131 Units of Housing Coming to Foster, Even More in Pipeline

When a building permit was issued last week for a project at 5811 SE Boise—formerly 5816 SE Foster—it brought to 131 the number of units anticipated for development in the near term. Even more are in the pipeline, which could see at least a couple hundred units added to the screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-9-22-13-pmcorridor between SE 50th and 72nd Avenue.

The property at 5811 SE Boise is slated for a three-story, thirty-unit apartment building. That building will occupy a now-vacant lot that sits behind the commercial buildings at SE 58th and Foster.

Combined with the 101 units of affordable housing included in the mixed-use development at 7120 SE Foster, the two projects will bring as many as 131 units of housing in a short amount of time. The project at 7120 SE Foster—known as 72Foster, and sitting just across the street from the Portland Mercado—is still in the planning stages, but is expected to be fast-tracked as part of the city’s efforts to add much needed affordable housing.

The addition of residential development may not end there, however. And there could be as many as 80 more units in the pipeline.


6036 SE Foster: Proposed development includes the rebuild of Y-Arts Center plus 50+ units of housing

As we’ve posted before, the Y-Arts Center at 6036 SE Foster is slated for a complete rebuild with the addition of up to 54 units of housing. The four-story development would make neighbors of the commercial stretch that now includes Tambayan Filipino Restaurant, Kilroy’s Tattoo, Backstory Books, Wild at Heart Salon, Flat Blak Gallery, and Latchkey Gallery. Adding a residential dynamic to this stretch of the corridor should only increase the eclectic feel and add a little more vibrancy. As originally posted on NextPortland.com, initial renderings had that project set back from Foster with most of the residential nearing Holgate on the south side of the property. However, the architect is now looking to have the residential also face Foster, which should be more aesthetically pleasing and add more energy to Foster itself.

If we see 54 apartments built as part of the Y-Arts rebuild, the 14-block stretch between SE 72nd and SE 58th and Foster will see nearly 200 units of housing added.

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City of Portland — BDS

But there’s more.

As we move north and west along Foster, the former Busy Bee lot that currently sits fallow and fenced off is slated for another mixed-use development. While this project is further behind in its timeline than the other projects, they’ve already announced plans for three stories of apartments above ground floor commercial space. The property at 5045 SE Foster saw the Busy Bee Cleaners building demolished earlier this year, and most recently was home to a homeless encampment before being fenced off. There is no word yet on when plans for construction might be. We’ve heard there could be at least 30 units attached to this development, but that still remains to be seen.

In total, if all the developments see construction, Foster could net as many as 225 units of housing within a 20-block stretch. Once the Foster Streetscape Plan is complete, we’d be surprised if more aren’t added to the list.


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Art, Culture, Music, Food and Drink–Your Foster Weekend

Vacation beckons, so in lieu of our typical Friday post, we instead leave you with a rundown of events centered around Foster’s Second Saturday Art Walk, NWIPA’s Fourth Anniversary Celebration, and Portland Mercado’s Taste of Latinoamerica. (There’s more happening, we’re sure, but a long weekend awaits us so we’re narrowing our focus a bit.)

There is something to be had by everyone this Saturday, whether it be imbibing in the arts, culture, food and drink, or all of the above.

I guess summer fun isn’t over, after all.

Second Saturday Foster Art Walk


DJ Joel Barber plays music outside Po Boy Art and Framing as part of Foster’s Second Saturday Art Walk

To be honest, we weren’t so sure that Second Saturdays on Foster would gain enough traction to last through summer. Indeed, it has! And not only has it stuck around, but we’ve seen it grow from three venues—Latchkey Gallery, Flat Blak and Backstory Books—to more than a half dozen depending on the month. (We have 8 venues for September.) After the initial art walk last spring, Green Noise Records has joined in the fun; Po Boy Art and Framing has opened in the Day Theater and joined ranks, too; Bar Carlo has timed their art openings with the event; Wild at Heart Salon usually has a display of art work; BenWill Gallery has opened his doors on occasion; NWIPA is always well-curated; assorted other business sometimes participate; and it appears Darling Press Studio at Foster Row will soon be joining, too.

We can probably call it a thing now, and you should definitely support and help it grow.

This Saturday will certainly be worth the trek along the strip. Here’s a quick rundown of what we know (in no particular order) about this month’s art walk (though, we encourage you to explore a bit on your own in case we’ve missed something):

Flat Blak Gallery:  Australian artist, Matt Scott, will be featured at Flat Blak. Scott’s stencil and spraypaint work is all on multi-layered plywood, which gives a semi-three dimensional look. His work has been featured in film, on Nickelodeon, and various DJ sets. (4-8 pm)

Po Boy Art and Framing:  September’s Second Saturday brings the work of David Welker to Po Boy’s Day Theater location. Welker may be best known for his artwork featured on a 1993 Phish album cover, which was voted as “One of the Most Iconic Album Covers Of All Time.” Welker’s work spans from murals to poster art, touching on fantasy landscapes and urban realism. There will be other artists and vendors outside the Day Theater, as well as DJ Joel Barber spinning for the masses. (5-9 pm)

Green Noise Records: The Los Angeles Punk Rock scene of the early 1980’s come to life in Vincent Ramirez’s photography, which will be on display at the mostly-punk and metal record store. The Los Angeles Punk Photo Exhibit will be accompanied by a live musical performance from Sloppy Kisses. (6-8 pm)

Latchkey Gallery:  Assorted works of paintings, prints, sculpture and ceramics are typically on display at Latchkey. Some of the artists you might see? Cortney Erksine, Meg McHutchison, JC Schlefter, and more.

Backstory Books:  Davey Cadaver will have his work on display at the used bookstore and yarn shop. Cadaver’s illustrations are featured in the popular book, Coffee Monsters, which also happens to be sold at the shop. (4-8 pm)


Flat Blak Gallery

Outlier Gallery:  We don’t know where the mobile gallery (OG) will be parked, but the featured work of Alison Dougherty will definitely be worth checking out.

Bar Carlo:  The work of Jadene Mayla is currently on display, or so we think. Her art is based on ancient Egyptian principles of physics. If not, still go have a drink and buy a record.

Wild at Heart Salon:  The work of Delaney Renee will be on display at Wild at Heart, which celebrates feminism and the body. Stop in while you visit neighboring Latchkey, Flat Blak and Backstory Books. (4-8 pm)

Fourth Anniversary Celebration at NWIPA
It’s hard to believe NWIPA has called Foster home for four years. We’ve seen many celebrations at the bottle shop, whether tastings, tap takeovers or pop-up food events, but nothing quite takes the cake like their anniversary parties. We can only imagine what their fourth go-around will be like.

Here’s what we do know: Beer, food and music. More specifically, celebrate from noon to midnight with commemorative glassware, $4 pours ($2 half-pours) all night, new NDUBS t-shirts, several new collaboration IPAs, food from Chicken and Guns (from 4-9 pm) and live music by Fuzz Gun (from 8-10 pm). Sounds like a good way to begin and end your Foster art walking.

Taste of Latinoamerica at Portland Mercado
The second annual Taste of Latinoamerica is a celebration of Latin food and culture. And though it might be hard to imagine the Portland Mercado being even more festive than it already is, it will. Oh, it will. Imagine even more food vendors–25!– from Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean Islands; live music (bands and DJs); dancing; art; and kids’ activities. Now imagine a warm September afternoon, a family-friendly and diverse community, and you have all the makings of a beautiful and festive day. (Noon until 8 pm)

And if the day weren’t festive enough already….


* We acknowledge that more events may be happening this weekend, and perhaps there are more Second Saturday venues we forgot. Get out and explore, and feel free to share what we missed in our comments section. 

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Foster Streetscape Plan gets updated timeline

As we mentioned in last Friday’s post, the Foster Transportation and Streetscape Project is at 60% design. While that’s nearly two-thirds of the way to completing design work, we assumed that the amount of work left made it unlikely  construction on the project would start at the beginning of 2017. Fortunately, just as fear of other delays–or worse–started to set in, PBOT’s project manager for the Streetscape Project, Rich Newlands, left a comment with an update.

Here’s what we posted last week:

“…we’ll venture a guess that the Foster Transportation and Streetscape Project will not see a start to construction at the beginning of 2017 as expected. It could…and we hope it does. But at a recent PBOT-hosted bike ride through the neighborhood, one of the guides said that design/engineering was only at 60%, which means there’s still a ways to go before projects can even be put out to bid. (The PBOT update in March stated they were finalizing design/engineering then, which may suggest things haven’t progressed much in the last several months.) Perhaps someone with more knowledge of these matters can chime in, though. We’d love to be wrong, especially with the sudden increase in injury and fatality on our city streets. The good news: it’s now called a project, not a plan.”

Indeed, traffic safety appears to be a rising concern. Pedestrians, bicyclists and auto drivers should all be able to safely coexist on our city streets. That is not happening right now, and a reconfigured Foster will go a long way toward calming traffic, making pedestrian crossing safer and easier, and allowing bikes to now share the road.

Here’s what Mr. Newlands said in regards to the current timeline:

“Rich Newlands here, PBOT project manager for the Foster Streetscape Project. While the project is indeed just about at 60% design, we still anticipate construction in Spring of 2017. A new twist is a paving project for Foster east of 82nd Ave, funded by the recently passed street fee, which we’ve been working on coordination with. It may push our schedule a bit, but still construction next year.”

Assuming there are no other delays, it appears we can safely say that construction will start within a six-month-ish time frame. For those that were involved with initial planning of the project nearly 14 years ago, it would seem to be surreal that implementation will actually happen in just a handful of months. Fingers crossed…

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Bar Carlo Shines, Bob White Fades Into the Night

We’ll just start off with this juxtaposition: two new paint jobs and a night-and-day difference in energy.

As many of you already know, Bar Carlo has gone from rad brunch spot, restaurant and bar to rad brunch spot, restaurant, bar AND record store. Peep game if you haven’t already:

But Bar Carlo didn’t just stop at the addition of records (and dj booth and display racks and listening station), they’ve redone their dining space, swapped in new tables, and added a snazzy paint job to mark their radness.

Meanwhile, next door, and to the point of this posting, we see a much different take on  making ones mark with paint. The former Bob White Theater has not only lost its marquee in the last couple months, but it’s now been painted over along with the rest of the building. The sheer, all-black coat of paint could be the sign of renovations to come—who knows. We won’t proclaim to know the future of the space. (And we’ll definitely be optimistically open minded.) But in the meantime, we know this: the theater was bought and sold, went from theater and performance space to car storage facility, and now the building is semi-unrecognizable. It’s like a once-theater wrapped in a Batman suit.

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Happy Weekend, Foster People!

Welcome to autumn! Not really, but kinda. It sure feels like we’re getting a head start on cooler and wetter weather, just as we did on warmer and drier weather earlier this spring. As the climate changes around us, find comfort in the constant that is Foster–the bars are constant, the funky shops are constant, the grime and ever-hopeful energy is constant too. We say this: enjoy the Foster we all know now while you can–something tells us that next year will bring many changes to the strip.

Here are your weekend tidbits…

– Speaking of change, we’ll venture a guess that the Foster Transportation and Streetscape Project will not see a start to construction at the beginning of 2017 as expected. It could…and we hope it does. But at a recent PBOT-hosted bike ride through the neighborhood, one of the guides said that design/engineering was only at 60%, which means there’s still a ways to go before projects can even be put out to bid. (The PBOT update in March stated they were finalizing design/engineering then, which may suggest things haven’t progressed much in the last several months.) Perhaps someone with more knowledge of these matters can chime in, though. We’d love to be wrong, especially with the sudden increase in injury and fatality on our city streets. The good news: it’s now called a project, not a plan.

– On a positive note, we may see Bread and Roses Market open before the end of the year. The market-to-be will be occupying the former Softipper Dart space next door to NWIPA. Their presence should add some convenience for neighbors who would prefer to walk somewhere locally for fresh food and grocery items, plus add some vibrancy and pedestrian energy to that stretch of Foster.

– In other news, the car dealership at 7337 SE Foster, across the street from A-Boy Plumbing and their own lot full of cars, appears to be slated for construction of a new dental building. There is no timeline for this project.

– And finally, one more piece of local business news: the search for a permanent home for Red Castle continues. They have no plans of leaving their current location anytime soon, but they do hope to buy their own space when the opportunity arises. Unfortunately, their attempt to buy the former auto shop and surrounding property at 6050 SE Foster fell through. As we mentioned last month, a deal was in the works for Red Castle to purchase the property pending no major environmental issues. It appears as if the cost of cleanup would be too great, and thus the search continues. We imagine the property will be back on the market soon enough. In the meantime, Red Castle will operate as normal in their current location.

– Don’t forget, for those looking for a family-friendly happy hour, Pieper Cafe knocks $1.00 off beer, wine, and some of their food items between 4 and 6 p.m. Fridays.

– Lastly, next Saturday will be September’s installment of Foster’s Second Saturday Art Walk. We’ll have more info for you early next week, but you should start by putting it on your calendar. It will also mark NWIPA’s Fourth Anniversary, so prepare to celebrate with them too.

– Here’s your weekend entertainment:
Starday Tavern- Buzz Holland Band (6 pm) and Starday Sessions with Audioelectronic//Mark Pharaoh//Simon Howlett (9 pm), Frday; Livy Conner (6 pm) and Penalty Kick (9 pm), Saturday
Darling Press- First Friday and One Year Anniversary Retrospective Art Show, 7-10 p.m.

Let us know what else is going on. Have a safe weekend, all.

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Springwater Cleanup Has Begun

The Oregonian recently published a map of city-wide complaints logged about homelessness, specifically outdoor camping.

No doubt, these complaints span the entire city and seem to have taken on crisis proportions, especially in light of today’s sweep of the Springwater Corridor. It’s a sensitive topic for those impacted by the issue, and it seemingly touches everyone these days—whether you are houseless and looking for a safe place to sleep, own a home and perceive outdoor camping to negatively impact your quality of life, or work for the city or social service agency and can’t wrap your head around a solution. And in between, there are many, many other views.

We won’t take a stance, other than to state the obvious: homelessness is a product of many things, but economics, housing and city policy have converged to make it a particularly messy situation that is not going away any time soon. So the question, then, is where is everyone going to go who currently lives along the Springwater Corridor?

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Why do we ask this?

The Springwater Corridor is in our backyard. It crosses Foster and intersects a few of the neighborhoods that surround us. We are not so far away that we are immune to the impact the Springwater issue presents. And as the map the Oregonian published notes, our neighborhood has a high rate of reporting outdoor camping. Plus, this is a humanitarian issue that impacts everyone.

No doubt, as the camps along the Springwater are closed and people forced to move along, hundreds will be looking for new digs. And just as we’ve seen in our own neighborhood, busting up camps doesn’t necessarily solve the problem. The former Busy Bee property at SE 51st and Foster is a good example, where weeks of neighbors’ complaints finally led to the property owner fencing the vacant lot. While the encampment is no longer, peoples’ belongings were simply moved to the sidewalk, where they are still lining the adjacent street. This is only a microcosm of the Springwater issue, where campers will simply disperse to nearby areas, many of which will be in residential and commercial neighborhoods.

So as the sweeps move forward today, its impact will reach beyond the Springwater and touch the city as a whole. Meanwhile, the houseless will continue to search for a place to lay their tents and belongings. But where?

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