OR


Fun with animals above and below the sea can be had at the Portland Aquarium.  See sharks, stingrays, coral, giant octopus, tropical fish, reptiles and birds.  Great for young children!

Located at: 16323 SE McLoughlin Blvd, Milwaukie, OR


Bob's Red Mill offers tours of their Milwaukie, Oregon, headquarters.

Bob’s Red Mill offers tours of their Milwaukie, Oregon, headquarters. Image Courtesy: cheeseslave

Milwaukie is home to Bob’s Red Mill headquarters.  Take a tour and learn how the magic happens behind these whole grains.  Bob himself may even stop in to say hello!

Located at: 13521 SE Pheasant Ct., Milwaukie, OR

Written by Jennifer Kane, Expanded Exposure LLC.