Foster’s Second Saturday Art Walk set to tackle a cold, wet December

First, it was spring. Then the artists and galleries and nearby businesses plugged through the summer with their eclectic mix of art, crafts, live music, and drinks and snacks. Now, Foster’s Second Saturday Art Walk is set to enter the winter months, with only slight signs of slowing down for the season. Out for the month, possibly, are a couple of venues, but we’re seeing more action at Foster Row with showings at Darling Press, the Champagne Room, and Foster Row’s official Open Studios showing.

If you’re up for braving the wet and cold this Saturday—and you should—here’s what’s in store:

BenWill Gallery will be hosting Betwixt, featuring the work of BenWill and NLarissa. Southern North will be performing live music and hosting and open mic, too. Along with food and drink, and discounted art for those that attend, this should be a fun showing. 6-9 pm; 4533 SE 67th Ave.

Flat Blak Gallery will be revealing original works of several artists who have added their interpretive stylings to the work of renowned sports photographer, Tal Roberts. The showing, dubbed Layersshould be an interesting addition to the art walk. 5-8 pm; 6006 SE Foster Road.

Champagneroom_yas_edit.pngFoster Row is joining the Second Saturday festivities with Open Studios. Several makers and small businesses will be participating, making for a good opportunity for some Holiday shopping. There will be snacks and drinks, as well as music from DJ Big Booty Judy. 5-8 pm; 5300 SE Foster.

As part of Foster Row’s opening, Darling Press Studio and the Champagne Room will be participating, too.
Darling Press will be hosting April Coppini, who will be featuring her charcoal drawings in the studio. 5-9 pm in the Foster Row building.
Champagne Room Gallery, also inside Foster Row, will be building off the success of their first showing last month, Yes A Stripper. This month they’ll be revisiting some of the same works by artists in Portland’s dancer community, as well as new art, and live drawings from Kathleen Boudwin. Yes A Stripper – Holiday Soiree runs from 6-8 pm.

We’ll assume Latchkey Gallery will be open for Second Saturday, too. And, as always, you’ll find art on display at Bar Carlo, NWIPA, and O’Malley’s.

If you know of any other art happenings this Saturday, feel free to share.

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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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Happy Weekend, Foster People!

We’re in the final month of 2016. I can’t tell if that’s a good thing yet; there’s a lot of uncertainty as we head into 2017. But for now, in our little corner of Southeast Portland, time tends to stand still. Refreshingly so, sometimes. You can count on the standard dose of live music this weekend, brunch, happy hour, dinner, a little Tango, and plenty of shopping at our rad and eclectic mix of small businesses.

Here are your weekend tidbits…

– Change can be slow-going on Foster, but when it does happen, it seems to come in waves. Case in point–this week we noted the following development on Foster: in addition to the expected openings of Off The Griddle restaurant, Bread and Roses Market, and Futpool Portland, Saint Frank’s music is morphing into Volume Bomb Records and Guitars; Foster is slated for a four-story, 33-unit mixed-use development next door to Speedboat Coffee and where Busy Bee Cleaners once was; it was also revealed that Steelhead Architecture is seeking a change-of-use designation for the Paldo Market space, where it appears there may be plans for a restaurant and brewery.

– Let’s not forget that there’s a 30-unit apartment building currently under construction just off of Foster at SE 58th and Boise, and the YMCA building at SE 60th has long been rumored to be in line for redevelopment with the addition of 50+ units of housing. When it rains it pours!

– Now that we’re in December, and since the collective urge is to buy stuff for the next few weeks, it’s not too early to start planning your holiday shopping around our neighborhood business district. We’ll have more on that later, but for the book lovers out there, there’s a special event at NWIPA this Sunday bringing together local publishers, authors and, of course, beer. Books and Beer will take place this Sunday, from 2 – 5 p.m. The event will be hosted by Overcup Press, and will feature books crossing several genres—for beer lovers, kids, travelers, those into the arts, and more. Authors will be signing books, too. More info here.

– Bar Carlo is kicking off the first of many afternoon of good food, drinks, and a curation of music from local DJs. This Sunday brings us DJ Anjali & the Incredible Kid along with Indian influenced food and drink specials. Sunday, 1 – 4 p.m.

– Speaking of regular shows, Alder Manning will be at Portland Mercado Monday evening (8 – 9:30) for Music Night.

– Carts on Foster is doing something a little different this Saturday. But surely you all will be able to find reason to indulge. All the carts will be preparing chocolate-inspired treats for the day in an event dubbed Chocolate Ala Cart. Not that you need an excuse to eat chocolate, but here’s a teaser: Road Runner BBQ will have chocolate bacon on the menu. Indulging starts at 11 a.m. and runs through 5 p.m. Enjoy! There will be beer pairings available, too.

Events and happenings:
Performance Works NW: A Turbulence of Muses. December 2 – 4, 8:00 pm
Starday Tavern: Buzz Holland Happy Hour Band w/Paula Sinclair (6 pm) and The Redeemed w/Jeffrey Trapp (9 pm), Friday; La Rivera (6 pm) and Sarah Gwen (9 pm), Saturday
Carts on Foster: Chocolate Ala Cart, Saturday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.
NWIPA: Books and Beer, Sunday from 2 – 5 p.m.
Bar Carlo: DJ Anjali & the Incredible Kid, Sunday from 1 – 4 p.m
Portland Mercado: Music Night w/Alder Manning, Monday from 8 – 9:30 p.m.

Enjoy the weekend, folks!

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Restaurant and brewery in the works for Foster?

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Could this be the location of a future restaurant and brewery?

We don’t mean to excite you all prematurely. Nor do we want to celebrate the potential demise of a long-time business and fixture on Foster.

But….

Restaurant and brewery, y’all.

Maybe.

We’re only making an educated guess based on a recent early assistance intake, whereas the city’s Bureau of Development Services lists a change-of-use application for the property currently known as Paldo Market (at 6112 SE Foster). And while it would be a shame to lose a neighborhood market, especially one that offers a diverse mix of cheap snacks, Korean fare, and other assorted grocery items, we figured some of you may delight in the thought of another place to eat, drink, and be merry. Many would miss paldoPaldo Market if, indeed, they make way for a new concept in the space—count us in  that camp—but this property has been for sale and/or lease several times at various points in the last few years, so it’s no surprise a change may be in the works. It would be a sad goodbye to a uniquely Foster business, but a restaurant and brewery could be a nice score, too.

We shall see.

This comes at a time when several new businesses are set to open up and down Foster, as we pointed out yesterday. It’s also worth noting that a large commercial space is for lease next door, where Winly Cash and Carry most recently operated (and a mattress store before that, and Blockbuster Video before that). And with new residential and commercial construction on the way, perhaps the pace of change may be faster than we anticipated.

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City of Portland, BDS

With that being said, we only have the above documentation as source for our rumor mongering, so take from it what you will…

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Another mixed-use development on Foster inches closer to reality

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72Foster — Holst Architecture

Foster may very well be growing up, figuratively and literally.

It was just a few weeks ago that Holst Architecture presented plans for their four-story, mixed-use affordable housing project slated for development at SE 72nd and Foster. Barely more than a week before that, construction was already underway several blocks west, where a three-story, thirty-unit apartment building will rise just behind 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu at SE 58th and Foster. Combined, 131 units of housing and commercial space will be added to the corridor.

The addition of housing on Foster is a good thing. People will inevitably worry about parking, more traffic, and the character of the neighborhood being forever changed. All valid concerns. However, we are experiencing a housing crisis, and more housing in the neighborhood should help ease the historic rise of rent both locally and city-wide. Housing along the corridor, too, should make for a more vibrant and sustainable community. Yes, it’ll change the landscape quite a bit. But remember, we still have a lot of vacant/dilapidated buildings, old historic structures, auto shops, and absentee property owners that will prevent a large-scale transformation over night. In other words, we can still enjoy the grimy Foster that we all love and adore for a little while longer…while also enjoying an influx of new housing and an increasingly vibrant commercial strip.

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Commercial Building Permit Intake–City of Portland, Bureua of Development Services 

To that end, we can now expect the total number of units built on the western stretch of Foster to increase by 33. In addition to the 131 units already under construction or close to it, we’ve learned that the vacant lot at 5045 SE Foster is one step closer to development. As we’ve noted before, the former Busy Bee Cleaners lot has been slated for development for
over a year (when Busy Bee was demolished and rumors started floating around.) After receiviScreen Shot 2016-11-29 at 7.45.25 AM.pngng early assistance from the city back in April, the developers have finally submitted commercial building permits, and we have a few more details about plans for the lot. Bremik Construction will be the builder for the project, and plans call for four stories of mixed-use development; three stories and 33 units of housing will sit atop a single floor of retail space at ground level. A rooftop deck is also part of the plans.

This project will presumably be market rate, and will take advantage of its proximity to multiple bus lines that pass nearby, as well the north/south bikeway along SE 50th. Speedboat Coffee, nextdoor, should be a big beneficiary of this project.

There is no timeline attached to this proposal, and we’re not sure how quick the turnaround is between permit intakes and their issue. But we do know it brings to 164 the number of units in the near-term pipeline for Foster. Stay tuned for more…

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Catching Up…

Here we are, nearly two weeks since our last post, finally discovering the time needed to blog. We hope you all had an over-indulgent Thanksgiving; it’s good to do sometimes.

In catching up a bit, we see that the Bob White Theater curiously remains inactive, but continue to hope there are cool things happening inside. With that being said, we can at least look forward to the opening of three new businesses in the near future: Off The Griddle, Futpool Portland, and Bread & Roses Market.

Off The Griddle is the restaurant-to-be (and once famous food cart) set to open in the former Double Treble space at 6526 SE Foster. (Folks may better remember the location from the Gemini Lounge days, or its revolving cast of bars prior to that.) Here’s what we know about Off The Griddle—it was once a popular food cart that specialized in veggie/vegan burgers; their band of loyal followers have waited nearly three years for the “OTG Burger” to return (since the cart’s closing in 2013); the owners, who live in the neighborhood, run the successful A.N.D. Cafe on 54th and Burnside; and, according to an OLCC liquor license application, there will be booze and outdoor seating. Also, we repeat: this is a new restaurant on Foster!

IMG_3611We also have a community market in the works, as Bread & Roses Market continues to make progress toward its opening. There hasn’t been a lot of obvious movement, but we do know the proprietor is building/assembling/designing everything mostly on his own, save for improvements that require professional contracting. Although progress has come slow on the space—it was originally expected to be open by summer’s end—we do know that there is, indeed, progress. In fact, the most recent permits pulled for the space indicate a new bathroom being installed, as well as a deli and dining counter. We’re eager to have this addition in the neighborhood.

A few blocks up the road, soccer fans should soon be able to delight in a new recreation (and bar?) space. We wrote about Futpool Portland a few weeks ago, and it sounds like build-out of the space continues to move forward. We’ll have more info on this later.

In other news and calendar-worthy happenings, Foster’s second annual holiday tree lighting is scheduled for this Tuesday (11/29) at Laurelwood Park. Festivities run from 6 – 8 p.m. and will feature none other than Twiggy, the non-denominational, three-foot, traveling and fake tree. This is a fun family-friendly event, even if a bit short on tree for the lighting ceremony.

imageAnd finally, one other bit of business-related news: Saint Frank’s Music, the new/used guitar store operating next to Hallowed Halls in the Wikman Building (at SE 64th and Holgate) is expanding their business. In addition to musical equipment, the space will now be selling records and art. There will be some small renovations to the space, too, which will include a new listening station for the record cotnnesiour. This is good news, as Foster has quickly become a destination point for record collectors—in addition to Variety Shop, and Green Noise, Bar Carlo recently started selling records too. The addition of art, too, should only strengthen the neighborhood’s growing art scene…and perhaps they’ll participate in the monthly art walk that took hold this year.

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