Y-Arts Center Proposed for Rebuild, 58-unit Apartment Complex

Google Maps: 6036 SE Foster

Google Maps: 6036 SE Foster

The old Y-Arts is set to become the new Y-Arts.

If a planned proposal for a rebuild of the YMCA at 6036 SE Foster goes through, it would also mean much-needed rental housing is on the way, too. The planned development calls for a complete rebuild of the daycare and arts center, which may also offer additional “community service use.” Combining with the rebuild of the YMCA would be a 58-unit residential complex extending south of the building toward Holgate. The apartments would cap out at four stories.

Portland Bureau of Development Services

Portland Bureau of Development Services

This is big news for a Foster Road that has very little housing, as well as an area that is becoming increasingly more expensive. Adding rental units to the mix may alleviate that to an extent. And adding more legs and eyes to Foster can only create a bit more vibrancy in what sometimes becomes a dark and ghostly stretch past 9 pm (with the exception of Barmuda Triangle between 62nd and 66th).

The Portland Bureau of Development Services recently posted a pre-application conference notice for this project, which shares more of the development’s details. For those concerned with parking, the apartments will sit atop space for 40 cars; an additional 30 parking spaces would be scattered in a lot north of the apartments. That lot, and the YMCA itself, would front Foster Road, with the “Y” abutting the east end of the commercial strip that includes Tambayan (Filipino restaurant), Wild at Heart Salon, and (among others) Heads High Barber Shop.

Portland Bureau of Development Services

Portland Bureau of Development Services

This comes at a time when the commercial strip across Foster (and just to the west) is seeing something of a renaissance, too. We’ve seen new businesses, renovations, and fresh (and colorful) paint splashed about between Nayar Taqueria, Velvet Goldmine, Green Noise Records, and Meticon Bikes. The “Heart of Foster” a few blocks east may have its own designation, but it certainly isn’t the only part of Foster making a name for itself. Perhaps we’re finally seeing an entire district forming.

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15 Responses to Y-Arts Center Proposed for Rebuild, 58-unit Apartment Complex

  1. Spiffy says:

    “This is big news for a Foster Road that has very little housing”

    the housing isn’t really on Foster though, it’s up against Holgate… so this still doesn’t put living space on Foster… although that still adds plenty to the Foster/Powell area… craigslist currently shows only 4 rentals in the Foster/Powell/82nd triangle… although one is senior living, and 2 are 1 bedroom apartments over $1000…

  2. It’s a Foster address, but the apartments definitely pull closer to Holgate than Foster. From a design/planning standpoint, I’d much rather see the residences abut Foster a little more, as opposed to parking being more prominently located.

  3. teagengrey says:

    Hey, I’m moving to Portland for school and after I plan on living out there. I’m really interested in this neighborhood but is there any way I could talk to someone from their to get more information? Thanks!

  4. Morgan Tracy says:

    I applaud YMCA for a bold first move on Foster. However, this particular design is problematic.

    The building on foster should be closer to the street to continue the storefront presence along the corridor. I realize the current building is setback further, but a complete rebuild is a chance to do it right.

    Also, the apartments are in an R2.5 zone, with a 30-35 foot height limit. The podium parking makes the building look top heavy and flimsy, and from Holgate it makes it look like one long parking lot. Take a cue from the 39th and Powell Safeway. Dig the parking below grade, give the building a more grounded base, present a more inviting front to Holgate and comply with the height limit.

    It is a request for a planned development after all, meaning they are asking for flexibility from the base zone requirements in exchange for a better design. Again, I think this will be a great catalyst for Foster, but it should set a good precedent.

    • Very well said, Morgan.

      I’m in agreement that the design does little to enhance the commercial district. And like you say, a good precedent should be set…and for a couple reasons, in my opinion:
      – this is the first big development (though, the Mercado can be thrown into that conversation) on Foster, probably ushering in a new era of investment…let’s get it right on the first go-around
      – Foster is in a URA…it would do the PDC/City well to have a commercial corridor they can show off, not cringe at
      – pure aesthetics…design goes a long way in defining an area’s character

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