Portland, ME - New Construction Continued

Max

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The developers of the Mercy Hospital site have started reaching out to neighbors with their preliminary plans for redevelopment. I sat in on the presentation they gave to the West End Neighborhood Association the other night, and I was a bit surprised at just how extensive of a development they're imagining.

They're partnering with a senior housing agency to develop one portion of the site and with CHOM to develop affordable housing on another. They're really looking to maximize use of the property, and I suspect they're going to get some pushback on the density from neighbors. For example they're proposing row housing on Winter Street that would line up with the sidewalk (no set backs) at the maximum height of 45 feet, and there was quite a bit of grumbling on this call about that.

Anyway they emphasized it's all very preliminary at this point but they want to be ready to begin construction in April 2022 when the hospital vacates the premises, and finish construction by the end of 2023.

I tried to grab a couple screenshots from their presentation:

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Cosakita18

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oh wow! good find.

That is a lot more extensive than I was imagining. I was envisioning a refurbishment of the existing hospital building and maybe a few smaller townhomes, but this looks very ambitious and a good fit for the area. It looks like they plan to remove the entire back half of the existing hospital complex.

Can't wait to see how this evolves.

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Max

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I sat in on a MEREDA webinar this morning on Covid's impacts on developers. Nothing too exciting came out of it but a rep from Reger Dasco mentioned that they're working on a master plan for 385 Congress along with two other developers, so that's sounding like it will be a significant proposal. He also said that they had intended to break ground on Phase II of their Hobson's Landing condos this fall but that's been pushed back until at least next spring or summer.
 

Cosakita18

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Anyone know what's going on with the Temple St garage? It looks like it's undergoing some pretty robust (and much needed) exterior renovations.

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Portlander

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Due to issues with mortar and brick erosion similar to the Gateway Garage which is adjacent to the Westin, the facade is getting a complete facelift. After reviewing some of the design options several months ago, I think the city selected the best one and the garage will have a pleasant contemporary look and will blend in well with the surrounding buildings. The pandemic hit before I could acquire any renderings. The city owned garage on Spring Street will also be getting some modest exterior improvements with new signage in the future also.
 

cneal

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With repeated exposure to the elements and salt from cars, these garages have required major, expensive maintenance work nearly every year for the past decade.

The fundamental rule of building maintenance – keeping out the water – isn't allowed in a parking garage, because if you did, your customers would asphyxiate from carbon monoxide poisoning.

I've gotta wonder whether the city wouldn't be better off selling them off for redevelopment and collecting property taxes instead of parking fees from structures that are clearly near the ends of their useful lives.
 

Portlander

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As far as selling them off it has been discussed in the past. Interior renovations at the Spring Street garage were completed recently and both properties should be structurally sound for a few more decades. The city did turn over the management responsibilities of the Temple Street garage to a private company several years ago but still maintains the Spring and Elm Street facilities with city employees. With limited parking on the peninsula, they are revenue producers and usually have long waiting lists for monthly parking which is probably why the city is holding on to them. I'm guessing that profits have exceeded maintenance costs over the past 40 plus years for the two older garages and Elm Street isn't too far behind.
 
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PWMFlyer

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Does anyone have an update to the following projects: New Sunlife office building waterfront-waiting till covid is over? I thought the lease in South Portland was up in the next year or two.
Portland Square, I thought construction was going to start in the 3rd quarter.
 

cneal

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Good questions! I just checked the city's building permit site:

... and didn't see any applications for those two projects.

I did, however, find a surprise: someone's pulled a permit application for 75 Chestnut Street, now being developed by Procopio Co., a Massachusetts developer. New rendering here:
 

PWMFlyer

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DESIGN AND PRECONSTRUCTION Q1 2019 - Q1 2020 PERMITTING Q1 - Q3 2020 CONSTRUCTION COMMENCEMENT Q3 2020 CORE AND SHELL COMPLETION Q2 - Q3 2022 TENANT OCCUPANCY Q4 2022 CONSTRUCTION TIMELINE Under Contract Under Contract Under Contract Available (21,000± SF) Available (21,000± SF) Available (21,000± SF) Available (21,000± SF) Available (20,000± SF) 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th Lobby according to Boulos. 3 Portland Square.
 

Max

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Cosakita18

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Cosakita18

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Does anyone have an update to the following projects: New Sunlife office building waterfront-waiting till covid is over? I thought the lease in South Portland was up in the next year or two.
Portland Square, I thought construction was going to start in the 3rd quarter.

I really wouldn't be surprised if both of these projects were victims of the pandemic, or at least delayed because of the current economic situation. The ground at Portland Foreside has been cleared and roped off since April, but I've yet to see any construction activity.


Has Portland Square already received planning approval? I know they had workshops earlier this year but I can't figure out whether the project is shovel ready or not.
 
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Tom Nevers

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I didn't attend, but the next big thing to keep an eye out for is the master plan for 385 Congress St. (next to city hall) That may be a few months off. Other than that, nothing huge on the immediate horizon as far as I can tell.

On the smaller side, 104 Grant St in Parkside is set to be redeveloped into a 23 unit residential building. Building is being designed by Ryan Senatore architecture

As mentioned a few weeks ago, there is also a mixed residential / retail building in the works for the corner of Somerset and Franklin. Still very early in the planning stage.
Update on 104 Grant in Mainebiz. Reportedly, final permit approvals have been obtained. Construction is planned to begin this fall and the rendering below accompanied the article.


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Portlander

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IMG_0834.jpg

Painting complete on the northwest wall, nice improvement and perfect color match! Also noticed that 5 new vents have been added which makes me wonder why they were not added at each floor level?
 
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Portlander

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IMG_0837.jpg

New signage on top of One Monument Square. Merrill Lynch has been removed and a new Bank of America logo (all capital letters) has been added on three sides. A little marketing duplication seeing that BOA is also on the top of One City Center!
 

Max

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Interesting addition to the city's self-service portal today:

200 Federal Street, being developed by Redfern Properties, 265 units.

This sounds a lot like the mockup of a slim, tall building that someone posted on here last year (and the mods subsequently took down). I believe the location is the small parking lot behind the post office.

Anyone have any more info on this?
 

Portlander

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It is the project that was posted last year for the parcel of land fronting Federal Street behind the former Maine National Bank building. If my memory serves me correctly it was planned for 18 stories at approximately 192 feet which would make it Maine's tallest. My contact tells me it has an excellent chance of moving forward and Redfern also developed the Hiawatha in Longfellow Square. Residential projects in Portland face limited hurdles due to the dire need for housing so we'll keep our fingers crossed. And what a perfect spot in the skyline from a harbor view perspective and 295!
 

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