Whats the status on developments in Portsmouth right now? I don't follow it much but I love Portsmouth. Whats being built? Proposed? Almost done?
^ I wouldnt think thats likely at least I hope not, I mean its a crap bridge but its so Portsmouth.

As far as developmetns go the state street building is on its 3rd floor and seems to be making good pace- the Bow st project is really starting to shape up, one building just topped out and the others are well under way. It might make it in time for a summer opening.

As far as the Port Walk, the mall is now empty and is soon to be razed so fingers crossed that gets moving.
The Port Walk looks like a really great project. Haven't heard much about the Bow Street one or State Street one. What's going on at those?
I believe you can see Portwalk renderings here:


I also believe this project's second phase is stalled for the time being, although Phase I (Hilton Harbor Hotel and condos) opened a few years back.
I drove home from Portland ME yesterday and had some extra time so I took route 1 from Kittery to Ipswich (I've seen the rest of route one plenty).

Portsmouth has to have one of the most underrated downtown areas in New England. It's just beautiful. I've been out in Portsmouth a few nights and thoroughly enjoyed it (in fact, I enjoy the nightlife in Portsmouth better than in Portland's slightly over-hyped Old Port). I really need to spend more time in Portsmouth... it's a shame so many people view it as a drive-by town and don't stop on their way to the White Mountains or Maine.

I hope the port walk eventually gets completed.
I've never been there past 6pm, but I am a big fan of Portsmouth too. I like how the portwalk project is broken up into several parts and not just a big superblock.
I've never been there past 6pm, but I am a big fan of Portsmouth too. I like how the portwalk project is broken up into several parts and not just a big superblock.

I think this is key. Super blocks in such a small area could be devastating.
Portwalk update

The Timberland Co. is considering relocating its headquarters from its facility in Stratham to Portsmouth when the lease expires in 2010. The move would make the apparel and footwear giant the anchor tenant of the Portwalk project, scheduled to break ground later this year.

the decision on whether to leave 200 Domain Drive in Stratham will be made in the next couple of weeks.

The current plan is to only move forward with two of the lots in 2009 and delay the largest lot, which includes the garage, until a later date. However, if Timberland decides to move to Portsmouth, Johnston said, all three lots will break ground this year. Relocation would also likely include a Timberland retail store in the project, he said.

Portsmouth update:
By Adam Leech
April 26, 2009 6:00 AM
PORTSMOUTH ? It will be a busy construction season on city streets as roadway projects and new buildings, both public and private, will begin or restart throughout the summer.

The most visible project will be the demolition of the Parade Office Mall, along Maplewood Avenue ? between Hanover and Deer streets, and construction of the first phase of Cathartes Private Investment's Portwalk development. Passersby will see fences go up around the site in the coming weeks with interior demolition expected to begin in May and be complete by mid-summer.

When the first phase of the project is complete ? expected to be spring 2010 ? there will be a five-story, 128-room Residence Inn by Marriott extended-stay hotel and approximately 12,000 square feet of retail space. There also will be a lot of open space where phases two and three will be built, at some future date.

Those who drive down Bow Street on a regular basis have come to know intimately the mixed-use development at 99 Bow St., which will eventually fill the space between the Martingale building and its neighbors on both sides. The project includes retail, restaurants on the first level and office space on the upper levels of the six-story additions.

RRJ Properties had hoped to open the building this summer, but there were several delays. Construction was scheduled to restart this month. Developer Butch Ricci said he hopes the building will be "weather-tight" by the winter so interior work can be completed and the building open in summer 2010.

State Street
Steve Kelm's project at 68 State St., next to The Rosa Restaurant, is well under way and is expected to be done by the end of the year, according to Kelm. The project will be 11 residential condominiums that will include two retail spaces on the ground floor.

Only one small section of Pier II, at 10 State St., now remains. After more than four years of delays, demolition began on the building last week and will continue throughout the spring, followed by construction of the docks and foundation work, according to Lisa DeStefano, of DeStefano Architects.

Work will stop during the summer months to allow the Prescott Park activities to go on without interruption. In the fall, the shell of the building is expected to be completed. Interior work will take place in the months following and landscaping should be finished in the spring 2010.

Islington Street
The redevelopment of Kline's Furniture, at 51 Islington St., is still in front of the Planning Board, but could begin by the end of the summer, according to Kelm. The project will proceed in at least two phases and will not disrupt any traffic on the heavily congested corridor.

The current plan calls for two separate buildings, 3? and 4? stories tall, in place of the 2? story furniture store. The building along Islington would include retail space on the ground level with residential space above. The building facing Tanner Street would include only residential condominiums and would be built first.

The application of RKDOLLA, for 198 Islington St., received board approval last week to convert three apartments and a hair salon into 14 condominium units. It is not clear when the project will begin.

Developers for two of the larger pending projects in the city ? the redevelopment of the Meadowbrook Inn and the Westin Hotel, conference center and parking garage ? could not be reached. The city planning department has not been informed of work beginning at either site.

City and state projects
With the help of federal stimulus funds, the area of State Street ? from Pleasant Street to the Memorial Bridge ? will be completely rebuilt, much like the recent upgrades to Congress Street. The $2.2 million project will disrupt downtown traffic and parking lanes, but Public Works Director Steve Parkinson said the street will remain open. The project is not out to bid yet, but is expected to begin in July. It will take nine months to finish.

Also receiving stimulus funds, the $23 million replacement of the city's water treatment plant in Madbury will begin construction this summer. The new plant will be built next to the 51-year-old existing plant and take approximately two years to complete.

The state's $7.5 million Route 33 project to replace the B&M Railroad Bridge will not be complete until fall 2010. The project includes traffic signals at Griffin Road and Islington Street, upgrades to the traffic signal and roadway at Peverly Hill Road, closing off Plains Avenue at Peverly Hill Road, as well as other roadway, sidewalk and traffic calming improvements.

The $4 million sewer project at Bartlett Street and Islington Street will involve some disruption to traffic because they will have to cross Islington to make the new connection, but Parkinson said the road will remain open. The project is not out to bid yet, but is expected to start this summer and take approximately one year to complete.

Some time in September, the city will begin construction of a small waterfront park on Ceres Street where the decks for Poco Bow Street Cantina are. The decks will be rebuilt closer to the building, while the city creates the park. Among the other improvements are drainage, paving, lighting and sidewalks. The $800,000 project may be done by the winter, but could require further work in the spring.

The Woodbury Avenue improvements started last year are expected to finish in June, according to Parkinson. The remaining work on the $1.2 million project is mostly limited to paving.

Phase II of the Raleigh Way streetscape project, from Ranger Way to Saratoga Way, is expected to start in July and be complete by the fall. The $780,000 project consists of a new water line, sewer line and drain line, new granite curbing, trees, sidewalks and paving.

The $229,000 Market Street sidewalk project will start during the summer and will bridge a gap that currently exists between downtown sidewalks and the end at the Port Authority, to the sidewalks west of Michael Succi Drive.

The city will also spend $250,000 from the capital budget to replace sidewalks on Middle Street, from Union to Cass Street and Park Street Intersections. The project will start this summer and take approximately two months.

The 35-year-old pumping station for the Rye sewer line is in the process of getting an $800,000 upgrade and should be completed this year.

The reconstruction of Gates, Hancock and Howard streets and a portion of Washington Street will include an upgrade of sewer and water lines in the area. The $678,000 project is expected to be done by early summer.

Bike lanes will be painted on city streets in the Elwyn Park area this summer as well.

The following streets are also scheduled for paving this summer: Central Avenue and Myrtle Avenue; McGee Drive; Shaw Road; Willard Avenue and Marston Avenue; Oak Street, Orange Street, Mangrove Street, Birch Street and Kearsarge, from Birch to the railroad bridge; Market Street from Deer Street to the railroad tracks; and Maplewood Avenue from the Bypass Bridge to Dennett Street.

Funding for many city roadway projects is provided by state or federal grants.
the rest of the articr is about

Demolition of Parade Office Mall under way

The Parade Office Mall in downtown Portsmouth has been fenced off and demolition has begun.Deb Cram photo
By Adam Leech
June 02, 2009 6:00 AM
PORTSMOUTH ? Interior demolition has begun on the Parade Office Mall, which will be razed over the next two months to make way for the Portwalk development.

Fencing now surrounds the site of the former Hanover Street office building and the contractor, Pro Con, started removing interior debris in May. The first phase of Portwalk ? scheduled to open next spring ? is a five-story, 128-room Residence Inn by Marriott extended-stay hotel and approximately 12,000 square feet of retail space.

Related Stories

Parade Office Mall demolition begins
"Things are happening," said Scott Tranchemontagne, spokesman for Cathartes Private Investments, Portwalk's developer.

A media event will be held next week to announce the demolition schedule. Lance Bennett, executive vice president of operations for Pro Con, said demolition is expected to take seven weeks.

The developer and contractor are committed to mitigating impact on surrounding residences and businesses, in particular on The Hill and the Hilton Garden Inn, Tranchemontagne said. Screens will be attached to the fence to control dust and a 40-space auxiliary parking lot was secured for Hill residents.

"We want to get the work done, but we want to be respectful of our neighbors," Tranchemontagne said.

The project's second and third phases will include an underground parking garage, condominiums, commercial space and approximately 170,000 square feet of office space. The developer has yet to announce when the next phase will begin.

It is not yet known if Timberland Co. will relocate its Stratham headquarters to Portwalk. If it does become the anchor tenant, Cathartes principal Josh Anderson said, it would accelerate development of Phase 3, the largest lot that includes the parking garage. A decision was expected last week, but has yet to be announced.

During demolition and construction, trucks and workers will access the site primarily from Deer Street. All deliveries must come from Market Street to Russell Street and enter on Deer; parking for workers will be on site.

The project will be LEED-certified and the contractor plans to recycle at least three-quarters of the construction material. Work will be limited to weekdays between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.
It has been awhile folks. Snapped this guys with my phone the other day- few projects finishing up some others just getting going.



The hotel and conference room are complete, the retail space is still empty but it has only been a month or two. The building going up is condo's I believe, retail on ground level.


When phase three is complete the street wall will be pretty nice down Hanover.


Street level isn't bad, will be better once things fill in a bit. I have been more excited about design in regard to the Marriott. We will see how it works with a little time and a better context (AKA not a parking lot).

Islington St



What I am guessing is just the first phase of development for the former furniture store. Certainly looks as though they are leaving space for future buildings on the site. Development looks as though it will be pushing down Islington st.

Bow St



Martingdale Wharf or whatever they are calling this guy is finally wrapping up. The ocean side looks great. I am hoping that it will look a little less sterile once businesses move in and the store fronts have signs and widow boxes. All in all I am happy to see the holes in the street wall gone. Now only if I could afford one those condos.


Random aside. New mural which was still being painted. I am sort of in love it. I think State street could really benefit from some more active/engaging signs, Portsmouth is so ridged, very beautiful but somewhat dull. Having at least one street open to a little glam could liven things up a bit.
Portsmouth needs a good dose of commuter rail via Newburyport. And/or Downeaster to Portland via Portsmouth and Newburyport.
I love the mural--you're right that Portsmouth is too rigid, and I think the Martingdale condos are a perfect example of that, and the mural seems like a small way of keeping a bit of the funkiness that is rapidly being pushed out by boutiques. Portsmouth is still funkier and less sterile than Newburyport, whose overzealous historical preservation Portsmouth learned from, and with the working waterfront and proximity to the university I think it always will be.

I really dislike the Martingdale condos, though. I think time and occupancy will help a bit, but I really wish Portsmouth could admit that history didn't end in 1830 and allow contemporary design sensitive to and informed by the historical context rather than cheap-looking knock-offs. Plenty of other, historically significant cities (including Portland, right up the road) have done a great job of this. New buildings can be required to have similar massing, fenestration, heights and so on, while allowing more contemporary, modern design to compliment the already diverse mix of Federal, Victorian and other styles in downtown Portsmouth.

I agree that the Portwalk will look better once the parking lot is replaced, and I actually think this could be an excellent area for the city to allow some more contemporary, complimentary design as a pilot of sorts. Whether that happens or not (and it's likely not to), I'd really like to see some resident-focused amenities go into the retail space there. Downtown Portsmouth is great and I love the overall built environment, shops and restaurants, but uses for actual residents are being pushed out. There is no longer a pharmacy or hardware store anywhere downtown, for instance, and the only grocery store is the nice, but very small Portsmouth Health Foods Center. If there's any effort to get a co-op food store in Portsmouth, I'd love to see it be a part of the Portwalk. Otherwise, a mid-sized store like Philbrick's, Trader Joe's or another store that could satisfy downtown residents' needs and be upscale enough to attract visitors would be a good addition. I don't know how much leverage the city has, but if there's any way to offer the developers waivers in exchange for guaranteeing space for a use like a downtown grocery store, I think it would be great.
Portsmouth is nice, those Condos, although maybe not the most attractive, could be a lot worse. I do agree the problem is that they are sterile. I am surprised that no trees were planted on the sidewalk. Maybe some large flower boxes on the sidewalk, the retail, and flags and window boxes will help. Otherwise, they do look nice, just sterile.

I think Portsmouth does a good job of keeping the city looking good.
Long time no see, Goody. Thanks for the pictures, Portsmouth is looking good as usual. I'd love to make it down there again someday.
I REALLY like those condos. Yes, they're sterile right now because they're vacant and so are the storefronts. They're still better than just about anything new I've seen in New England recently (with the possible exception of Jimmy's Harborside in Boston). They hug the sidewalk, have ground level retail and manage to maintain some of the aesthetic of the area. I agree that many of our smaller historic cities could do a better job accommodating newer architecture styles, but these are far from the worst attempts at modeling new construction after old stuff.

I'm willing to bet that after a few years and when the storefronts and condo units are full, most untrained eyes wouldn't be able to tell they're newer than their neighbors. Even our cities' historic buildings were shiny and new at one point. These are a nice fit.
@FrankLloydMike I am not sure how long the mural will be with us for some reason I have a feeling its temporary. Regardless it really breaks things up, there is another part to it on the other side of the building too and though it is not clearly seen in the photo there are large sequins glued on which catch the sun and one?s eye when walking.

I agree we could use some more complimentary design. I think as long as it is in the right scale it would be fine. There is a really interesting idea in design of ?Urban Flux? which I find interesting. It is not so much that the historical structures are bad it is that we also ordinance out flux, be it electric signage, temporary or changing components to the buildings. We need a new level in the human interface other than simple historical designs, not to say it needs to be the new dominate force, but it does need to be present to help create vitality.

Martingdale (I am not even sure if that?s the name of the development being too lazy to look) is not bad. The buildings are quite nice, I simply want more street trees, there is one, and maybe some benches and clearly signage- a perfect example of the lack of flux. In its current unoccupied state it is extremely dull. However I think given some time they would be quite lovely. A few small adjustments mainly to the sidewalk will make all the difference for me. I should also say that they are truly mixed-use condos, office, restaurant and retail space on a total of 6 or 7 floors I think ground from this view is actually level 3?

I will agree I would like to see some more resident amenities as well. It is my hope that all the new retail space will aid in driving the rental prices down so smaller more locally focused business can take root. I have heard the Trader Joes looked into the northern tier at some point however there is some ridiculous contract dispute with it and the exclusive rights to Two Buck Chuck (some wine?) and because the NH liquor store could not sell that brand there was a conflict. At least that is one story I heard.

@ Corey- I am a constant lurker. :) I just do not have a lot of time, being employed fulltime and being a fulltime student.
Portsmouth needs a good dose of commuter rail via Newburyport. And/or Downeaster to Portland via Portsmouth and Newburyport.

I completely agree. I think once (and despite the attempts of the current NH legislator, it will be happening) commuter rail is established along the Capitol Corridor connecting Concord, Manchester and Nashua with Boston, an extension of the Newburyport commuter rail line to Portsmouth would make a lot of sense and be a likely second line in the state. The distance between Newburyport and Portsmouth is considerably less than Concord and Lowell, and it's a pretty straight shot. I could be totally wrong about this, but I believe the T or the state of New Hampshire already have access to or ownership of the tracks there. The Downeaster would be trickier, given that it would need to be either a spur or require re-routing and possibly losing service in other towns. Obviously, the Downeaster is more comfortable and more appealing for tourists, but the commuter rail would run more frequently, and I think would serve residents and visitors very well.