Portland Bayside


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May 25, 2006
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Thought this might need it's own thread with all the stuff about to go on down there.

Whole Foods has it's signs on at night now and it really looks good. The whole building looks great. It is supposed to open up a month early, now in Feb.

Right across the street they have dug up the land to start construction on phase one of Pearl Place. The second part will be the market rate condos. The first part is mixed use housing. I would hope for condos first but I guess those will be easier to sell once the other stuff has actually gone in and it looks like a liveable neighborhood.

With all the approvals done, I'm sure Intermed, student housing and Miss Portland Diner will all start rather soon.
This is king of the forum speaking, there is already a bayside thread! :wink:
You know, I looked through the two pages first and didn't see one. Let me go check again so I can feel like an ass.
Dammit Patrick, it was too long. I didn't see the word Bayside at the end of it. Trickery indeed.
Maybe if you spent all day on-line, you wouldn't have let this very important thread slip past your eyes. I suggest you quit working, stop associating with the outside world, and keep your eyes peeled like a hawk for any new threads, lest we have a repeat incident! :shock:

either thread works for me. maybe a new one would help clean it up a bit.
this should spice things up a bit in the hood.

Is that the part that is going in now? I think so because the next phase is 8 or 9 stories I think.
grittys457 said:
Is that the part that is going in now? I think so because the next phase is 8 or 9 stories I think.

I think this is the first phase, with the see-through part in the picture (behind the building) to go in phase two.
Thought you guys might like my response to this numnuts Thomas who is always bitching on the pressherald site. What a weenie. Read his post at the bottom first.

Dominic of Portland, ME
Jan 9, 2007 1:29 PM
Thomas, if I didn't live in this city I would assume you were joking. Since I live here, I know that you and many like you exist and thrive here.

You are right. I don't think we should support this new company that just put a 15 million dollar investmest next to housing projects and scrap yards. As your buddy Al Gore says, "How dare they!". And I don't like this hiring 200 people business either. Pay starting at ten bucks. Why work for that when you could walk up two blocks to Preble street and get everything you need for free?

And this has me thinking of a new campaign. I'm going to start a website telling people in every other state to boycott L.L. Bean. Why are they not spending their money locally instead of throwing away their money to these rich CEO's in Vacationland. Keep Des Moines local, that's what I say.

"In West Hartford, Conn., for instance, a Whole Foods Market opened a year ago next to a major development project. Since then, a bookstore, clothing outlet and restaurant have joined other retailers to increase the area's draw as a shopping destination."

Wow, I do not want this in Bayside. Marginal Way is one of the top attractions in the eastern U.S. and they simply cannot handle any more major developments like this.

You won me over Tommy. You had me at drain dollars.....you had me at drain dollars.

Thomas of Deering Center, ME
Jan 9, 2007 10:14 AM
They're still a giant out-of-state chain that willl drain dollars away from Maine to the benefit of Texas. Funny how the organic sector is being embraced by the mega corporations now that it's the one which is growing while conventional sales are flat. Fingers crossed that they will still carry local products once they are in the new building.

City drops offer to buy scrap yard
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By KELLEY BOUCHARD, Staff Writer Portland Press Herald Thursday, February 1, 2007

Portland officials are taking a new tack with a scrap-metal recycling business that has rebuffed their efforts to move it out of the burgeoning Bayside neighborhood.
City officials have given E. Perry Iron & Metal until March 3 to accept a final offer of as much as $1 million in federal funding to defray the cost of moving the scrap yard from Lancaster and Pearl streets to another site.
Lee Urban and Jack Lufkin, the city's chief negotiators, said the city no longer plans to buy or take E. Perry's property by eminent domain.
They said the city had offered as much as $1.8 million to buy E. Perry's two-acre site and pay relocation costs. Now, the going price for land in Bayside is about $1 million per acre, which is more than the city can afford, Lufkin said.
"It's too rich for our blood and we have other priorities," said Lufkin, Portland's economic development director. "We'll give them $1 million to relocate. They can sell the land or redevelop it themselves."
State law prohibits a public entity from taking private land for the purpose of selling it to another private owner. That means land cannot be taken by eminent domain solely for economic development purposes. City officials said that taking E. Perry's land would have limited its use to a public purpose, such as a park, and hobbled the city's redevelopment plans for Bayside.
The city is trying to redevelop six acres of former railroad land on Somerset Street in Bayside, a highly visible downtown district that's bounded by Interstate 295, Forest Avenue and Franklin Arterial.
In addition, several commercial and residential projects are planned or under way, including Pearl Place Apartments, which is under construction at Oxford and Pearl streets, and a Whole Foods Market, which is due to open this month at Franklin Arterial and Pearl Street. Both overlook E. Perry's scrap yard.
Alan Lerman, E. Perry's owner, said he has received the city's Jan. 17 letter making the $1 million final offer and is considering his response. He said he has no suitable site for relocation, including land he owns in Scarborough. He also said he believes his relocation costs would be well over $1 million.
Lufkin said the city still hopes to reach an agreement with E. Perry for the sake of all Bayside property owners. "If we're unsuccessful in relocating Alan Lerman, it may ultimately hurt everyone's property values," he said.
He said if Lerman doesn't accept the $1 million, which the city received from the federal government for Bayside revitalization, then the city may use it to develop a parking garage.
The city has tried for years to move two scrap yards, E. Perry and New England Metal Recycling, out of Bayside. With their industrial fencing, mounds of rusting metal and heavy truck traffic, the scrap yards were "the single most inhibiting factor to the successful redevelopment of Bayside," according to a report issued in 2000.
New England Metal is on track to move to 13 acres at 636 Riverside St. by 2008, Lufkin said. The city gave that company $1 million for relocation costs and $645,000 for less than one acre on Somerset Street, where the city is developing the parking garage.
The City Council decided in December 2005 to spend $5 million for 53 acres owned by Lucas Tree Experts off Riverside Street, to provide a place for both scrap yards and Portland's public works facilities.
When negotiations with E. Perry faltered, city officials said, they decided to sell the 13 acres to New England Metal. At the time, Lerman said he was cut out of the deal.
This week, the Legislature's Natural Resources Committee voted 13-0 to kill a bill that would have blocked New England Metal's move to Riverside Street.
The bill was sponsored by Rep. Charles Harlow, D-Portland, who represents the Riverside neighborhood. It would have prevented junk, scrap metal, vehicles or other solid waste from being placed in or within 1,000 feet of inland or tidal waters.The bill would have excluded the entire Lucas Tree site from use by New England Metal, city officials said. That land, near Exit 48 of the Maine Turnpike, is on the banks of the Presumpscot River.
City officials said they opposed Harlow's bill because Portland recently passed stricter, more detailed regulations for scrap yards, which E. Perry is challenging in court. Before the legislative committee voted, Harlow said he didn't expect the bill to pass.
"The Riverton community is very upset with the scrap yard going in there," he said. "If it doesn't pass, it doesn't pass. It's just the right thing to do."
Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at:

Reader comments

Mike of portland, ME
Feb 1, 2007 4:52 PM
Love it when someone sticks it to the City! Now lets tear down the "Arts District" and get some real businesses there.

Mike of portland, ME
Feb 1, 2007 4:52 PM
Love it when someone sticks it to the City! Now lets tear down the "Arts District" and get some real businesses there.

Jim of Gray, ME
Feb 1, 2007 1:48 PM
I think the deal will get done...and I commend the city. Perry wants to play hardball? I say call his bluff. If it is really that important to stay on Bayside instead of Riverside then the city is wasting resources negotiating a moot point. If Perry is bluffing, which I think they are...they will snatch up the money, move out and sell the site for $2 millon an acre. Putting a drop dead date on it is the best thing they have done since negotiations started. Things should start moving finally. Think about it...what "cost" is there to moving? You have to move the scale house and heavy equipment. Maybe $100,000. The steel gets moved Portsmouth for shipment, and that was going to happen anyway. Just send all new incoming shipments to Riverside. As far as Jake007 goes....Sorry, you live in an industrial area and this is industry.

Julie Benjamin of Falmouth, ME
Feb 1, 2007 12:54 PM
The city official's have lost their minds. I think Perry's should close up for a little bit and let all the scrap iron build up around the city and see how dirty the city would be. They are doing the city a favor by being there at their site. It more convient for everyone no one is going to drive to scarborough to dump their iron and even Riverside is a drive for these trucks. They have been there forever and the City of Portland needs to realize that the upcoming "Bayside" area is for the low income people to live so what do they need to look at anything nice for. They are living there for free and us taxpayers are paying for them to do that. Why dont they focus on something better and leave the business's to work. Besides that was zoned industrial to begin with and you cant pay someone to do something you want them to do when you cant even put your money where your mouth is. Further more if they keep it up they wont have a city because everyone will take their business elsewhere. How about they focus on getting themselves out of office because they are doing a lousy job.
_Chris_ of Portland, ME
Feb 1, 2007 12:50 PM
They scrap yard has many large trucks parked on Lancaster St and it creates a very hazardous driving situation. The road clearly state no parking but they have 5+ large trucks parked in front of the yard. It makes two way traffic impossible and I have thought many times of contacting the City to see why they are allowed to do this.

It seems it is time they leave that area one way or another.

Bubba of Portland, ME
Feb 1, 2007 12:28 PM
To brian1244, joe re, and Jeff of TN, You guys have hit the nail on the head. I couldn't help but laugh while reading your comments. Mr Lerman has put the City Council, developers, and the artsy/fartsy groups in a very difficult position. Good job Mr. Lerman, keep up the good work.

Jeff of Vonore, TN
Feb 1, 2007 11:20 AM
I like the scrap yard.......seen it from I-295 for decades. To me it represents the Gateway to Portland and I cannot think of a more appropriate representation of the city......it's ART!

joe re of Gardiner, ME
Feb 1, 2007 9:11 AM
I find some irony in this whole situation, in that the current 'green' effort to promote recycling on a grand scheme are missing the big picture because recycling IS the name of the game at E.Perry. Its a dirty game but one, nonetheless.

Maybe Perry should hold on until his land hits 3 million an acre then fold shop...perhaps that is the true 'green' effort.

brian1244 of auburn, ME
Feb 1, 2007 9:05 AM
Maybe I am missing something here. How long have the two business been in operation at their location?

As far back as I can remember there has been a scrap yard there and now because some "major" development will take place they have to relocate?

Baloney! This is what has driven many good businesses out of Maine and we wonder why there isnt employment?

If people from out of state want to buy the whole city then get a damn good price tag posted out on the turnpike!

Jake007 of Portland, ME
Feb 1, 2007 8:49 AM
There has to be a better place than Riverside st.
You have several apartment complexes right across the street loaded with small children and the Presumpscot River just a few feet away with the new canoe entry way. Why not make it part of the Sprauge complex on the west end of commerical where access to the rail system would be helpful? It could be that a location other than Portland would make more sense.
An urban vision rises in Bayside

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By TUX TURKEL, Staff Writer

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

The old-style streetlights and sidewalks look out of place, flanking a grassy, oval island in the middle of the new street. There's nothing there except vacant land and parking lots.
Five or so years from now, though, office buildings could rise along this section of Chestnut Street in Portland's Bayside neighborhood. The island would showcase a work of public art and serve as a new gateway to the downtown.
City planners have spent years tweaking their visions of redevelopment in Bayside. Earlier this winter, a critical part of this evolution moved off the drawing board and into the marketplace.
A commercial real estate broker has begun a national advertising campaign to sell lots within a 6.5-acre strip in the middle of the neighborhood. Developers from as far away as California and Texas are expressing interest in the city's vision of a dense mix of office, housing and retail space, bisected by public space and a tree-lined walking trail.
Obstacles remain. The New England Metal Recycling scrap yard needs to relocate before the city can build a 705-space parking garage, a key component for new office and retail construction. That's on track to happen by next year. But a second scrap yard, E. Perry Iron & Metal, is still negotiating with the city, which most recently offered $1 million in federal money for the yard to move.
Beyond scrap yard relocation, developers must embrace strict zoning standards meant to encourage a pedestrian-friendly, urban design.
"It's challenging, but it's not unwarranted and we'll get it done," said Tony McDonald, a partner at CB Richard Ellis/The Boulos Co.
Following a bid process, the city selected Boulos exclusively to market the property. McDonald and his colleague, Drew Sigfridson, have spent the past two months talking with business contacts and distributing information through the 250 offices in the CB Richard Ellis network.
Names are confidential, but they say they've heard from developers interested in large, master plan projects that would cover the entire parcel, as well as those with smaller ambitions. One business from the Portland area is contemplating a 60,000-square-foot office on one lot.
The land is a former railroad yard that's now owned by the city's local development branch. It forms a skinny rectangle bordered roughly by Elm, Somerset and Pearl streets and bisected by Chestnut Street. The site is in a fast-growing area surrounded by projects that have been recently completed or are in process, including Whole Foods and the Pearl Place apartment complex.
Nearly half the land is set aside for parking, public space and a trail system that will eventually link the city's East End with Deering Oaks park and Back Cove.
Five parcels in a cleared area along Somerset Street are for sale now. The asking price for a quarter-acre lot is $292,600; combined lots totaling 1.3 acres are going for $1.36 million.
The buyer of these properties must have near-term development plans that meet the city's timetable, Sigfridson said. The land isn't being marketed as an investment; a buyer can't sit on it for years.
"We won't sell to just anybody," he said. "It has to be a qualified developer who meets the criteria we're looking for."
For instance: The city wants a floor area ratio of four, meaning that a 20,000-square-foot lot should accommodate an 80,000-square-foot building. That assures the high-density, urban design the city is trying to create.
This desire is expressed in a four-color concept illustration prepared by the city to show how the Bayside strip might evolve. The plan envisions a handful of small office buildings, ranging from 60,000 to 120,000 square feet and up to eight stories high. Retail space would occupy the ground floors. The 6.5-acre area could hold up to 375,000 square feet of office-retail development.
The city's vision -- and how developers respond -- is of great interest to other commercial brokers who own land in the Bayside area.
Cardente Real Estate is trying to lease 1.3 acres at the corner of Somerset Street and Franklin Arterial. It's looking for a tenant interested in an office-retail project up to 100,000 square feet.
The company has heard from possible medical office and retail tenants who like the property's high-visibility location, according to Matthew Cardente, the firm's owner. But these businesses want surface parking for customers, and that's not allowed. The new Whole Foods supermarket across the street has surface parking, he noted, but that was approved prior to new zoning requirements in the area.
Cardente said he's supportive of dense development in Bayside, but wonders if the city is being too restrictive in its vision for how the neighborhood should look.
McDonald and Sigfridson are aware of these concerns. They point out, too, that the city's controversial ordinance that restricts large chains and formula businesses from some downtown locations also covers the Bayside strip. City councilors are talking about repealing or modifying the ordinance, but McDonald said he isn't bothering to contact popular chain retailers, such as bookstores or coffee shops, that might otherwise be potential ground-floor tenants.
His focus now is to find a developer to build the first new building, which would trigger construction of the city's parking garage. That won't happen until 2008 at the earliest, when New England Metal Recycling is gone.
City officials have a different view of the strict zoning standards.
"Interested parties will already know what the city and the community want to see," said Jack Lufkin, Portland's economic development director. "It takes the guesswork out of it."
Lufkin said future adjustments are always possible, but he expects development to closely follow the current vision. He's well aware that the single parking garage the city has committed to build won't handle all the cars associated with 375,000 square feet of office development. But a new bus stop, neighborhood housing and the emphasis on pedestrian traffic, he said, is meant to reduce the demand for parking spaces.
A larger challenge, he said, is whether the pace of business growth is strong enough to absorb an estimated 75,000 square feet or so of new office space a year in Bayside. The city is counting on those market projections to fill the strip over the next five years or so.
That's part of the reason the city has taken care in designing the new, vacant stretch of Chestnut Street. When developers visit the area, it helps them get a sense of how their projects will fit into the future of Bayside.
"You can understand that it's going to be a very different place tomorrow than it is today," Lufkin said.
Staff writer Tux Turkel can be contacted at 791-6462 or at:

Reader comments

economics of Portland, ME
Feb 7, 2007 11:27 AM
Matt --

those thigns are not half as ugly as vacant lots and junk yards. And, being from ass, I will draw upon boston as an example--boston builds more on speculation than portland does (as is evidenced by the higher office vacancy rates there) so if boston can pull it off, why cant somewhere else? Build it and they will come. there is a "spirit" that needs to be cultivated in portland, and developing this part of the city will achieve that. it si a spirit of forward thinking-ness, progressiveness, and success. success breeds success. build build and build some more. that is, after all, how we became a city. now all we here is thats too large or we cant become boston or that will cast a shadow on my left foot and i dont like being cold, or bla bla bla it is all old and tired excuses used by people who do not want portland to thrive as a city and would rather see it boom as a town. not going to happen. we will take a step up to the next level--question is...now or later?

Matt Bowie of Holliston, MA
Feb 6, 2007 5:30 PM

Beautifying the city is nice, but form needs to follow function. Your logic of "I understand the concern about too much office space. However, there will always be ups and downs, better to get them built while we have the chance." Is the exact reason why NOT to build. You don't build buildings based on hopes of business. You do it with the knowledge that it will bring in added revenue and business.

Problem is, Portland's economy is small and fragile. Adding this kind of office space could just be robbing Peter to pay Paul and force a lot of properties to lose money. Question is, which area gets hit worse? Abandoned buildings and vacancy signs can be pretty ugly.

Patrick Venne of Portland, ME
Feb 6, 2007 5:28 PM
christine, my apologies, it is hard to tell sarcasm over the internet ;)

Michael kri of portland, ME
Feb 6, 2007 5:10 PM
"Nice as it is to see Bayside getting developed, this is one area that strikes me as suitable for chains, if only for the simple reason that it'll be underwater in a hundred years thanks to climate change. So go ahead and build temporary businesses in an area with no future."

Most of Bayside was claimed from the Water over 100 years ago. That is why it is so flat. I beleive Oxford St was the shoreline. The tital Marshes were infilled. It was not like they filled in open ocaean.

Bayside redevelopment takes next big step

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Thursday, February 8, 2007

The city's plans to make over its Bayside neighborhood took another step forward with the designation of a substantial piece of property to be offered for development.
While the fate of a scrapyard in the area remains unresolved, the vision of what that part of the city will look like five years or so down the road is coming into clearer focus, and it's an ambitious one.
That's as it should be, because nobody ever made a substantial advance by dreaming small dreams or planning tiny plans. Those plans should also not be so restrictive that they exclude businesses that would bring foot traffic to the area.
Bayside isn't the only part of the city undergoing redevelopment. The Ocean Gateway project on the other side of the downtown peninsula is also making progress.
And if the city does abandon its public library on Monument Square to move into the former Portland Public Market, there will be a major structure available for redevelopment right at the heart of downtown.
That's all separate from Bayside, which, despite its location near major highways and rail lines, has earned the designation "blighted" for quite a while. In less than a decade, however, if the city's hopes come to fruition, that could all change as the area becomes a retail, office and residential center for the city and the region.
The city has engaged a commercial broker to conduct a national advertising campaign for a 6.5-acre strip in the center of Bayside, totaling about half of the area bounded by Elm, Somerset and Pearl streets and Marginal Way.
While the city has released a "concept" plan that shows a strong reliance on office buildings with retail stores at the street level, there is a question of whether the city can absorb that much new office space over the span of just a few years. However, Portland's planners point to economic growth projections that say it can, and that view is the driving vision for the area.
Unfortunately, this strip is covered by the city's "no new formula businesses" ordinance, which has led brokers to exclude such franchises ? including bookstores and coffee shop chains ? from their tenant search.
That's unwise. If the city wants people to come to this area, it ought to welcome the broadest possible spectrum of interest. A policy of arbitrary exclusions won't fill storefronts.
Other than that, however, the vision is a good one, offering hope for growth to an area long without it.
Well, the new stuff looks awesome but it sucks how they already kind of ruined the area between Marginal way and the new area with grocery stores and parking lots.
Thanks for posting the pic Grittys.

Isn't it missing the 8-story InterMed office building with the two 5-story student housing wings? That's going on Marginal Way where the big USM parking lot is right?

I agree with the editorial that there seems to be an over-reliance on office space in the development of Bayside, and that the city should encourage more housing development so that it becomes a lively, multi-faceted neighborhood. The Waterview will be a great building, but it would be great to get some market-rate rentals down there as well.
None of those buildings are real and none of them are even planned. It's just a mockup of what they would like to have. The Intermed building is not on that pic. You can see the Miss Portland Diner at the bottom left. Then would be the student housing between that and Intermed. Really hoping that the developer(s) goes with the style of those buildings. The 7 and 8 story buildings look like 15's with that glass and design.
I cannot see that picture, grittys, but I am work. is it working for everyone else still? maybe it has been blocked or something by my work computer, ill check at home i guess.
yeah nice pic, the same one was already posted on here by cneal about a month ago, he got it from the downtown portland corporation's website, but they took it down and his link stopped working. looks nice to me.