I walk through that area all the time and it has changed so much even during the development bust of the great recession. The newly remodeled culver building at the corner of 12th + Alder (Tasty + Alder's building) is pushing the West End energy farther south. Project Ecological Developments new Alley project
connecting Stark and Burnside is replacing some night clubs with more cool retail. I did a quick search and found this old article
from a few years back about possible new office buildings in Portland. It highlights two possible projects in the area that could come to life when the office market fully turns. I see great things ahead for this area.
I only wish the city would fix the Burnside divide and connect the Westend more strongly to the Pearl.