Roux Institute Campus Development | Portland

TC_zoid

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If I was running the Roux, I'd leak a story: "We are now looking at land not far from UNH in Durham where there is a more welcoming populace, and it's an easy one-hour train commute to Boston and Logan, so we won't need to build a hotel, thus saving money to use for more notable A.I., cloud computing, and robotics programs. And they can still give Maine students a discount to fulfill the promise. See what happens, if the city and the PPH go to bat for them (the PPH story is a softball). UNH and Roux would be quite a one-two punch. Perhaps Mainers aren't ready for this kind of progress and prefer being in the bottom ten of U.S. economies (see the Mainebiz article from 2 days ago). So far, that's the de facto result. Roux could sell, lease, or repurpose the baked bean factory to become a massive artist community of potters, ballerinas, filmmakers, a lobster roll stand, and micro-breweries.
 
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Cosakita18

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The sad thing is... a LOT of Mainers are perfectly content with our economy remaining a stagnant backwater. Mainers (and especially transplants from elsewhere) have a very pastoral view of what the state should be....and "economic development" means nothing more than a new brew-pub or tacky jewelry shop.

Cold storage facility for the port? - "What about my view!"
Transmission corridor to bring clean hydropower to New England from Quebec? -" A disaster for outdoor recreation!"
Developing a terminal for offshore wind power in Searsport? -"Sears Island is a special place for birding!"
High-Tech educational and business incubator in Portland? - "So out of scale!!"

Maine really lacks vision and ambition when it comes to economic development.... Tourism is fine, but we are FAR too reliant on tourism...The next recession is going to hit our states economy hard....God forbid we ever have jobs that are more than just serving drinks from June to September....
 
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nomc

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Cold storage facility for the port? - "What about my view!"
Transmission corridor to bring clean hydropower to New England from Quebec? -" A disaster for outdoor recreation!"
Developing a terminal for offshore wind power in Searsport? -"Sears Island is a special place for birding!"
High-Tech educational and business incubator in Portland? - "So out of scale!!"
Or BluShift in Jonesport
Or any of the proposed fish farms along the coast
 

PWMFlyer

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its the out of staters who have moved to preserve the Maine they see it. They have earned their education out of state, work remotely, or have retired. They much rather have us native mainers live on minimum wage, work six jobs, pay high rent..do they care ?? NO. Change zoning....hell no, I love my comfortable 600,000 home/condo. Let them move somewhere else they say..They bring their ideology with them when they come here...Micro brews...restaurants, awww sailing on casco bay...Portland is so Perfect in their minds, why change it..
 

markhb

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Transmission corridor to bring clean hydropower to New England from Quebec? -" A disaster for outdoor recreation!"
That one was particularly egregious since the opposition campaign was financed by the existing power plant operators. I am mostly convinced that Natural Resource Council of Maine's true mission is to maintain Maine as a low-wage, high-expense, pit of poverty-stricken desperation (and I say that while admittedly having a very good job)!
 

mainejeff

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its the out of staters who have moved to preserve the Maine they see it. They have earned their education out of state, work remotely, or have retired. They much rather have us native mainers live on minimum wage, work six jobs, pay high rent..do they care ?? NO. Change zoning....hell no, I love my comfortable 600,000 home/condo. Let them move somewhere else they say..They bring their ideology with them when they come here...Micro brews...restaurants, awww sailing on casco bay...Portland is so Perfect in their minds, why change it..
Thank god for the "out of staters"....they are the only thing keeping Maine from slipping back into the 1800s.
 

TC_zoid

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I can't stop thinking about this. Here's a new idea: STAY WHERE YOU ARE. Later today, Roux has its inaugural commencement at Ocean Gateway. Are they really going to find a better place than that for this type of event, across the street? That's key for recruiting too. WEX understands this concept. The new location will have views of 295, the baked bean factory (hate the metaphor with this), and the sewage treatment plant on the Eastern Prom. Become an inclusive urban campus. Negotiate a long-term lease with WEX, renovate nearby office/industrial space, and build 2-3 new buildings in the Foreside development. And hotels? Don't need any. They are already all over the place in this part of town, and near empty for much of the school year. And restaurants? Don't get me started. Do they really need all those high-priced condos at Foreside? We don't, because the upper end of these will remain vacant for most of the year. It would become a true urban campus, and one that is still new with buildings. The proposed location is too isolated, and the neighbors already hate you. Why go where you aren't welcomed? Do a deal with Foreside's Casey Prentice and make it win/win. Maybe both he and Roux are thinking about this. I would abandon the baked bean factory idea. Why allow that disgusting old factory building as the focus center of your futuristic campus? Dumb. The neighbors are hostile to anything new, or different. Let them be. The Eastern waterfront is Portland's future. Google an image of this area from ten years ago. Unrecognizable. Keep building.
 

DanielPWM19

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I can't stop thinking about this. Here's a new idea: STAY WHERE YOU ARE. Later today, Roux has its inaugural commencement at Ocean Gateway. Are they really going to find a better place than that for this type of event, across the street? That's key for recruiting too. WEX understands this concept. The new location will have views of 295, the baked bean factory (hate the metaphor with this), and the sewage treatment plant on the Eastern Prom. Become an inclusive urban campus. Negotiate a long-term lease with WEX, renovate nearby office/industrial space, and build 2-3 new buildings in the Foreside development. And hotels? Don't need any. They are already all over the place in this part of town, and near empty for much of the school year. And restaurants? Don't get me started. Do they really need all those high-priced condos at Foreside? We don't, because the upper end of these will remain vacant for most of the year. It would become a true urban campus, and one that is still new with buildings. The proposed location is too isolated, and the neighbors already hate you. Why go where you aren't welcomed? Do a deal with Foreside's Casey Prentice and make it win/win. Maybe both he and Roux are thinking about this. I would abandon the baked bean factory idea. Why allow that disgusting old factory building as the focus center of your futuristic campus? Dumb. The neighbors are hostile to anything new, or different. Let them be. The Eastern waterfront is Portland's future. Google an image of this area from ten years ago. Unrecognizable. Keep building.
I've been thinking this since the beginning. Being across from/off of the peninsula is a mistake. Thompson's Point, Rock Row, and Bayside are out. Top of the old Port is probably out, as well as Portland Square.

Eastern Waterfront is the only other thing that makes sense. I'm honestly guessing Prentice will have a hard time getting to the stage of building condos. So build interesting glass buildings on the waterfront. What a spectacle that would be. Build condos on the baked bean factory site instead. Land swap. But Portland continues to be stupid time and time again. Makes me wonder how Portland limps along on that foot they keep shooting themselves in. Further sick of the NIMBY's and misguided other groups .... like Midtown being too big? Shadows? Wind? Enough.
 

GIL

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Cosakita18

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I've been pondering whether it would be possible to extend Washington Ave under 295 to the Roux site using the already-built exit 8 Northbound offramp underpass. It would involve realigning exit 8 to be sort of a "half diamond" interchange with 2 new intersections, but it would connect the Roux site directly to Washington Ave, 295 and Baxter Blvd.

This would probably require quite a bit of engineering, road closures and coordination with MaineDoT though.

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GIL

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I've been pondering whether it would be possible to extend Washington Ave under 295 to the Roux site using the already-built exit 8 Northbound offramp underpass. It would involve realigning exit 8 to be sort of a "half diamond" interchange with 2 new intersections, but it would connect the Roux site directly to Washington Ave, 295 and Baxter Blvd.

This would probably require quite a bit of engineering, road closures and coordination with MaineDoT though.

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Maybe an easier task if the NB off-ramp keeps it’s left lane to the existing connection to Washington Street, but a new right lane could be added going straight NB to Sherwood Street. This could allow NB traffic to tg en make a right turn onto Sherwood Street, directly into the institute’s campus.
Traffic exiting the campus headin to 295 would still have to take Sherwood to Veranda but then the neighborhood would get only half the new traffic.
 

nomc

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I feel like if the long-term site plan included direct-to-site access via the northbound off-ramp of 295 (just a Y-spit running up to Sherwood Street) it would go a long way toward assuaging traffic concerns.
Hewitt mentioned reserving some room for this at the last HPB meeting, however looking at the layouts above it might be too tight.

I've been pondering whether it would be possible to extend Washington Ave under 295 to the Roux site using the already-built exit 8 Northbound offramp underpass. It would involve realigning exit 8 to be sort of a "half diamond" interchange with 2 new intersections, but it would connect the Roux site directly to Washington Ave, 295 and Baxter Blvd.

This would probably require quite a bit of engineering, road closures and coordination with MaineDoT though.
Interesting idea. Other than the logistics and cost, the major issue would be the NB traffic. It already backs up pretty far at the Washington/Veranda light at certain times during the day. With the added Roux traffic and a light I could see traffic backed up into 295.

Here's my revised idea - you would have to take the two car dealerships and the multifamily on the corner of Veranda, but with two roundabouts you could do it.

Roux 2.png
 

markhb

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I let someone else find the link, but there's a Maine Voices column in today's Press Herald from some of the opposing neighbors of which the gist is, "don't call us NIMBY's, we flat out don't trust these developers. "
 

Cosakita18

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"Calling us NIMBYs is unfair" says the person who then goes on to give a textbook definition of NIMBYism

I'm all for a solid community engagement process...but seriously...Just ignore these people. Ignore them like you would ignore a child throwing a temper tantrum. They're not interested in what's best for this city or state. They aren't even really interested in the "constructive dialogue" they claim to care so much about
 

nomc

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"Calling us NIMBYs is unfair" says the person who then goes on to give a textbook definition of NIMBYism

I'm all for a solid community engagement process...but seriously...Just ignore these people. Ignore them like you would ignore a child throwing a temper tantrum. They're not interested in what's best for this city or state. They aren't even really interested in the "constructive dialogue" they claim to care so much about
Since public comment is, for the most part, negative in these instances, community engagement/comment should happen at the policy level not on individual projects.
 

TC_zoid

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It's another sob piece supporting the neighbors in today's PPH. During its peak, the factory probably had double the number of workers (maybe, 150?), and then there were the trucks coming and going every day. Is Roux really going to add more disruptive traffic than that? Not much. The hotel is for visiting students, so they aren't irritating tourists. They are going to classes. The neighbors keep decrying the commercial aspects of the project, e.g., the hotel, restaurants, and "condos," but that is false. It's visiting students from all over the country and world. They should tour the present Roux and talk with these students. The entrepreneurship program has brought startup visionaries from all over the world. They graduated yesterday, but apparently, that's not a feel-good for these neighbors. They would rather sit in their Archie Bunker armchairs and spew hatred based on pure ignorance (Google some of those show clips). They use their ignorance and emotions to decide on what Roux is and will be. If I was running Roux, I would abandon this move. Locate it in the East End waterfront. This is where the progressive minded are, and not those ancient neighborhoods with its provincial mindsets. Boring, and not the future. Avoid them at all costs.
 

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