Busy Bee Cleaners officially met its demise yesterday (though, the business had actually been closed for a while), more than fifty years after its building’s birth in 1963. The building and 4,950 square-foot plot of land was last sold in 1991 for $200,000. PortlandMaps lists its “real market value” at just over $339,000.
We also know that the plot of land Busy Bee sat on is deceptively small, as it sits next to a more vast gravel lot which gives the illusion of one large parcel. However, said gravel lot (at 12,500 square feet) is owned by the same person, essentially creating a fairly large development opportunity for him or her—unless they intend to sell the land altogether.
Foster is definitely going through a growth phase, so something like this comes as little surprise. I guess what’s surprising—and maybe even saddening—is the loss of a somewhat iconic and, oddly, historically unique architectural artifact. (Ok, maybe some of that’s a stetch. But still.)
It’ll be interesting to see what (if any, other than just demolition) plans are for this lot, especially as development along SE 50th has picked up from Hawthorne to now south of Division, inching ever closer to Powell. At this point, we can only hope that we get something that fits the mold of a soon-to-be more pedestrian and bike friendly Foster.