We knew the Portland Mercado would be a catalyst for investment along Foster, but we didn’t know it would happen so fast. (I mean, the grand opening hasn’t even happened yet.) To be sure, no new investments have been made, but the PDC has recently made available its empty lot that sits across SE 72nd from the now mostly-open public market. And make no mistake, the prospects for development have grown tremendously since the former car dealership was transformed into a vibrant center for food, drink, small business, and community gatherings.
It’s no surprise, then, that as soon as the Portland Mercado had its soft opening last week, a sign went up on the fence securing the vacant lot across the street. The PDC is definitely in the mood to make the Lents URA a success story, and making good on the properties they own along Foster will go a long way toward that end. First up was bringing the Portland Mercado to the neighborhood; perhaps a mixed-use development could be next.
We don’t know much about zoning (or the property itself, for that matter–is it for sale? how much?), but it would appear to be prime space for someone who’d like to build something with food, drink, pedestrian amenities, and a future improved streetscape as a lure. Oh, and Everyday Food Mart, Century Link, and Red’s Bar and Grill would be neighbors too. (But don’t worry about them.) Again, we don’t know what zoning would allow, but we do know the city is currently keen on increasing the livability of commercial corridors. With the streetscape improvements to come–bike lanes, reduced traffic speeds, trees–perhaps the PDC has an opportunity to add another asset to the neighborhood.