Shipyard Brewery | Cambria Suites | 86 Newbury Street | Covetrus | 12 Mountfort Street | Portland

Seanflynn78

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So I have to ask...Does anyone know what is taking this project so long to complete? Looks like they have a 4 man crew. Has the scope of the project/tenants changed since COVID-19? Happy Thanksgiving regardless!
 

Max

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So I have to ask...Does anyone know what is taking this project so long to complete? Looks like they have a 4 man crew. Has the scope of the project/tenants changed since COVID-19? Happy Thanksgiving regardless!
I'm also curious why this site has seemed to progess so slowly. If you watch their construction cam below, it starts on 10/1/18, and there are long stretches where very little seems to be happening at the site. As far as I know it's still just planned as a Cambria hotel on the Hancock Street side and the Vets First Choice HQ on the other side, plus three private residences on the Newbury Street side. The new CEO of Vets First Choice has been quoted in the media as saying site work is "behind schedule" but plans have not changed. But it also strikes me as curious that for such a large site they seem to have very small crews working there.

I wonder if they've run into unanticipated construction issues. I also wonder if the pandemic has perhaps reduced some of the urgency of finishing the project, since hotels and office space will need some time to recover before they'll be full up again.

 

Cosakita18

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Watching this project take shape has been.... weird. As far as I can tell they hit a big problem with the retaining wall bordering Newbury St early on in the construction process.

But from my comfy position as an armchair urbanist, this project really looks like it's suffering from a combination of insufficient manpower, complex construction and overall poor project management overall. For instance, the elevator shaft for the hotel has been in a half-completed state for about 3 months now. The prefabricated concrete for the hotel (a strange method of construction, by the way) went up quickly this summer and has since stopped entirely. Similarly, a small portion of steel for the Covetrus building was put up in August and then no other steel was put up until a couple of weeks ago. It seems like they are bouncing around between different parts of the project.
 
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markhb

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I have to wonder if the financial morass Covetrus has fallen into has played a part.
 

Max

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I'll take the opportunity to comment as well! Under city code, these power lines on Newbury Street should have been put underground during the construction process. The developers applied for, and received, a waiver from the planning board so they do not have to bury them. Their reasoning was simply that it's expensive. But they would have forged ahead with the development even if required to underground the lines, so in my opinion the city blew a rare opportunity to get even a small stretch of utilities put underground.

What blows my mind is that these expensive new homes and offices on Newbury Street are going to have poles and wires literally right outside their windows. I still laugh every time I walk down India Street and see the circus of wires mere feet from the windows and balconies of all those expensive condos in the Mason Block building.
 

TC_zoid

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I'll take the opportunity to comment as well! Under city code, these power lines on Newbury Street should have been put underground during the construction process. The developers applied for, and received, a waiver from the planning board so they do not have to bury them. Their reasoning was simply that it's expensive. But they would have forged ahead with the development even if required to underground the lines, so in my opinion the city blew a rare opportunity to get even a small stretch of utilities put underground.

What blows my mind is that these expensive new homes and offices on Newbury Street are going to have poles and wires literally right outside their windows. I still laugh every time I walk down India Street and see the circus of wires mere feet from the windows and balconies of all those expensive condos in the Mason Block building.
I agree, though remember it's still Maine. One is not supposed to get too sophisticated and modern here. "It's the way life should be."
 

markhb

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My observation is that they only seem to enforce the underground utilities for new street construction outside of flood zones. So, Hope Ave. in North Deering might have them, but noplace on the peninsula.
 

markhb

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I'm still stunned that a street like Hancock even exists in Portland (albeit after the loss of the Village Cafe).
 

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