Portland Foreside | 58 Fore Street | Portland

Cosakita18

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I walked around the walkway around the east end and looked at the progress so far and was amazed of how much has progressed. You have to remember what it was 15 years ago to today.
Whenever I walk through The East End, I always imagine How radically different that area could have been had the Grand Trunk bridge between the peninsula and East Deering not burned. In the late 70s, CN Rail was pursuing plans to Redevelop the derelict industrial facilities (which were all still owned by the railroad) into a container and bulk terminal…The idea being to use the GT /CN /SLR mainline to bring freight directly from a deep water Atlantic port to Montreal and Toronto. The severe damage to the bridge put a stop to those plans long enough for the section of line between the bridge and India St. to be formally abandoned.
 

markhb

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Whenever I walk through The East End, I always imagine How radically different that area could have been had the Grand Trunk bridge between the peninsula and East Deering not burned. In the late 70s, CN Rail was pursuing plans to Redevelop the derelict industrial facilities (which were all still owned by the railroad) into a container and bulk terminal…The idea being to use the GT /CN /SLR mainline to bring freight directly from a deep water Atlantic port to Montreal and Toronto. The severe damage to the bridge put a stop to those plans long enough for the section of line between the bridge and India St. to be formally abandoned.
I don't think I ever heard that container port story, but I know the Canadian government had sunk a lot of money into the Port of Halifax specifically to repatriate the port function that Portland had served. Whether CN was serious about redeveloping Portland or just playing games to get a better deal on Halifax traffic I can't guess. But, with the city and MaineDOT itching to rip the tracks out of Commercial St. I think they decided it was time to call it quits regardless of the bridge fire.
 

nomc

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Meant to post this days ago, but they've now finished one wall of reclaiming brick and have started on the west side of the building.

IMG_3200.JPG
 

Portlander

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They should sell the lot and it will really finish off that block.
 
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Max

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Someone in a recent "SeeClickFix" post inquired about the sign on the Fore Street Connector stating that it's a private way, which the city confirmed. I'm curious about the practical implications of this. If it looks like a street and functions like a street, why wouldn't (or shouldn't) people just use it as a street? Is this a temporary thing? How will they even enforce "no thru traffic"? Most motorists will not even notice that sign.

 

nomc

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If it looks like a street and functions like a street, why wouldn't (or shouldn't) people just use it as a street? Is this a temporary thing? How will they even enforce "no thru traffic"? Most motorists will not even notice that sign.

Are they worried because that one garage entrance is so close to Fore St? I think there just one more entrance - the one near the Wex gym/the reused building on the other side? Or is there one more on the back too? Why wouldn't the city have pushed for it to become a public street? I can say I've definitely seen plenty of traffic using that street that is not 100 Fore St traffic - probably what spurred the sign.
 

BMC

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Are they worried because that one garage entrance is so close to Fore St? I think there just one more entrance - the one near the Wex gym/the reused building on the other side? Or is there one more on the back too? Why wouldn't the city have pushed for it to become a public street? I can say I've definitely seen plenty of traffic using that street that is not 100 Fore St traffic - probably what spurred the sign.
It's actually a legal issue. The developer received Planning Board approval without any promise that the street would be offered as a public way. The City could take the road by eminent domain (unlikely) or otherwise broker a deal with the developer to buy the dedication rights -- but for now, it's technically a private road.
 

nomc

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The developer received Planning Board approval without any promise that the street would be offered as a public way.
Any idea why the PB wouldn't have pushed for it to become public? Would that have killed the deal? An oversight?
 

markhb

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BMC may well know more, but it could be that 1) as it stands, it's taxable land, and 2) the plan to extend Mountfort St. to Thames is still in place; the only things in the way are the remainder of the old Hamilton Marine building and the rapidly-emptying Jackrabbit (VA) building. It's questionable whether both through-routes are needed, especially since Mountfort will connect through all the way to Washington Ave. and the other driveway stops at Fore.
 

BMC

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BMC may well know more, but it could be that 1) as it stands, it's taxable land, and 2) the plan to extend Mountfort St. to Thames is still in place; the only things in the way are the remainder of the old Hamilton Marine building and the rapidly-emptying Jackrabbit (VA) building. It's questionable whether both through-routes are needed, especially since Mountfort will connect through all the way to Washington Ave. and the other driveway stops at Fore.
I'm pretty sure that the City would like "Freedom Way" as it's called, to be public. But there's a lively debate on that point between the City and the developer. I'm certainly out of the loop, but is there really a plan to connect Montfort and Thames? Doesn't that make the lower end of Hancock essentially obsolete? And wouldn't doing so require bulldozing the Hamilton Marine building?
 

markhb

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I'm pretty sure that the City would like "Freedom Way" as it's called, to be public. But there's a lively debate on that point between the City and the developer. I'm certainly out of the loop, but is there really a plan to connect Montfort and Thames? Doesn't that make the lower end of Hancock essentially obsolete? And wouldn't doing so require bulldozing the Hamilton Marine building?
There's very little left of the old Hamilton Marine building as it is; most of it was removed for 100 Fore St., and the city has consistently mandated that both Wex buildings leave room for that extension to happen. It's even mentioned in the RFP pic further up the page. But yes, both the former Hamilton Marine and the Jackrabbit building would need to go or at least be substantially cut down. So far as obsoleting Hancock, though, I doubt it since, while Mountfort offers a direct (if cramped and winding in places) route to Congress and Washington Ave., Hancock goes directly to the parking garage and the Bay House as well as being the front doors of Wex and the AC Hotel.
 

BiddefordArch

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During the 100 Fore Street project review meetings the extension of Mountfort Street was discussed by the applicant, board and city staff. I believe the conclusion was it will likely be pedestrian only, not vehicular due to grade issues.
 

BeeLine

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nomc

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Are they just gonna spray paint a new sign to look like the old sign? Also, note the gray brick on the left side which will mirror the gray brick used on Sun Life.

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