The Hazelwood Neighborhood has more business and commercial property in it than any other neighborhood in East Portland. It contains the Gateway Urban Renewal Area, Gateway Transit Center, Mall 205, Plaza 205, 205 Place, Menlo Park Plaza, Adventist Hospital, and the East Precinct Police Station, as well as over 800 businesses. The largest employers are Adventist Health and the David Douglas School District.
Many of the businesses are concentrated in the Gateway Regional Center, which includes both the Gateway Shopping Center and the Mall 205 shopping areas. The other major business corridor in the neighborhood is along NE/SE 122nd Ave -- and, to a lesser extent, the NE Halsey, SE Stark and SE Division Street corridors. Hazelwood has four major supermarkets, three major department stores, a major lumber yard, several fitness clubs, several major auto dealerships, numerous restaurants, all major banks and many local credit unions, two bike shops, and numerous locally-owned small businesses.
Gateway was designated by Metro, in its 2040 Plan, as the only Regional Center within the City of Portland. Later, the City of Portland created an urban renewal district to help Gateway develop into a regional center, with the only Central Employment zoning outside of downtown Portland. More recently, the Gateway area has been designated as one of five EcoDistricts in the City. In addition, there are three mini-urban renewal areas, called neighborhood prosperity initiative (NPI) areas, touching Hazelwood: Division-Midway, Rosewood, and 82-Division.
When the area was annexed by the City of Portland in the late 1980s, much of the neighborhood housing was single-family homes. Many new townhomes and affordable apartments have been built since the opening of the MAX light rail Blue Line through the neighborhood in 1996, creating a more vibrant multi-cultural community.
The excellent MAX light rail services the neighborhood on three separate lines, as do the many bus routes as well, most of which converge at the Gateway Transit Center. In addition, most major streets also have bike lanes, and the Interstate 205 multi-use path runs along the western edge of Hazelwood, with several new bicycle greenways and bike parking facilities being built over the next two summers. While sidewalks are not yet universal in Hazelwood, nearly all streets are paved and well-maintained, and most residential areas of Hazelwood are pleasant walking areas, as are its parks. The proposed Gateway Green, a state-of-the-art bike recreational area, is just a short walk from the Gateway Transit Center.
All of this is within a 10-minute light rail trip to the Portland International Airport and within 15 minutes of Downtown Portland, with easy access to Lloyd Center, Clackamas Town Center and Gresham.