Herald Square | 385 Congress St | Portland

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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Cosakita18

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Head from a source that part of 385 Congress St. will be 8-9 stories. Should be seeing renderings before the end of the year.
 

Max

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I was looking at Boulos' annual market outlook and was interested to see on p. 15 under downtown development they already have under "Proposed" -- 385 CONGRESS STREET 460,000 SF mixed-use development. Office, hotel, residential, retail, & covered parking.

I haven't seen any official proposal but it sounds like the plans must be pretty far along and well known in the development community. 460,000 sq feet is a big development!

 

Cosakita18

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I was looking at Boulos' annual market outlook and was interested to see on p. 15 under downtown development they already have under "Proposed" -- 385 CONGRESS STREET 460,000 SF mixed-use development. Office, hotel, residential, retail, & covered parking.

I haven't seen any official proposal but it sounds like the plans must be pretty far along and well known in the development community. 460,000 sq feet is a big development!

I'm hearing 9-10 stories for some segments. Initially I had been told there would be a public reveal in December, but maybe that got pushed back a couple of months.

I don't know who the architect for this project is, so I'm not sure if the design will follow what is on the Archetype website
 

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Work crews were on the former Gannett site on Congress Street today conducting soil boring tests which is a positive sign that something is in the works.
 

Cosakita18

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Work crews were on the former Gannett site on Congress Street today conducting soil boring tests which is a positive sign that something is in the works.
385 Congress? I think a lot of the preliminary geotechnical work was done well over a year ago. I assume that plans are basically finalized at this point.
 

Portcity75

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Work crews were on the former Gannett site on Congress Street today conducting soil boring tests which is a positive sign that something is in the works.
Funny, I came on to post that I saw it too. One of drill boring companies
 

Max

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Kind of an interesting set of documents posted on the city's self service portal today regarding 385 Congress. The developers appear to be proposing a zoning amendment that would allow for some sort of elderly housing. It also appears there is a purchase and sale agreement in progress, with the buyer being Senior Care Development LLC: http://www.seniorcaredevelopment.com/projects.php

I wonder if plans for this site are changing from what the Boulos' Market Report described as a "460,000 SF mixed-use development of office, hotel, residential, retail, & covered parking."

 

Max

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Kind of an interesting set of documents posted on the city's self service portal today regarding 385 Congress. The developers appear to be proposing a zoning amendment that would allow for some sort of elderly housing. It also appears there is a purchase and sale agreement in progress, with the buyer being Senior Care Development LLC: http://www.seniorcaredevelopment.com/projects.php

I wonder if plans for this site are changing from what the Boulos' Market Report described as a "460,000 SF mixed-use development of office, hotel, residential, retail, & covered parking."

During last night's Planning Board hearing, developers of 385 Congress Street appeared as part of a request for a zoning amendment to the B3 zone to include certain kinds of congregate care facilities. There were no renderings or any real description of the potential development, but it was described as "A large mixed-use development consisting of 3 separate development 'pads,' one of which would be an assisted / senior living congregate care facility."
 

PortlandLifeGuy

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Master Development Plan finally submitted for 385 Congress. Anyone have info on this? Says 400 units. Must be large.
 

TC_zoid

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Master Development Plan finally submitted for 385 Congress. Anyone have info on this? Says 400 units. Must be large.
Careful with this city service link. I tried to download something from this a few weeks ago and corrupted my laptop hard drive. Is there a way to confirm all is legit with this link?
 

Max

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From the basic information on there, which matches what has been hinted at previously by the developers, it looks like they're proposing 3 buildings, with 436 residential units and 147 hotel rooms and about 500 parking spaces. Gotta imagine at least one of the buildings will be 8-10 stories. We also know they requested a zoning change to allow "congregate care" facilities. My sense is that it'll probably be something like a luxury retirement community or a downtown Piper Shores type of thing... you know, old people with money.

Can't wait to see some renderings!
 

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I'm looking forward to finally seeing some substance and renderings involving this project but I'm struggling to understand the congregate care vision at this location. I'm envisioning a downtown version of The Park Danforth that is located on outer Forest Avenue?
 
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Cosakita18

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Interesting to see they seem to have eliminated the proposed office space. Originally it was something like 40-50,000 sq. ft of office space according to last years Maine Market Outlook. Not surprised office is out though given COVID and WFH.
 

Max

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Bunch of documents were uploaded to the self-service site recently. Master development plan includes a 14-story senior/congregate care building, a 13-story hotel and a 12-story condominium building. Below is the only exterior rendering I could find. All I can say is ... wowza!

It will be interesting to see how this unfolds, whether the site is actually developed with something resembling this plan, or whether this post ultimately finds a home under the "Failed Projects" thread...


Screen Shot 2021-03-16 at 8.53.13 PM.png



Screen Shot 2021-03-16 at 8.59.22 PM.png
 

Portcity75

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Whoa, that’s serious stuff. And 18 story Redfern kind of eases the fear of all those that panic about height. Man, I don’t wanna be the we don’t need more hotel guys..... but we have a lot of hotels
 

Dr. StrangeHat

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Man, I don’t wanna be the we don’t need more hotel guys..... but we have a lot of hotels
The thing about hotels, though, is that they can get financed easier than a residential project, and then can be easily transformed into a residential project at a later date.
 

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