Roux Institute Campus Development | Portland

nomc

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PB workshop tomorrow for zoning change, IDP and IOZ. In the public comment there is a letter from Anthony Donovan, the director of Maine Rail Transit Coalition, supporting the project. In it he says

"The MRTC is currently engaged in a project to bring a light rail passenger train service on the state-owned railroad adjacent to the development"

"The state-owned St. Lawrence & Atlantic railroad is an existing transportation infrastructure in place and can be restored for a passenger train service. Reconstruction of the trestle bridge into the city has been evaluated by a number of engineers and can be done, at a reasonable cost. Passenger train service can, and should, be provided on this route into the City."

Maybe this isn't news to anyone, but I didn't think anyone would even push to have the trestle rebuilt. Hopefully IDEALS/the city/whoever seriously considers this.
 

markhb

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Tony and MRTC have been pushing that idea - commuter rail via the GT terminating near Ocean Gateway - for years now. They have a study with a cost estimate to restore the trestle that is so far below any other number I've seen that I really can't believe in it. So far, no one appears to be taking them seriously.
 

Cosakita18

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Restoring the GT for passenger service is a pipe dream. It will never happen.

I'm as pro-rail as anyone can possibly be...but all the studies of the GT corridor have shown that ridership would be mediocre at best and would come at the expense of other (more viable) transit projects.

Even if $150+ million magically became available...there isn't enough space along the Eastern Waterfront to build a standard gauge rail corridor, station and layover facility. It's never going to happen.
 

TC_zoid

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Could not agree more Cosakita18. And the area leading up to the OG terminal would be soiled and spoiled with a big noisy dirty loud train. The NG Railroad is enough. Kids hanging out the windows licking their ice cream cones is ideal.
 

Cosakita18

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I very much disagree that a hypothetical standard-gauge rail corridor would "spoil" the eastern waterfront (modern electric trains are far from loud or dirty) and if there were 3-4 times the residential and employment density, I would say that the current Narrow Gauge / GT corridor would be ideal for a light rail line...but it's just not economically sensible given current or projected population and land use. The line from East Deering up to Auburn -MAY- have a future for freight rail service, but passenger rail along the GT line is a dream that will never happen.

In a similar vein, my slightly controversial opinion is that the narrow gauge shouldn't be where it is...and the Eastern Waterfront trail should be widened to separate cyclists from pedestrians and beachgoers. When Roux gets built that will be the fastest way to walk and bike from the campus to downtown. It's only going to get busier
 

Seanflynn78

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Yes- Portland is a city and look at that urban landscape! Gasp! Build up! Glad to see more skilled labor is being brought into Portland. I hope the NIMBY's realize that Roux's students will eventually buy their homes and add to to the tax base. Biotech is the way to go and Portland is finally catching up. Judging from these pictures it appears the impact (height and size of these buildings) will be in scale with the rest of Portland's skyline.
 

TC_zoid

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I still strongly believe that the baked bean factory needs to be torn down. It's not congruous with what the school represents--the future of tech education. I wouldn't be so adamant with this if it had some significant history behind it, but sorry, making baked beans is a yawn. And eating them... (lol)
 

Cosakita18

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I still strongly believe that the baked bean factory needs to be torn down. It's not congruous with what the school represents--the future of tech education. I wouldn't be so adamant with this if it had some significant history behind it, but sorry, making baked beans is a yawn. And eating them... (lol)
It's a Portland landmark. Not only does keeping and repurposing a perfectly functional building make financial sense, but it also creates a sense of place and unique identity. It's a visual symbol of connecting Portland's past and future.

Plus, repurposed historic buildings are often an asset. If people and businesses weren't interested in historic industrial buildings... all the old textile mills in Biddeford / Lewiston / Lowell / Manchester / Brunswick / Haverhill and other cities would have been torn down decades ago....but now they're highly sought after as places to live and work.
 
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Dr. StrangeHat

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I still strongly believe that the baked bean factory needs to be torn down. It's not congruous with what the school represents--the future of tech education. I wouldn't be so adamant with this if it had some significant history behind it, but sorry, making baked beans is a yawn. And eating them... (lol)
Last thing Roux needs right now is for the rest of Portland to turn on them. Saving the factory building appeases the local change-haters to some degree.
 

TC_zoid

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It's a Portland landmark. Not only does keeping and repurposing a perfectly functional building make financial sense, but it also creates a sense of place and unique identity. It's a visual symbol of connecting Portland's past and future.

Plus, repurposed historic buildings are often an asset. If people and businesses weren't interested in historic industrial buildings... all the old textile mills in Biddeford / Lewiston / Lowell / Manchester / Brunswick / Haverhill and other cities would have been torn down decades ago....but now they're highly sought after as places to live and work.
Disagree. The baked bean factory is not historic. If so, then EVERYTHING old should be saved, including your shoes (good memories walking around in those). And it won't be a landmark to future generations. It only is to current older people in Portland, who don't matter for the future because they will all be gone. The only reason the textile mills were saved is because it's far cheaper that way. These cities were all broke. I grew up in Saco. The mill buildings were always a laughingstock in conversations. Even today their public use is limited--to the periphery. Roux has money. That makes this scenario different. Biddeford-Saco and other cities' mill buildings are not conducive to an ideal architectural footprint for public use. I have friends with businesses in the Biddeford-Saco mill and know one of the primary leasing agents. There are problems of functionality, other than industrial. That's why many of the businesses are clothing related. They were designed for large machinery to make fabric, so long in nature. Again, they were there and relatively cheap to convert. Roux wants to spend hundreds of millions to build new buildings. Let them. The baked bean factory is an embarrassing monument reminder of how provincial minded Mainers are. Get rid of it. It's a massive incongruity with an institution designed to attract and educate young students from all over the country and the world. It will never be a feel-good memory for the people using it. It's about them--not an old Mainer driving past in his or her car.
 

PWMFlyer

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Lets tear down the old port...LOL I remember what Hartford looked like before the ugly buildings were built. The developers cleared out the whole city of old and built new..Look where the city is today. No one is attracted to just new buildings. Incorporate the old with new and that is what brings innovation..
 

TC_zoid

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Lets tear down the old port...LOL I remember what Hartford looked like before the ugly buildings were built. The developers cleared out the whole city of old and built new..Look where the city is today. No one is attracted to just new buildings. Incorporate the old with new and that is what brings innovation..
What does this have to do with an old factory building with little relevant history? Why would one want to tear down the Old Port? It's key to what makes Portland the dynamic city it is.
 

matt.greeson

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I think a lot of people view it as a landmark, being so visible from 295 heading north. It's not an unattractive building.
 

TC_zoid

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I think a lot of people view it as a landmark, being so visible from 295 heading north. It's not an unattractive building.
"Ugly buildings, whores, and politicians all become respectable if they last long enough." (John Huston's character said this in the film Chinatown)
 

DZH22

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LOL I remember what Hartford looked like before the ugly buildings were built. The developers cleared out the whole city of old and built new..Look where the city is today....
Not entirely a fair assessment of what happened there. Yes the developers cleared out a ton of the old city. HOWEVER(!!!) due to the 80's recession most of the large buildings did not end up being built!!! This would have included 2 buildings over 800' and 2 more over 700'. If all the towers actually went up it might have remained functional. Instead, the old buildings were demoed and then the recession hit, leaving the city hollowed out rather than rebuilt with that 1980's vision!

Not saying the vision would have been successful or would have been better than what was there before. Just saying we'll never know because rather than being replaced by gleaming new skyscrapers, the old city was replaced by parking lots.
 

Dr. StrangeHat

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