83 Middle St | CHOM Affordable Housing | Portland

Cosakita18

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6-story, 50 unit affordable housing project for age 55+ .Plans submitted on 4/06/20



Conceptual-building-proposal-Middle-Street-1-1024x723.jpg
 
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Max

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A couple updated renderings of this proposal in the materials for this week's Housing Cmte meeting. Looks like they've lopped a floor off.

This would basically create a building wall along Franklin from Middle to Congress, which is great but it makes me wonder about any potential impacts on a redesign of Franklin Street. Seems to me that by building right up to the sidewalk on Franklin they're sort of ensuring that the street boundary is going to stay right there. If the idea is that the street is going to be narrowed and the shoulders broadened and opened up for development, I don't see how that happens when you've got buildings right up to the current sidewalk line (and hanging over it, in the case of Verdante).


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Portlander

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Max, last I heard that end of Franklin Street would only receive cosmetic improvements and a new intersection to reconnect Newbury Street. The major potion of the project was going to impact Marginal Way up to Cumberland Ave where there is ample width to work with. Funding is the issue and we'll see if anything actually gets done in the next 5 years. Thanks for the new renderings, the design looks much better even with a lopped off floor : )
 

Cosakita18

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The Franklin St. frontage reminds me a lot of Avesta's 409 Cumberland

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cneal

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There's still a lot of excess right-of-way for that section of Franklin (which would go down to two lanes – that section gets a similar amount of traffic as Pearl and India Streets).

But yes, if the east side gets built out like this, then most of that excess ROW will by default go to the landowners on the west side – which happen to be the city (police station) and the county (which owns the parking lot next to the courthouse).

Given how MaineDOT's budget is an absolute mess – they're facing annual, increasing shortfalls from gas taxes, and relying on bailouts from the state's general fund – making a narrower Franklin Street happen sooner than later is really in their best interests.
 

PortlandLifeGuy

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its been downgraded to a 5 story, 50 unit structure.
 

DanielPWM19

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It's too bad this has been downgraded to a 5-story building. Maybe Bangor Savings can sell their parking lot and re-route their drive through to allow a space for another building. Without any offense to anyone, I would love to see Tomaso's (and the green lot next to it) replaced with a neighborhood sized building. Next fill in the lots next to 59 and 47 Middle Street.
 

GIL

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I think this proposed design needs a more cohesive facade along Franklin Street — more like the original sketch. The revised design looks like it’s trying to hide In plain sight by wearing three different “masks.” The building at the corner of Forest and Cumberland only proved that boxy design feature doesn’t work.
 

Max

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It appears prep work has begun at this site. If not on the actual building lot itself, then perhaps on the street/sidewalk or utilities. In any case there's a bunch of equipment at the site and Middle Street is closed off and dug up in front of Eventide.
 

Max

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It looks like work has begun in earnest on this project. I walked by there earlier and they've got the perimeter fenced off and some machinery on site. It does make me giggle a bit that most owners of south-facing units of the Luminato are going to find their views significantly altered by an affordable housing development. I guess it proves the old adage that a view is never guaranteed.
 

Cosakita18

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I personally like seeing affordable housing wedged in between high-end condos and prestigious restaurants. Mixed-income neighborhoods are a lot more sustainable and this is a great location for affordable units.
 

MartinS

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I was looking at the latest approved plans for this building on the Portland CSS site, and it appeared to me that this is only 4 floors now. The elevations from May 27, 2020 show 5 floors, where as the ones from September 23, 2021 show 4. If this is the case, we're looking at a 2 floor reduction on this one.

its been downgraded to a 5 story, 50 unit structure.
 

DanielPWM19

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I was looking at the latest approved plans for this building on the Portland CSS site, and it appeared to me that this is only 4 floors now. The elevations from May 27, 2020 show 5 floors, where as the ones from September 23, 2021 show 4. If this is the case, we're looking at a 2 floor reduction on this one.
What a waste.
 

Cosakita18

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That seems to be the case. Community Housing of Maine updated the rendering on their website

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Dr. StrangeHat

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I wonder if the engineering still supports adding additional floors at a later date once construction costs come back to earth?
 

Cosakita18

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I think in pretty much any instance, retrofitting new levels onto an inhabited building would be more costly than building it in one phase, even if building materials were substantially cheaper.

I think we're left with a 4 story building unfortunately.
 

TC_zoid

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Question. If one is a property owner in Portland (as I am), why would you want more housing? Isn't that greater supply of which translates to lower housing prices and rental incomes? (Increased property taxes don't significantly balance it out.) I think this is what is happening, or a part of the motivation other than over development. But the latter is a relative term, or with Portland, that is. At a minimum, these multi-family structures should all be six stories. I think Portland is the best investment out there. And when Roux and the new USM finish their projects, perhaps it will get another boost. I've noticed small and mid-sized cities with big universities handle recessions quite well (Cambridge, MA, and Austin, TX do or did). Onward and upward, please.
 
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