Foster YMCA one step closer to mixed-use redevelopment

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Holst Architecture — Rendering of mixed-use, affordable housing development planned for SE 72nd and Foster

As we’ve stated before, change comes to Foster in waves. Whether it’s a spate of new businesses, art galleries, or events such as music festivals and art walks, Foster tends to do things in bunches. Now it appears as if a small building boom is nearing, with several apartment buildings and mixed-use developments on the horizon.

We posted last week about the proposed mixed-use development at 5045 SE Foster, which comes on the heels of development plans moving forward at 72nd and Foster. Under construction, too, is a 30-unit apartment building just off Foster at 5811 SE Boise. Now we’re learning that the long-rumored rebuild of the Y-Arts Center at 6036 SE Foster may in fact be closer to fruition. And plans would call for at least 54 units of new housing in a multi-story, mixed-use building that would include a new YMCA childcare facility, dozens of parking spaces, and an outdoor play area.

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6036 SE Foster. Plans call for a rebuild of the YMCA childcare facility, as well as the addition of 54 units of housing

As per a Bureau of Development Service’s notice of Planned Development and Conditional Use Review for the property, 54 apartments are planned, which means Foster could soon see an influx of 200+ units in the near future with the addition of this project—101 units are planned at 72nd and Foster, 33 at 5045 SE Foster, and 30 at 5811 SE Boise. At least two of the above projects will include commercial space; two more will include family and community-related services.

Feelings will inevitably be mixed about all the development planned for Foster. But we can make a strong argument that the addition of at least 100 units of affordable housing, and 100 more of (presumably) market rate housing, should help put a hold on rising rents in the neighborhood. It, too, should add a vitality to the commercial corridor that hasn’t been seen in a long, long time.

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City of Portland, BDS — Architectural rendering of 6036 SE Foster, Y-Arts rebuild and mixed-use development 

If nothing else, some of our aging, car-centric buildings and vacant plots of land will be put to better and more efficient use. (The image to the right should give you all a feel for what’s planned on the YMCA site.)

Additionally, the diversity of development is something that we can take solace in as fears of gentrification creep up. For example, close to half the units planned in the near term on Foster will be for low-income households; the Asian Health & Services Center will operate out of one of the developments; a large-scale childcare facility will operate out of another; the range of unit size and capacity varies. This is a far cry from the development we’ve seen transform other Portland neighborhoods. And probably a little more appropriate for the Foster area.

Surely there will be more news on these projects coming soon. Stay tuned…

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4 Responses to Foster YMCA one step closer to mixed-use redevelopment

  1. Kari Boss says:

    It will be interesting to see how quickly these buildings happen. My understanding is many projects are being submitted to get them far enough along to avoid the 20% mandate that will go into effect requiring projects to have affordable housing. But once they reach a point they are grandfathered in they will slow way down on how quickly they will be built.

    • You are correct–developers are rushing to beat the deadline. We’ll see if these projects get built as quickly as applications/permitting are coming in. We’ll assume the same slow-down as you suspect.

  2. Pingback: Happy Weekend, Foster People! | Foster-Powell. A neighborhood blog.

  3. Pingback: Foster commercial building to get snazzy new upgrade | Foster-Powell. A neighborhood blog.

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