Moving to the Foster-Powell Neighborhood in SE PDX? Here’s What You Need to Know

Foster-Powell: A Southeast Portland Neighborhood of Tradition and Growth

Beginning at the intersection of Foster and Powell on SE 50th street, you enter a neighborhood that balances tradition and loyalty in the face of Portland’s shifting cultural and economic backdrop. The Foster-Powell neighborhood, characterized by working class grit and family-run establishments, is definitely on the rise and remains a neighborhood to watch.

So what exactly is the draw for this particular PDX area? Diverse and straightforward in nature, the neighborhood embraces change while honoring its southeast roots. Read on to find out what you need to know as a potential homebuyer in the FO-PO neighborhood.

Increasing Livability in Foster-Powell

Foster and Powell have long been highly trafficked streets, with commuters and residents occupying both stretches of road throughout the day, but the landscape is changing. Recent city and neighborhood initiatives advocate for increased pedestrian and bike safety, and a good portion of Foster between 52nd and 82nd is slated to change from a four-lane thoroughfare to a two-lane road that incorporates bike lanes on each side.

Local Foster-Powell resident Brad Lee weighed in on the proposed changes, voicing many residents’ mixed reception of the idea: “in one way, the change could be an asset, helping promote bike culture and safety for residents, and in another way, it increases congestion in a city that’s already struggling to keep up with its population growth.”

Regardless of whether or not the proposed changes take place, the Foster-Powell neighborhood is already attracting new residents. According to a recent Redfin study, the Foster-Powell neighborhood ranks as the most desirable neighborhood in Portland for 2016.

When it comes to buying in the area, Rachel Freed, Principal Broker and Co-Owner of Portland-based boutique real estate agency Urban Nest, notes that buyers “can still get relatively good values in FoPo, and certainly more bang for your buck than something near Hawthorne or Division.” For locals, this may come as no surprise. She adds, “With the neighborhood continuing to improve, buying into Foster-Powell is buying into the future of Portland real estate.”

Less impacted by spiking rent and home costs, the median sales price for a home in the Foster-Powell area remains comparatively low at around $290,500. One Portland real estate agent shared that the neighborhood is “just a few miles from the center of downtown but remains one of the more affordable parts of inner Portland, making it highly desirable.” While the budget price point has garnered attraction, Foster-Powell holds other intriguing qualities new residents should consider.

For buyers considering buying or renting a property in the neighborhood, Freed says, “There are good potential rental homes that are still affordable and our principal broker for Urban Nest's commercial division Workspace (Eli Haworth), believes that the cost of commercial real estate in Foster-Powell is still affordable for people wanting to invest.” But with so much attention on Portland, and prices for real estate continuing to rise, that may not be the case for much longer.

Foster-Powell: Strong Community Roots

The Foster-Powell neighborhood is entrenched in community. For starters, the Mt. Scott Community Center, off 72nd and Foster, is a prime example of the strong family and community values established in the area.

Inside the center, you’ll find locals enjoying amenities that include a basketball court, weight room, swimming pool, kids pool, and even a skating rink in the basement. A great alternative to a corporate gym, the Mt. Scott Community Center promotes activity for youth by offering everything from open swim to classes that range from dance to arts and crafts. A couple added bonuses: the building is adjacent to a park, and if you search around, you can find historic photos of the building’s former boxing room days.

Additional evidence of strong community roots in the Foster-Powell neighborhood can be found in the loyal customer-base found at family-owned restaurants and dive bars. Patrons have been returning to Starday Tavern for years to play piano every week; O'Malley's is a watering hole complete with wood-fire pizza. For true local recommendations, delve into the neighborhood blog here.

A Growing Food Mecca in SE Portland

But the food scene in the Foster-Powell neighborhood doesn’t end with beloved dive bars, as the neighborhood is experiencing a revitalization that has brought attention to new and old food joints alike. Recent additions to the neighborhood include two food cart pods, the Mercado, Henry Higgins bagels, and Road Runner BBQ.

Weighing in on the neighborhood amenities, real estate agent Rachel Freed again notes, “People are excited to move to FoPo. You know a place has arrived when the food cart pod moves in! Just check the selection of cool carts on SE 52nd and Foster; the neighborhood is a great place to buy and to live.”

Other restaurants in the Foster-Powell neighborhood often evade trendy guidebook mentions, but are equally notable. Steakadelphia, a chesesteak haven, has been praised by acclaimed local chef Laura Rhoman (from Muscadine), who claims, “I really haven't found a comparable cheesesteak in town.”

And with the neighborhood’s bustling Asian-American community, many of the grocery storefronts double as seafood restaurants. Tim Itami, a local coach whose family owns and runs an establishment in the Foster-Powell neighborhood, shared that the best seafood in the city can be found on Foster or Powell. Recommendations from us: try Best Baguette or Rose VL next time you’re in the neighborhood.

FO-PO: A PDX Neighborhood on the Cusp of Change

While Foster-Powell retains its strong community spirit, the neighborhood is not resilient to change. As Portland grows and adapts, Foster-Powell will shift in tandem. But one thing is for sure: if you’re going to watch this city change for the better and you’re looking to buy your first home, this is definitely an area to watch.

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