Foster Road to get its “gateway” in new mixed-use project

Within a year’s time, Foster Road very well could see the construction of its long-anticipated Streetscape Project, as well as the addition of three, four-story mixed-use projects that’ll add a combined 188 units of housing to the corridor between SE 50th and SE 72nd.

It wasn’t long ago that a new bar or coffee shop was big news. Now large-scale projects may be the flavor du jour. Over the last couple weeks, we’ve shared updates on two such projects—72Foster, across the street from Portland Mercado, and the YMCA rebuild, which will include housing as part of the development.


Busy Bee Cleaners had an unceremonious ending, and, perhaps, somewhat ominous demise

Now, a third comes into focus: a Foster housing and retail project that’ll combine for a four-story development on the lot once occupied Busy Bee Cleaners. And while Busy Bee once joined forces with the Burger King across the street to inform drivers of what kind of neighborhood Foster would guide them through, a new landmark will now indicate what and where the neighborhood is heading. According to the architects of the project, Scott / Edwards Architecture, the mixed-use building will serve as “gateway to this rapidly growing neighborhood.”

As proposed, the development will include 33 units of housing above ground-floor retail space. While this does not sound like a large project—the 72nd and Foster will have 101 units, they YMCA adds 54—the location and design may be the more significant components. If there was a location in the neighborhood that more emphasized Foster’s mostly car-centric past, we’d be shocked. This stretch of Foster breaks off of SE Powell, a state highway, and is quickly received by a fast food restaurant with large parking lot and drive-through; the post office has a sorting center here; Speedboat Coffee once catered to the hoards of driversby with a drive-up window (before a dispute with a neighboring business); and the two-block triangle is bordered in by SE 52nd, which is perpetually backed up.


Foster’s changing landscape, as rendered by Scott/Edwards Architecture.

Now, there will be something that says, “People live here.” And it’ll look nice, too. Say what you want about the prototypical Portland mixed-use project—four floors, retail space on bottom, and a fancy but uninspiring and generic facade—but there’s something to be said about a diversity of architectural styles. And this project will add diversity to the corridor, if not a “gateway” that the architects intend. It will also part with the neighborhood’s car-centric past, too, by minimizing parking to 16 spots. This may scare some, but it does well to take advantage of major bus lines and bikeways that run near that intersection.

How the changes impact the overall character of the neighborhood will remain to be seen (though, some can safely speculate). But at the very least, Foster is starting to put a small dent in the city’s housing crisis.

RIP Busy Bee. RIP Old Foster.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Happy Weekend, Foster People!

Somehow, someway, we’re back to rain and 50-degree temperatures. Not sure how this happened; last week was so promising. Don’t let the weather keep you home, though. Foster has art, happy hours, and music aplenty this weekend. Oh, and happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there—we appreciate all that you do….always (143)!

Here are your weekend tidbits…

– Just barely outside the neighborhood bounds, a vegan and artisanal, hand-crafted doughnut shop has made an unlikely neighbor of 7-11, a check-cashing spot, a dispensary, and a fetish-lingerie store at SE 82nd and Powell. Your baker’s dozen may cost you a pretty penny, but the goods is tasty. Welcome to the neighborhood, Doe Donuts.

– It appears that the race for the neighborhood’s first large-scale mixed-use development will be won at the corner of SE 72nd and Foster, just across the street from Portland Mercado. As we mentioned yesterday, the project has been submitted for permitting and review. And if all goes according to plan, construction of 72Foster will begin in August. Sometime after that, we expect to see movement on the rebuild and mixed-use development of the YMCA site at 6036 SE Foster, as well as the four-story apartment and retail building that will occupy the former Busy Bee Cleaners lot at 51st and Foster.

– The commercial strip along Foster at SE 69th continues to evolve. Not long after Futpool Portland opened shop, it appears SMART Collective, the skateboard / apparel shop and all-ages music venue, will be moving from its current location mid-summer (their Facebook page says by July 1). We won’t get too sad just yet, as we’re crossing our fingers they stick around in the neighborhood.

– Second Saturday Foster Art Walk is this weekend. Make it happen, folks. Here’s the lineup (as we know it…you may have to dig a little bit for more details and/or other venues):
Po’ Boy Art and Framing- Brad Klausen art opening, 2-8 pm; several artists and vendors; DJ Joel Bender; beer and snacks
Latchkey Gallery- Jocelyn Barrett pop-up show, 4-8 pm
Flat Blak- May Day / Organized Chaos, 6-9 pm; works by Yannick Hamon and Jack Graydon
Backstory Books- Spontaneous / Methodical, art by Rachel Mulder, 4-8 pm
NWIPA- Earth and Sky, photography by Helen Croy, 5-11 pm

– And here’s some other entertainment for your weekend pleasure:
SMART Collective- Divers/Paper Thin/Longclaw/Puppy Breath benefit show for undocumented families, 7-10 pm, Friday; Jenny Vu SMART Collective board release party, Sunday at 3 pm
Starday Tavern- Texadrine w/Billy Kennedy (6 pm) and Reverse Cowboy (9 pm), Friday; Radio Phoenix, Saturday at 9 pm

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

72Foster Cometh

As follow-up to our post earlier this week, in which we mentioned the status of two mixed-use developments planned for the neighborhood, we thought we’d update the timeline for one of those two projects.

As per REACH Community Development, the developer behind the project at 72nd and Foster, permits have been submitted and are under review. Those permits are anticipated to be received by the City in June or July, with construction to begin in August.

The scope of the project remains relatively unchanged from earlier proposals: the four-story building will have 101 units of affordable housing; 8,300 square-feet of commercial space; 35 parking spots; a landscaped courtyard.

Here’s a project description from REACH:
     “Vibrant communities are at risk when high rents fracture community bonds. In an effort to keep diverse communities together, 72Foster is a new mixed-use housing community located in Southeast Portland.
     “The building will have 101 residential units and 8,300 SF of ground floor retail space. Designed as an intergenerational, mixed-use building, REACH will partner with Asian Health & Services Center (AHSC) to address the un-met housing needs of low-income households within the most concentrated Asian American population in Oregon. AHSC will also provide resident services for this property.”

And a few rendering from the architect, Holst Architecture:


72Foster, NE corner — Holst Architecture


72Foster, NW corner — Holst Architecture


72Foster, inner courtyard — Holst Architecture

It’s notable that the Foster corridor will be getting a much needed influx of housing. And, too, the addition of 101 affordable units will help stem some of the demographic shift the neighborhood is currently experiencing. To achieve this with good design and a mix of uses should be a benefit to the neighborhood and Foster corridor.

For those interested, there will be a final community meeting hosted by the developer and architect before project construction. We’ll share details when we get them.


Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments

News and happenings…

Let’s review some of the goings-on in the neighborhood after a week-long lull:

– We’ve got gyros, y’all! Ok, the neighborhood is not technically new to gyros—we have Gyro House on SE 82nd, and El Sultan food cart once made an attempt at blending their Mexican fare with the Mediterranean favorite. But a dedicated storefront to gyros, shawarma, kebob, falafel, and other middle eastern fare? Fuhgettaboutit! Welcome to the neighborhood, Ishtar Gate! The mostly-take-out restaurant now occupies the former Tacos Chavez space at 5222 SE Foster.

Screen Shot 2017-05-07 at 7.43.55 PM.png– As we shared recently, Raven Ink Tattoo is no longer operating in the space next to Da Hui. And, in fact, the building, which also includes the tailor shop next door, is for sale. And while we’ve seen million-dollar properties hit the market recently on Foster, this space may be a little more affordable for those looking to set up shop in the neighborhood. According to the real estate listing, the property at 6514 SE Foster is on the market for $429,000. Less than half a million for prime space in the “Heart of Foster?” Not too shabby. The question is: who’s gonna get it first….

– In other real estate news, the proposal to redevelop the YMCA property at 6036 SE Foster has been approved (with conditions) by the city’s Bureau of Development Services. We’re not sure what the next steps are, but it would appear Foster is one step closer to seeing much needed housing built along the corridor. And for those that haven’t been following, here’s our most recent post on the project.


City of Portland Archives — Here’s what the once vacant lot used to look like at 72nd and Foster (from Firland Parkway–Maple Leaf would be to the right)

– And a little further east on Foster, another large-scale development is under permit review. The 72F project is inching closer to fruition, and the neighborhood will net 101 affordable housing units and 10,000 square-feet of retail space as a result. This should round out the transformation of SE 72nd and Foster, kissing goodbye to the last remnants of the former Metro Auto Wholesale operation and vacant lots that tarnished the history of this intersection. (For shits and giggles, here’s the lone Yelp review of Metro Auto Wholesale.)

– And finally, Second Saturday Foster Art Walk is this weekend. We’ll have a follow-up post on this later in the week, but you should probably just go ahead and include the art walk in your Saturday plans. If the weather’s good, even better. This is a fun way to stop in to some art galleries that open specifically for this event; support neighborhood businesses; and show some love for the Foster arts scene.


Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Happy Weekend, Foster People!

Here we are, the last weekend in April and a third of the way through 2017. Yowza. Time really flies when shrouded in gray and wet. Hopefully this weekend brings the weather-change needed for our collective mental and emotional well being.

Here are your weekend tidbits…

– We noted several months ago that the former Paldo Market space was slated for a remodel and change-in-use to become a restaurant and brewery. It was a couple months later that New School Beer confirmed the plans by including the hypothetical “Foster Brewery” as one it’s most anticipated new breweries in 2017. And if anyone wants double confirmation, Steelhead Architecture has the brewery listed on its “projects” page. Now, in the last week alone, we’ve heard from three different people who have  some of the work being done inside the space or heard from those doing the work that the space will, indeed, become a brewery. We don’t know much more than that, but, sadness over Paldo’s departure not withstanding, it’s pretty exciting.

– Next door to Paldo Market, changes may be afoot in the 7-11 and former Winly’s Cash & Carry space. The building is for sale and, as we noted earlier in the week, it comes with a hefty price tag. As expensive as it may be, there’s 42,000 square-feet of Foster-fronting commercial space available. With a brewery now slated to go in next door, a mixed-use apartment building and new childcare facility set to replace the YMCA two doors down, and the Foster Streetscape (kinda) coming closer to reality, perhaps the cost is not that much.

– For those who have looked forward to marching in or spectating the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade the last decade, it appears there’ll be a break in the tradition this year. The event has been cancelled due to reasons we’re not even interested in getting in to. We’ll simply blame this on our current political climate, as well as the people that now feel emboldened to display hate toward their fellow humans.

– We often talk about the art galleries that participate in Foster’s Second Saturday Art Walk. But we haven’t given Volume Bomb, the guitar, art and record shop located inside the Wikman Building, their propers for contributing to the art scene in the neighborhood. Their collection is not for the faint of heart, but we applaud them pushing the arts. Check ’em out…and get some musical equipment and records, too.

– The Foster-Powell and Mt. Scott-Arleta joint neighborhood cleanup is next Saturday. Time to get rid of all your junk. More info here.

Here’s your weekend entertainment:
Starday Tavern- Lucas Benoit (6 pm) and Soul Night! (9 pm), Friday; Buttercup/Pistol Whiplash/Happy Little Trees, Saturday at 9 pm; BLEND w/Albondigas & Friends, Sunday at 9 pm
Performance Works NW- Appalachian Spring Break, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.
SMART Collective- Ruined It/Kick It/Dead Country/P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S., Saturday at 7 p.m.
NWIPA- Fluffy IPA Can Release, Friday at 6 p.m.

Enjoy the weekend, y’all…

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Another Foster commercial space goes on the market

Here it is, folks, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: an opportunity to spend $2.75 million on Foster-fronting commercial space. And by space, we mean 42,000 square-feet of it.

It’s not a blank slate. It’s not even historic or with some aesthetic appeal. Nor does it scream ‘potential.’ But if you like strip plazas, are keen on having 7-11 as a tenant/neighbor, and can stand to part with a few million bucks, we’ve got a property for you.


Google Maps — 6144 SE Foster

According to LoopNet, 6144 SE Foster is for sale. And with a whopping $2.75 million price tag, you should come with some grand ideas. Or at least ideas that don’t involve bulk food-buying, mattresses, or a bankrupt movie rental business (RIP Blockbuster). Yes, Winly’s Cash & Carry, Sleep World and Blockbuster Video, have all made a home in this space over the last several years. None, obviously, have stuck around.

Here’s where you and your $2.75 million can make a difference.

Want some ideas?

Places to eat are typically well received in this neighborhood. So are alternatives to convenience stores and Fred Meyer. Foster could use a community bank. A nursery would be nice, too, since 7 Dee’s is closing nearby. A compact, three-lane bowling alley and bar? I’d even be happy to see a resurrection of New Copper Penny, fully intact with disco dance floor. The options are endless, really; it’s just the price tag that may be a hurdle.


Renderings of a once-proposed renovation to 6144 SE Foster

We’re not sure what a potential sale means for the renovations that were planned for the  building, as we discussed in December. Nor do we know for certain if the whole building is for sale, or just the unoccupied portion (though, at 42,000 square-feet, we’ll presume it’s the entire building). It’s interesting to note, too, that the former Paldo Market space (according to Portland Maps) recently sold to a new owner. Combined, there’s a lot of Foster property exchanging hands. What becomes of them remains to be seen.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments