This thing has become a complete cluster****. We can only hope that things turn out "OK" but I don't have a lot of confidence that the remaining premier waterfront location in Portland is going to get its due. So sad if that happens. There are bits and pieces of this that are decent but there doesn't seem like any cohesion or vision for such an important location.....frustrating.
I suspect there will be a lawsuit or two being thrown over the fence from neighbors that should slow this trainwreck down ever further. In particular the guy who bought the big victorian house at the top of the hill that overlooks this site (currently undergoing renovations) has peppered the planning board (through his attorney) with assertions that the whole development is unlawful in one way or another.
I hate to see new development mucked up but in this case.....maybe a good thing? The developer should be able to get this right because this is the high rent district. No cheaping out excuses.....design something great that is suitable for the location but at the same times maximizes returns. This spot needs a big boy developer that can balance all the issues that this site entails.
As I've said before, and more than once too, after Jim Brady exited the project, it kind of went south. And speaking of things south, the two-story part bordering Eastern Promenade looks like it could be a Comfort Inn--anywhere. None of these illustrations convey modern or exciting new architecture and spaces as some previous iterations have. I'm assuming the developer is discovering that it's not just owning the land that allows you to borrow 200 mill or more, but a track record and an assuredness that is believable (Brady).
These new renderings convey to me a schizophrenic approach. It’s not cohesive. It’s ugly. It lacks vision. The project is really going downhill aesthetically. Such a. Great opportunity and it is being squandered.
How many HP/PB meetings have there been so far? I know in one meeting I watched for the Bayside development they requested "variety" amongst the buildings. But that was an early meeting and there was no direction beyond that. I'm wondering if something like that happened here? Also, quickly looked through Baskervill's website, it seems like this is a large and/or complex project for them?
If you remember, when the master plan for the area was changed it was Jim Brady who got that through. The other two partners sat around and watched. Now, Brady is out--a clash of egos and now we, the people, have lost--and so the two remaining partners are *substantially* inexperienced with not only largescale development, but with higher designed ones too. Too bad they can't join forces with the developer of the Lincoln Hotel, Batson River, and apartments/condos at the Biddeford mill. I went there last night for a drink and I was dragging my jaw on the floor. Wow, what a fantastically designed place, or complex it is becoming with a new parking garage, another brewery, and other structures that have broken ground. Over the years, we in Saco used to laugh at Biddeford. Not now. The opposite, if anything. There is no excuse for Portland Foreside to not be done to something as good as a development in Biddeford. For Biddeford, it was a key person in city Gov. who facilitated it. The city planner/s in Biddeford were noted in the PPH for their vision for the city, and Saco's was implied to be somewhat of a dolt. I think Portland is kind of rudderless now in this crucial city function--the future. If they allow a giant turd to be built on the most prominent piece of land in Portland, then I think we all suffer--greatly.