Portland, ME - New Construction Continued

PWMFlyer

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It was announced today that Brian Boru is closing, my intuition is telling me that the block has been sold to a developer. Portland Square? The person that owns the pub also owns the parking lot across the street from Boru's...stay tuned..
 

Max

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Great shot Corey! Site work on the hotel portion of the development should be starting any day now. I also noticed some of the vertical stuff is starting to be apparent over at the Verdante work site this weekend.
 

Portlander

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Wouldn't it be nice if 511 Congress Street (pictured) was half the width and twice the height. It would then be very close in height and appearance to Hampshire Plaza in Manchester.
 

TC_zoid

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He has quite the telephoto lens for these shots. They always seem to make Portland look bigger and more dynamic than it is. Portland is the 104th biggest metro area in the U.S., so significant in population. It's bigger than Manchester, NH and Halifax, N.S. The true measure of how big a city is, is by its metro area population. Otherwise, El Paso, Texas is bigger than Boston, and nearly twice as big as Miami! Ever been to El Paso? It's all about how you draw the city lines. (Portland only has 21 square miles of city land.)
 

Portlander

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^ And it's the 75th largest CSA (Combined Statistical Area) in the country with a population of 643,000. Portland's 108 mile distance from Boston has allowed it historically to maintain is presence as a regional hub where Manchester, Worcester and Lowell/Lawrence are too close to Boston to warrant a CSA status. Even Providence falls under Boston's larger metropolitan count. Bangor also benefits from it's 132 mile distance from Portland which really expands it's role as the primary service center for central and northern Maine and gives it more clout than it's population (33,000) would normally dictate.
 

Cosakita18

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He has quite the telephoto lens for these shots. They always seem to make Portland look bigger and more dynamic than it is. Portland is the 104th biggest metro area in the U.S., so significant in population. It's bigger than Manchester, NH and Halifax, N.S. The true measure of how big a city is, is by its metro area population. Otherwise, El Paso, Texas is bigger than Boston, and nearly twice as big as Miami! Ever been to El Paso? It's all about how you draw the city lines. (Portland only has 21 square miles of city land.)
I would also argue that Portland "punches above its weight" overall. The institutions and businesses that are here, and its status as a seaport and transportation hub, make it the most important city in Northern New England. Manchester and Nashua, though technically larger, really just feel like big suburbs. Also, look at the overall rate of development between Portland and Manchester-Nashua. There is virtually nothing going on in the 2 "largest" cities in this region, compared to Portland which is constantly evolving.
 

Seanflynn78

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I agree with you guys. I was in Lubbock Texas and the population is about 200k. But the downtown commerce wasn't even close to Portland, more like downtown Brattleboro with a few 15-25 stories buildings. Plus the culture of west Texas is fairly blah. Buddy Holly museum is nice but the rest revolves around Texas Tech.
I really hope Portland can squeeze in a few 20 story buildings in the next 10 years. Plus a new 12k seat arena should compliment the old Port in the next 15 years. Hopefully they can get a minor AHL hockey team back in Portland.
 

markhb

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^ And it's the 75th largest CSA (Combined Statistical Area) in the country with a population of 643,000. Portland's 108 mile distance from Boston has allowed it historically to maintain is presence as a regional hub where Manchester, Worcester and Lowell/Lawrence are too close to Boston to warrant a CSA status. Even Providence falls under Boston's larger metropolitan count. Bangor also benefits from it's 132 mile distance from Portland which really expands it's role as the primary service center for central and northern Maine and gives it more clout than it's population (33,000) would normally dictate.
(It took me a moment to figure out that "reply" is how you quote posts...)

That 643,000 is tricky, though, because the Census Bureau uses entire counties for those, which means that Portland's brings in places like Arrowic, Harrison and Parsonsfield... none of which likely think of themselves as "Greater Portland" (in fact they might consider "them's fightin' words!") Portland still has a lot of office space from the era before interstate bank consolidation; but that and the loss of the Unum HQ has really impacted vacancy rates. I'd love it if the city paid more attention to the Class A office tower sector (loosely referred to as "people who wear ties to work"), but it barely rated a mention in the Comprehensive Plan.
 

Portlander

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^ Yes, 643,000 is a big number and Portland's CSA also includes Lewiston Auburn in the count but it's no different than the extended geographical boundaries used for every city that warrants a CSA. I agree that Harrison and other outlying towns may not consider themselves part of Greater Portland, but Portland is their primary service center when it comes to courts, transportation, employment, social services, entertainment, medical, government, museums, retail, etc. The census bureau makes the determination that if an individual from Harrison would require these type of services what larger city would they utilize. I have an uncle that lives in Harrison and another uncle in Casco and their families both choose Portland over Concord, Lewiston, Bangor or Manchester. And they always get stressed when they do occasionally visit Portland because it's busy with traffic, paid parking, too many people and one way streets which always amuses me. In my opinion, an MSA (smaller footprint) is a more accurate count of what determines a "greater" boundary for all cities. For Portland (535,000) that would include Biddeford/Saco to the south and Brunswick to the north but not the Lewiston/Auburn area.
 
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Cosakita18

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keep an eye out for site plans for Portland Foreside. Definitely looks like they are getting ready to build (or re-build) starting in the near future.
 

Portlander

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Article today in Mainebiz involving office vacancy rates in Greater Portland mentioned a new mixed-use development at 385 Congress Street. Project is set to potentially include 100,000 square feet of new Class A office space. This is the lot beside City Hall that currently has the former Press Herald printing plant that is currently being used for storage. I wonder if the past renderings of a 10 story "off white" structure from the same site is close to what may be eventually proposed? Would be a welcome addition to Congress Street and the eastern end of Portland's skyline.
 
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Cosakita18

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Article today in Mainebiz involving office vacancy rates in Greater Portland mentioned a new mixed-use development at 385 Congress Street. Project is set to potentially include 100,000 square feet of new Class A office space. This is the lot beside City Hall that currently has the former Press Herald printing plant that is currently being used for storage. I wonder if the past renderings of a 10 story "off white" structure from the same site is close to what may be eventually proposed? Would be a welcome addition to Congress Street and the eastern end of Portland's skyline.
Interesting lead! It's about time that lot saw some action. 100,000 sq.ft would probably be 4-5 stories worth of office space (by comparison, the WEX building is 110,000 sq.ft ) but they did say "mixed use" so it could potentially be one part of a larger structure. That parcel is zoned for 150 feet, so it would be a real shame if it ended up as a bunch of stubby 5-6 story buildings. Can't wait to learn more!
 
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Max

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I've heard that the new owners of the Time & Temp building have told remaining tenants to be out of the building by year's end (except for TD Bank, which apparently will remain). Supposedly the plan for the building is that the top two floors will become luxury condos, the bulk of the building will be turned into a hotel, and the sloping interior area will be returned to something like the indoor arcade it was when the building first opened. Again, this is just what I've heard from an existing tenant, I haven't seen any official proposals or plans filed with the city.
 

Cosakita18

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I've heard that the new owners of the Time & Temp building have told remaining tenants to be out of the building by year's end (except for TD Bank, which apparently will remain). Supposedly the plan for the building is that the top two floors will become luxury condos, the bulk of the building will be turned into a hotel, and the sloping interior area will be returned to something like the indoor arcade it was when the building first opened. Again, this is just what I've heard from an existing tenant, I haven't seen any official proposals or plans filed with the city.
Too bad it's going to be another hotel, that would be a perfect building for above-market-rate and market-rate rentals, our housing market is becoming ridiculously tight, and another hotel is really the last thing we need.
 

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