‘Vitality’ sought by Foster Road business leaders

Take a look, and see how the volunteer leaders of the Foster Area Business Association plan to add more vitality to their district …

Here at Carts on Foster, the Foster Area Business Association holds its annual meeting.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Members and guests of the Foster Area Business Association (FABA) met in the “Pod Bar” at Carts on Foster on the evening of January 27 to share plans, and to develop ideas for bettering their business district.

Those attending the meeting sampled food and snacks provided by cart vendors, as they introduced themselves to one another.

FABA may benefit from new programs, Venture Portland’s Grants and Communications Coordinator Jacob Falkinburg says.

During the brief formal meeting, Venture Portland Grants and Communications Coordinator Jacob Falkinburg said that the City-backed support organization received $100,000 for what is being called the “East Portland Pilot Project”. “This is project is to increase capacity for East Portland business districts that have been overlooked for so long, and are not part of the Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative zone.”

For organizations like FABA, the pilot project will give them some “staff time” to promote membership, and help writing grant applications and implementing various projects. “It is for whatever they decide will boost their membership, and generate revenue within the district for the businesses,” Falkinburg explained to the group.

Members and guests listen to presentations during the FABA Annual Meeting.

“We are looking to see the Foster Road Streetscape Plan go forward,” said incoming FABA president Matthew Micetic of Red Castle Games.

“We are encouraged to see new businesses continue to come into the district,” Micetic told East Portland News. “And we hope to capture some of that new energy that these businesses bring, and channel it to help create positive change for the district.

FABA Directors for 2015 are President Matthew Micetic from Red Castle Games; Vice President Steve Woolard of Cars on Foster; Treasurer-Secretary Laura Kropft from Steve Turmell Designs and immediate Past President Kristin O’Neill of Knockout Words.

He and his partner decided to open their business on SE Foster Road initially because of the inexpensive commercial rent, Micetic said. “And, this area has been very good to us, and that is why we’re expanding here. This area has the demographic of young people and young families, making it the place where we want to be.”

For the most part business owners and managers in the area tell him that they feel positive about the area, Micetic added. “You can see it with the new businesses coming in; that Foster Road is a good place to be. I think in another eight to ten years it will, at least, be as desirable areas of SE Division Street.”

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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