Never Been to the Bob White Theatre? Friday Film Festival Could be Your Last Chance

Incredibly Short Film Festival to bring the Bob White back to life for a night. Could it be the last time?

With all the ups and downs at the Bob White Theatre, it’s only fitting that the building will re-open for a one-day-only film festival this Friday after several weeks of rumors and word of a potential sale of the historic theater. I suppose, too, it makes perfect sense, given the odd history of the building, that the last show before ownership changes hands is a GIF-based film festival that may be the last ever at the theater.

11303467_10100378365724271_147350965_nThe Incredibly Short Film Festival, which takes place Friday, 5/29, is rumored to be the last show at the Bob White. And not just under current ownership—perhaps, ever.

Or at least that’s the current feeling surrounding the theater and its “in-the-works” deal, in which Nick Storie will finally unload the building he was ill-prepared to run after buying it more than three years ago.

But we don’t have to mourn. Yet. There’s a rad little film festival happening (we mentioned that), and it’s time you made it down to to the theater for, perhaps, your last chance. Enjoy it for what it is….until we know what it’ll become.

And in case you’re already thinking of excuses not to go, know this: it’s free, there’ll be a DJ, and there may be some cheap HUB beer on hand at Bar Carlo for the early-comers and minglers. Oh, (incredibly short) films start at 8:30; event goes until 11 pm.

Make it happen, folks. Last. Time. Ever. (Or at least until we hear otherwise.)

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Buddhist Temple to Make Home Off Foster

IMG_1144The Church of Grace is no more. But proposed to take its place is a Buddhist temple.

Located at 4224 SE 62nd Avenue, the former Church of Grace served a mostly Russian-speaking congregation, and had been for sale for the better part of a year. It is unknown if the building has actually been sold to the Buddhi Dharma Hui Lin Foundation, who seeks to establish a Buddhist temple on the site.

Chances are, the Buddhist temple will feel much different than the Church of Grace, which also served as part youth ministry and Russian language school.

According to a “Notice of Type II Proposal,” here’s what plans for the new temple entail:
     The Buddhi Dharma Hui Lin Foundation is establishing a new Buddhist temple on this site, which has been the location for a religious institution since 1922. The proposed temple would have a membership of about 400 persons from the local area, as contrasted with the Church of Grace that was the last occupant of the site, with a Screen shot 2015-05-27 at 2.57.24 PMcongregation of about 500 members. An existing unimproved parking lot for the institution, with space for about 10 vehicles, is located across the street from the building, on the northeast corner of SE 62nd Avenue and SE Boise Street. An informal agreement for shared parking with a neighborhood business is able to provide parking for an additional 30 to 34 vehicles.
     The temple would be used daily but most activities will include quiet meditation and worship activities that involve small groups of approximately 20 people. Special events, which are scattered through the year on about 10 different feast days, are expected to bring between 60 and 120 people to the site. These numbers are reported to be substantially less than the numbers of people who attended regularly scheduled services or special events for the previous user.
     The proposed location of the temple on this site requires approval through a Type II Conditional Use Review because it involves a change of use that is within the same use category, Religious Institutions.

We usually steer clear of religion and politics, but we found this to be not only blog-worthy, but fairly exciting, too. A decision on the land use review will be made June 1, though we don’t see why plans won’t be approved.

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Plans Resume for New Homes at SE 65th and Holgate?

IMG_0989There was a time when a lone Coptic Orthodox Church inhabited the expansive and now-vacant lot at SE 65th and Holgate. That church was razed nearly two years ago to make room for new housing—the developer, Everett Custom Homes, proposed eight homes for the lot.

And after close to two years, with the congregation long gone, the lot still sits vacant. When we originally wrote about the church’s demolition, as well as plans for the lot, we had the following thoughts:
  “My first thought:  How will eight homes fit in there, and how small will the people be who live in them?
  “Next thought:  I kinda liked having a Coptic church in the neighborhood–where will the congregation go now that their church has been razed?”

I guess you could have expected this—looks like every other new, infill home constructed in Portland

After all this time, we now know that 1) the congregation found a new home in Sellwood and 2) as it turns out, eight homes won’t fit in there. Well, in regards to the latter point, eight homes could fit in there. But it was a tight enough squeeze that plans ultimately had to be amended—instead, there will now only be six homes on the site.

According to the amended proposal, the 20,000 square foot lot will be divided into six plots, five of which will be 3,200 square foot, and the sixth will be 3,400 square feet. Detached homes will sit on those subplots, with parking pads at the rear and accessed via the alleyway between SE 65th and SE 66th. Here’s a brief description of the homes themselves:
  “The development on the lots is proposed to consist of 22-foot wide, two-story (approximately 26-foot in height) detached houses that are set back from the front lot line 15 feet. Each house is shown to have a single-story front porch that is 10 feet from the front lot line. Each lot is proposed to have parking in the rear yard via the abutting IMG_4216alley, and an open outdoor area in the rear yard as well. The building elevations also show the structures will have gable or hip roofs, horizontal siding, and trim.”

This development comes at a time of rapid change for the neighborhood, specifically along Holgate as it stems off of Foster. About the same time the lot was proposed for new development, six new homes were being constructed two blocks east, just next to Kern Park Flower Shoppe. And just to the west, a three-story apartment building was recently constructed. That building’s neighbor, the Wikman Building, has just recently found a new tenant—Hallowed Halls recording studio—after sitting vacant for a couple years. Perhaps it’s a microcosm of what the surrounding neighborhood is experiencing as a whole.

No word yet on if/when a permit’s been issued, so construction’s commencement time is unknown at this point. Stay tuned.

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Figure It Out, Foster!

Thanks to Emily for the heads up on this…












Make sure you’re not sleeping on Foster Row. There’s a lot of good stuff happening (and being made) down there. Present company (Darling Press) included.

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Happy Weekend, Foster People!

Welcome back to the weekend. We’ve got food for you, live music, news, and a recap of what’s been going on in the neighborhood. Unfortunately we couldn’t do better with the weather, though.

Here are your weekend tidbits…

– New art studio in the neighborhood: BenWill / Studio. Sandwiched between Foster and Holgate on SE 67th (4533 SE 67th), the art studio-in-the-making will feature the work of Benjamin Williamson, who’ll set up shop only a few doors north of Performance Works NW. And with mixed-use space across the street available for rent, this side-street off of Foster is starting to add some energy. When complete, the studio will be primarily work space, but will open for events (time to bring back a Foster art night?) and appointments. And for those that didn’t know, there’s another art/work studio in the neighborhood: well known artist, Mel Katz, privately makes his art in the space next to Fat Yoga. And while Katz’s studio is private and mostly closed to the public, it goes to show there’s a definite arts scene in the neighborhood. Welcome, BenWill.

– A lot of people have been wondering, so we’ll just get this out of the way: the word is, Henry Higgins Bagels should be open within the next two weeks. Until then, and even after, don’t forget that Peiper Cafe has your morning bagels, coffee, and breakfast sandwiches covered, too.

– Speaking of food, Elizabeth Rose, from, recently visited and wrote about the Portland Mercado. And she seems to confirm the consensus: good food, good vibes, good for the neighborhood. We can’t argue with that.

– Oh, and speaking of the Mercado, there will be live music this afternoon/evening (Alex Li of Grupo Chayag) and most of Sunday (Oscar “Tito” Amaya, 12-3, and Barbaro Xavier imageTaveras, 4:30-7).

– And speaking of live music (we’re just gonna roll with these segues), how could you not go to this (right)? O’Malley’s brings it. For sure.

– Speaking of…(just kidding). So, we spoke earlier this week of plans for the YMCA (at 6036 SE Foster) to get a complete rebuild with the addition of multi-unit housing on the site. We’ve heard a range of opinions on it, from fears of over-crowding and another trigger for increased rents and property values, to fears of declining property values on adjacent streets and a distaste for the design and aesthetics of the proposal. We also heard cheer for increased housing, hopes for more affordable rental units, and excitement over new investment and growth along the corridor. We’ll try to follow along with the plans to keep you all updated, but it’ll be important to keep the conversation going, as I’m sure this won’t be a developers’ last foray into the neighborhood. The more folks talk about these things, the more neighbors’ concerns, hopes, and fears are brought to the table. To go a step further, you can take these issues (even if to voice support) to Neighborhood Association and Business Association meetings, and places like SEUL--they’re all designed to advocate for the people (or businesses) who comprise those organizations.

– We also learned this week that Starday Tavern is for sale. This goes along with a potentially pending (completed?) sale of the Bob White Theater, a Cafe Red still in wait-and-see mode, newly-available retail space next to Cafe Red-to-be, and the ever-waiting-to-open Henry Higgins. For a burgeoning district, there’s a lot of flux and limbo. But back to Starday…music venue, potential for a restaurant, booze, and an established night/social scene in the surrounding area. Sounds like a good opportunity for someone who can get their hands on a $100,000 loan.

– Live music for the weekend:
Portland Mercado- Friday afternnon/evening and most of Sunday (12-3 and 4:30-7), multiple musicians
Starday Tavern- Radio Wold and Three For The Silver, Friday; David Stoops and Ryan Freeman, and HollowDog, Saturday
O’Malley’s- Dwight Dickenson, Raw Dog and the Close Calls, Last Shot, and Mr. Plow…Saturday

As always, let us know what else is happening in the neighborhood. Be cool, be safe.

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Tavern, Get Your Tavern…Only $100k

Screen shot 2015-05-20 at 9.25.28 AM

Wiltsey & Associates

You always wanted a bar. You just couldn’t figure out how to part with that $100,000 burning a hole in your pocket.

Well, here’s your chance….

Buy Starday Tavern, your very own watering hole in the “Heart of Foster.” (Seriously, though, shall we just call it the Foster District.) We mentioned it was for sale last week, but we thought we’d repost the business listing. (You know, since most of our readers are monied professionals with extra dough to spend.)

We don’t care what you do with it…even rename it “Bob and Alice’s.” Just don’t get rid of the live music—it’s a dwindling scene in Portland. There’s potential with this little spot, it just needs an owner willing to give it some extra love.

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