What a residential real estate listing may tell us about the future of Foster…

Perhaps we’re reading into things a bit here, but a recent neighborhood real estate listing seems to reveal what the future of Mt. Scott Fuel may be.

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5027 SE 70th – PortlandMaps

The property in question sits at the southeast corner of Mt. Scott Fuel, and, while currently inhabited by a 1,900 square-foot bungalow, it is being touted as a development opportunity. The house at 5027 SE 70th sits in the CG Zone, which allows for more dense development. But that is not the only reason this listing is being marketed as a “development opportunity.” The 5,000 square-foot lot is not huge, and as such would not leave much room for a large apartment building given current zoning. But the listing does point to the neighboring Mt. Scott Fuel as partial reason for the lot’s development potential. To expand, the listing on LoopNet suggests the vast soil and gravel operation next door has “massive commercial potential.” And while that’s true, and, yes, a developer could do a lot with 3.8 acres in the heart of a growing neighborhood business district, it’s interesting that there’s no public indication that Mt. Scott Fuel plans to abandon their operation.

So why use the Mt. Scott Fuel site as a lure for development?

We know real estate agents have their marketing schemes; ploys to over-hype their properties, if you will. And perhaps this is the case at 5027 SE 70th. But it’s not like plans have been announced to sell of the property. And there’s nothing tangible to point to like the Foster Streetscape Plan or the development of other nearby properties. It’s pure speculation.

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PDC map of FLIP framework. Mt. Scott Fuel is listed as a “catalyst site.”

But if we dig a little and revisit the Portland Development Commission’s former (5-year-old) vision—the Foster Lents Integration Partnership (FLIP)—to promote growth along the Foster corridor, we can actually see that the development of the Mt. Scott Fuel site is not a new idea. In fact, the PDC identified the Mt. Scott Fuel property as a “catalyst site” five years ago when the city was more active along the corridor. Much of the city’s resources have been focused on the development of the Lents Town Center, though, and it’s unclear how much FLIP still guides the city’s goals for the rest of the corridor.

So the question remains: does someone know something about the future of the Mt. Scott Fuel site? Or is this just a realtor’s marketing ploy?

We might conclude by also pointing out that the LoopNet listing suggests, too, that the property for sale could be used a dispensary if not developed into a mid-rise apartment complex. So there’s that.

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