Neighbors mull Foster Corridor questions at open house

Learn what took place at the “last” Foster Corridor Investment Strategy open house meeting before the next one, scheduled for June 4 …

In the main lobby of the Wikman Building, attendees eat dinner, while others speak with representatives of government agencies, as the third “and final” Foster Corridor Investment Strategy Open House begins.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
When what the third and final “Foster Corridor Investment Strategy” open house was held on February 28, more than 70 people came to participate in the meeting held at the Wikman Building, located at 4420 SE 64th Avenue.

Provided as refreshments were a variety of delicious tamales, and guests noshed on them as they browsed exhibit stations set up by many City and Multnomah County agencies.

Along with others from the Bureau, City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services Johnson Creek Watershed Manager Maggie Skenderian (center) introduces herself at the meeting.

“This is a multi-agency effort to take a look at the needs and interests out here, along the SE Foster Road corridor,” explained Portland Development Commissioner (PDC) Neighborhood Manager Sara King.

“These Bureaus, along with PDC and Foster Green, are looking for ways that as a community that we can solve some of the safety, environmental, and economic development issues out here,” King told East Portland News while folks found seats for the formal meeting.

“Tonight, we have several proposals that have been developed along with the community,” explained King. “This is a chance to show the progress to date, and get some final comments.”

Potential types of projects that had been reviewed included:

  • Commercial property energy retrofit program;
  • Traffic safety and streetscape improvements on Foster Road (52nd – 82nd Avenue section);
  • Integrated capital improvement plan for infrastructure;
  • Small scale projects that can be implemented immediately by community groups, such as improvements to Laurelwood Park and local alleyways.


The stated goal of the project selected is to “Develop a sustainable infrastructure and neighborhood-based job creation strategy to guide stakeholders and investors.”

Facilitator Tony DeFalco leads the discussion, while PDC Senior Project Manager Kevin A. Cronin looks on.

The facilitator, Tony DeFalco, started the meeting by pointing out, “Financial development – with sustainability – directs the activity.”

Showing a graph on a PowerPoint presentation displaying three intersecting circles – labeled “Equity”, Economic Prosperity”, and “Environment” – DeFalco continued,  “It is the sweet spot in the middle of the three circles on the slide that is what we’re looking toward.

“We’re working to get all folks involved with a match-up of the resources, benefits, and opportunities,” DeFalco went on.

The project was funded mostly by a $250,000 Community Planning Grant from Metro, but the PDC also chipped in $50,000 from Tax Increment Financing, and there was a $50,000 Capital Improvement Fund investment by the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services.

Although this was the last “open house” scheduled to be held in outer East Portland, King conceded, “There may be another meeting dealing with specific projects or issues.”

Neighbors, businesspeople, and government Bureau representatives listen to the presentation at the last “Foster Corridor Investment Strategy” open house.

Open House #4 scheduled for June 4
Apparently, the “last” Foster Corridor Investment Strategy Open House has not yet occurred, after all. Their next (perhaps really final) meeting is from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on June 4.

Interested people are invited to review the Integrated West Foster Strategy and the Integrated East Foster Strategy. Attendees will also have the opportunity to learn about and comment on the Foster Road Transportation and Streetscape Plan, including cross sections, crossing improvements, and streetscape improvements.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is working with community members to update the 2003 Foster Road Transportation and Streetscape Plan prior to investing $3.25 million on Foster Road from Powell to 90th Ave.

> It’s taking place at Junior Achievement, 7830 SE Foster Rd.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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