Portland Foreside | 58 Fore Street | Portland

Cosakita18

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Conceptual renderings don't look bad - we'll see what it ultimately ends up looking like!

Call me a pessimist, but I'm 99.9% sure that most of that vertical greenery will disappear....as is so often the case with big projects that "greenwash" their renderings.

It
 

mainejeff

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Disappointed with this project. Hoping for something bigger like Halifax, NS.
Yeah....this looks like some riverwalk development in Anytown, USA. While some good stuff is going up in Portland.....this might be one the city regrets big time in the future.
 

DanielPWM19

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Yeah....this looks like some riverwalk development in Anytown, USA. While some good stuff is going up in Portland.....this might be one the city regrets big time in the future.
Portland has lacked vision for decades. I'm not surprised at all in the development disappointments here.
 

TC_zoid

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After Jim Brady left the partnership, I knew we were going to get something underwhelming, or a disconnect to public spaces. They jumped into it too fast with the office building and its insurance company tenant. They could have looked for a high-tech company to lease it--one with a more dynamic business model of workers to populate the area. Now, it's a dreary insurance company with proposed high-priced condos next door. And, not much in the way of retail and food and drink options planned. I'm guessing they will squeeze a boutique hotel in here, but certainly one that is more in the upscale range. Rowe's Wharf kind of killed that part of Boston's waterfront with its design of usage (upscale), and this development is somewhat similar. I did go to Twelve last weekend--it's great--but my bar bill (with food) with a friend came to $329 with tip. It was kind of worth it, but not something I will be doing again, or until maybe next year. Mainers beware.
 

TC_zoid

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This photo kind of represents Portland's symphony of dichotomies (a complement). To the left and behind is low-income housing, then move further right and forward and it's a new office building for an international insurance conglomerate, then a small historically detailed renovated structure in front with a restaurant that could easily compete or surpass anything in the upper east side of Manhattan, and then behind it all is Munjoy Hill, of which has its own diversities of class. Bravo. I guess it's why we all like Portland so much. It's unique and unifying.
 

cneal

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A few new renderings from tonight's planning board workshop...

Overview massing:


View of "block 4" from the SW corner along Thames St. Extension:


Water view of "block 6":


Western facade of "block 6", cul-de-sac at the end of Thames St. Ext. in the foreground:
 

TC_zoid

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@cneal any significant thoughts/comments from the board?
It looks like an upscale "project." I also think that it will alienate the public by creating an "affluent zone" for yes, those affluent. I kind of figured that this would do what Rowes Wharf "accomplished" with its location on Boston's waterfront. The original idea was to have more of a mixture of housing, office (high tech firms), a hotel, food & drink, etc. of which accepts the public, not alienates. And they seem to have abandoned the expansive food court idea or are delaying it until they get the big and easy money--the condo sales. This is now the de facto "Master Plan." After Jim Brady was kicked out of this "partnership," I kind of knew it would go a bit south. In fact, it has. It's almost in Boston.
 

Cosakita18

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Blocks 4 and 6 seems very architecturally disjointed. Block 4 is very angular and linear, while Block 6 seems to be trying to look more "organic" with an abundance of facade breaks and setbacks and angles. They look like they don't belong next to each other. Personally I really don't like the overall massing of Block 6. It seems like they're trying to go for a sort of modern Art-Deco look....but it has way too many asymmetric setbacks and angles for my taste.

I would also be very surprised if any of the vertical greenery in that rendering makes it into the final build.
 
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mainejeff

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I prefer the design of Block 6.....but the overall plan is not good. I guess that Portland just wants to build a residential wall along their "working waterfront"?
 

cneal

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I didn't stick around for the entire discussion, but last night's workshop seemed to mostly be a general overview of the project with some discussion of its previous approvals under the master development plan framework, and how the planning board will evaluate this site plan under that framework. A few neighbors were complaining but they seemed to be people who recently bought into the neighborhood and weren't aware of all the debate that's already happened around this project – they raised issues that are clearly established and settled (like how building heights are measured).

Also noteworthy: the current site plans have considerably less housing than the original MDP did. IIRC block 4 would be rental apartments and block 6 is condos. Because the MDP was approved in 2016, only 10% of units will need to be affordable to low- or middle-income renters.

There was also some conversation about the developers building a wider sidewalk with a protected climbing bike lane on their Fore Street frontage, which would be exciting because that's a) one of the best routes up Munjoy Hill and b) that segment in particular is the steepest section where physical separation between bikes and cars would be most useful. The current sidewalk is only 4' wide which isn't really appropriate for a city street with the kind of density they're proposing; the idea would be to remove on-street parking on the water side of Fore Street and use that space for a wider sidewalk next to a sidewalk-level bikeway and a row of new street trees.

It sounds like there will be at least 2 more workshops on this – including one focused on architecture, and another focused on transportation.
 

nomc

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I'm having trouble figuring out where the eastern prom trail runs along this plan. I can't picture where block 6 would jut out so much from block 4.
Eyeballing it, I think the rail is going to be very close to Block 6. If you go back up the thread, the last renderings dump by Max shows the rail and path. Obviously the design has changed, but I don't think the footprint has changed much.
 

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