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"Vitality" sought by Foster Road business leaders

Photo Credit: DAVID F. ASHTON - The Foster Area Business Association Directors for 2015 are President Matthew Micetic from Red Castle Games; Vice President Steve Woolard of Carts on Foster; Treasurer-Secretary Laura Kropft from Steve Turmell Designs, and immediate Past President Kristin ONeill of Knockout Words. Members and guests of the Foster Area Business Association (FABA) met in the “Pod Bar” at HYPERLINK "www.facebook.com/CartsOnFoster" 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.

During the brief formal meeting that followed, Venture Portland Grants and Communications Coordinator Jacob Falkinburg told the group that that city-backed support organization has 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,” Falkinburg went on.

For organizations like FABA, the pilot project would 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.

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

“We are encouraged to see new businesses continue to come into the district,” Micetic told THE BEE after the meeting, “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.”

He and his partner originally decided to open Red Castle Games on S.E. Foster Road because of the inexpensive commercial rent there, Micetic said. “But, this area has been very good to us, and that is why we’re now expanding here. This area has 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 are telling him that they feel positive about the Foster Road business climate, 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 as areas of S.E. Division Street are now.”

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