The Best of Lents

LPDCIn case you missed it, the most recent Willamette Week featured a scathing review of the PDC’s performance in Lents when it comes to the success of urban renewal efforts. In “Razed and Confused,” they explored a list of failure after failure of misplaced priorities, what they call the “Cockroach Plaza”, and half-baked, half-executed ideas. The article is eye opening to the challenges of the last 15 years.

But in their effort to slam the PDC, I worry that they’ve inadvertently included Lents itself in the line of fire. In truth, there is a lot of good happening in Lents, and almost all of it was left out of the WWEEK narrative. The following list is meant to highlight some of the great things that have happened in Lents.


OliversOliver’s Cafe

A friendly joint to get breakfast on the weekend is the kind of thing most Porland neighborhoods take for granted – but for Lents, it was a key missing service for the longest time. Oliver’s Cafe has filled the void nicely, offering no-nonsense breakfast in a bright and airy cafe atmosphere.

FloodplainThe Foster Floodplain

If it hadn’t been finished last year, no doubt the Foster Floodplain would have made it under the WW’s crosshairs. The project iself had its challenges: trying to relocate a neighborhood of single family homes to make floodplains is like moving a mountain. But they finally succeeded, and not only will Foster Road and adjacent businesses stay open in the next heavy rain, we now have a pleasant trail, stream and natural area to enjoy.

LIFMThe Lents International Farmers Market

2013 was the best year ever in the history of the Lents International Farmers Market. Zenger Farm has tried hard to raise the bar each year that they’ve been running it, and it has worked. Come for the beer garden, stay for the music.

 lents-community-tool-library-1The Community Tool Library

Growing larger and stronger every month is the Green Lents Community Tool Library. The hand and electric tool lending library has boldly stepped up to serve mid-outer SE Portland. Open Wednesday evening and Saturday morning in their space off 92nd & Ramona St, check out their online catalog of tools in anticipation of your weekend projects.

EEThe Eagle Eye

Look at the image to the left. Seriously. Click on it and see it in full size glory. That’s Riley’s on the top, the old bar on 92nd Ave. Some people mourned it’s loss when it changed hands into Erin Wagner’s capable hands, but I doubt anyone is mourning now. The Eagle Eye has finally grown into it’s spacious shoes over the last year, and there is no doubt the Lents of 2014 wouldn’t be the same without it.


Share in the excitement of 2014 with Foster area  groups, organizations and neighbors.

Saturday February 15th, from 1 – 4 pm at Fruit Face – 92nd & Foster – Share on Facebook



    • Thanks Laura. that document is pretty awesome, I wish all neighborhoods had something like that.

  1. Thanks for this article. It’s great to see all the cool things that are happening in Lents!

  2. Yes and no on the article in WW. I think is was eye opening and informative to what has gone on in Lents. Maybe it will open the eyes of the public and developers as to all of the vacant property in Lents that is ready for new businesses. Yes they slammed PDC for spending so much money on failed businesses but PDC has done allot of good for Lents. The future is bright for Lents and it will grow but I think a parking lot might help people that want to walk around Lents and enjoy the few businesses that it does have.

  3. Everyone is touting Oliver’s Café for filling a void in the area. But does anyone know the history of how this café was created? No PDC funds were used in the development of the original café. As the economy tanked and the café owners did everything financially possible to keep going; yet still they received no PDC funding. Eventually they had sell at a major personal loss. In the end, the owners of the Lents Town Center One building are now the owners of the café. Did anyone ever look into the dealings between PDC and the owners of the Lents Town Center One? What happened to the plans for a second building that was to feature retail and residential space; helping the newly created businesses in the first building to “feed” off and help support the newly established businesses located in the first building. Yet you never see any criticism in articles about PDC with regards to their decisions and funding/business dealings with Assurety NW. Just another question someone should be finding answers to the public about.

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