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.

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Ne Si’Ka Pay What You Can Restaurant Planned in Lents

A unique new “pay what you can” food concept is hoping to call Lents home (a previously reported here on FosterUnited.) Organizers are busy with fundraising and gathering equipment, and there are a couple opportunities for interested neighbors to help bring this vision to reality. We sat down with Director of Operations/General Manager James Layton to find out more about what we can expect on the ground.

Location

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Lents: The Brand

coverThey say “image is everything,” and it no secret that the image of Foster neighborhoods is less than ideal. For years we’ve been known a F****y Flats, and shaking off that nickname is easier said than done. Well, the Lents the Lents Town Center business group is trying to do something about it: rebrand.

Their new name: LENTS GROWN (more…)

The New Face of Fruit on Foster

FSB

Finally, something is happening with the corner spot of 92nd Ave Row, and man, does it taste great. A juice bar named Fruit Face has opened, and its first few weeks have found a favorable crowd with the sunny weather and farmers market across the street. Think of it like the local Lents version of Jamba Juice.

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Lents Town Center Unveils Its New Look

ltc_dedication_4Residents and dignitaries gathered Sunday morning to dedicate the new streetscape improvements in the Lents Town Center, improvements that should make the area more hospitable to pedestrians and businesses.

“Great cities are great places to walk, and the City has an obligation to make the whole city a great place to walk.” – Portland Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick

The group included Portland City Councilmember Steve Novick, State Representative Jeff Reardon, PDC Executive Director Patrick Quinton, and many city bureau staffers as well as many local businesspeople and representatives of the Lents Neighborhood Association and the Lents Town Center Urban Renewal Advisory Committee. (more…)

Open House Overload

Foster Corridor Investment Strategy Open House #2

DATE: Wednesday, October 10, 2012

LOCATION: Lents Masonic Lodge, 5811 SE 92nd Ave

TIME: DOORS ARE OPEN – 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM; PROGRAM STARTS – 5:45 PM

I know what you’re thinking, “Another Open House?! I just went to one the other day and sat on my ass eating cheap Costco party food.” (more…)

Fund the New Lents Park

Special Feature: The bottom of this post contains an interactive form to send your support straight to to the City Commissioner. Reading this post is great, but pressing the submit button is even better. Together, the Foster area can be a force for change in our neighborhoods.

Portland Parks and Rec is preparing to ask the citizens of Portland to pass a Bond measure in 2013 to fund future park services. I’m not going to get into a discussion of the merits of increased taxation, but I am going to advocate for making sure Foster get’s a piece of the action if a bond does pass.

Lents Park is a nice park. It is a massive 38 acres large, filled with sports fields, jogging paths, an event gazebo, a community garden, and more. Over the years it has been the host to Lents Founders Day, countless sports matches, and was the location for two Movies in the Park showings over the summer. Lents Park is nice today; but with the newly minted master plan (illustrated below), Lents park is going to be even better! (more…)

The Success of Neighborhood Branding on Foster; Challenges Still Exist

Many Foster-area neighborhoods have boosted their identities through branding and the use of logos.  But what about Foster Road as a whole?

Branding is, no doubt, a key component to a thriving commercial district.  A recent article by Neighborhood Notes, part of a series on changing perceptions of your neighborhood and/or business district, discusses how neighborhood groups can go about launching their brand while also engaging the community and creating identity.

In past articles, the series has covered how to address negative perceptions of your neighborhood, as well as ways to overcome and change those perceptions through branding.  As we’ve seen in the Lents Town Center, logos can go a long way in creating a brand, and the LTC logo has a strong ability to connect a visual cue to the area it represents.  Other neighborhoods along Foster have had varying degrees of success with their branding, while others continue to strive for a stronger identity.

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