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Old 06-29-2011, 05:28 AM   #41
Corey
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Re: Thompson's Point, Portland

There was a neat picture along with the above article on Munjoy Hill News which shows the area before I-295:

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Old 06-29-2011, 07:28 AM   #42
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Re: Thompson's Point, Portland

I don't see the old Union Station train shed (1/5 of it) there yet either, so this photo must date before 1961 when the station was torn down.
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Old 07-04-2011, 04:48 PM   #43
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Re: Thompson's Point, Portland

I did some documenting of Thompson's Point yesterday. It's pretty raw out there, hard to picture it being all developed in person. I look forward to it though.

















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Old 07-04-2011, 09:17 PM   #44
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Re: Thompson's Point, Portland

Nice "before" shots Corey, can't wait for the "after" shots! Still waiting for you to take some photos of the new terminal addition on your route to or from work : )
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:21 PM   #45
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Re: Thompson's Point, Portland


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Old 09-15-2011, 02:47 PM   #46
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Re: Thompson's Point, Portland

There's been an updated "master plan" site layout submitted to City Hall, for discussion at the next PB workshop. I took a look at it last night after work.

The new layout is significantly different and an improvement in my opinion. It looks as though the developers have gotten permission from NNEPRA to use some of their land adjacent to the tracks, just south of the transportation center. The parking garage has been moved to that location, which seems to make sense, as it will reduce the length of traffic lines going in/out for large events, and it will also allow for train and bus passengers to use the garage.

The other big change is that a narrow, street-like public plaza has replaced the big parking lot at the center of the site, with the arena and concert hall to the west, and office buildings to the east, and the hotel at the south. It's potentially a cool public space. There are still some surface parking lots scattered around the peninsula, but they're smaller than the one in the initial proposal. The only drawback to the new proposal is that the waterfront areas on the edge of the peninsula face the rear ends of most of the buildings, and are the location of access drives and parking lots. Maybe not the best use of waterfront land, but that's their prerogative.

They've also drafted a Transportation Demand Management plan to mitigate traffic snarls and reduce the parking they build. It emphasizes lots of bike racks, indoor and outdoor, plus a launch area for kayaks, easy access for METRO buses, and an endorsement of the "5-Express" bus route, which Councilors have proposed as a frequent-running express loop between the Jetport, the PTC/Thompson's Point, Maine Med, and Monument Square.

The City will probably post the updated sketch renderings of the site on the PB backup materials tomorrow. If not I took some snapshots of the updated materials and will post them here later.
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Old 09-15-2011, 03:04 PM   #47
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Re: Thompson's Point, Portland

Cneal, the new layout sounds great and I am looking forward to seeing your snapshots.
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Old 09-15-2011, 04:08 PM   #48
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Re: Thompson's Point, Portland

New layout does sound like an improvement, good. I agree that it is a shame that the backs of buildings face the water....it would be nice to see a centralized parking structure wrapped by buildings (and therefore hidden from view) that face the water. It amazes me that so many bad site plans are drafted with the amount of examples of what does NOT work out there that there are. Probably the worst site I've seen in recent history is the midtown mall or whatever they call it in Sanford. That place needs to go. We don't need anymore of that, especially not in a progressively planned city like Portland.
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Old 09-16-2011, 05:39 AM   #49
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Re: Thompson's Point, Portland

I wonder if the Cumberland County Civic Plans fall through, that Thompson's point might jump on board with adding an ice sheet for hockey and perhaps increase the seating capacity? Glad to hear they have updated the master plan and I think this development will have a positive impact on this section of the penisula. Have they announced which hotel chain is going to be added?
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Old 09-16-2011, 05:52 AM   #50
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Re: Thompson's Point, Portland

Thanks for the update Cneal, sounds like some really positive improvements overall. I'm also excited about the possible new "express" METRO line.

Seanflynn78 - I think someone said it would be an "Aloft" hotel, which is owned by Starwood Hotels. Not sure if that is a definite. And perhaps the developers should be looking at adding a sheet of ice to the arena. I'm sure they considered the pros and cons of that during the initial brainstorming sessions.
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Old 09-16-2011, 05:56 AM   #51
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Re: Thompson's Point, Portland

The hotel is supposed to be Aloft which would be good since it's part of the Westin/starwood family

http://www.starwoodhotels.com/alofthotels/index.html

The price jump for a 3000 seat arena to a 8-10K is enomorous. It's not going to happen.

We screwed up free land and 20 million towards a new one and Joe Boulos's project, we're never going to get another opportunity.

We should renovate as planned and they should enact a 2025 target date for the new one to be built. Be ready to do it right this time.
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Old 09-16-2011, 08:18 AM   #52
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Re: Thompson's Point, Portland

Seanflynn 78, the primary focus of this project is the convention space which Portland is lacking in. The exception is the Holiday Inn By The Bay which has credible meeting/convention spaces for a hotel, but lacks the large breakout hall (only15,000 sf with columns) compared to Thompson's Point proposed 48,000 sf main hall. This amount of space will accommodate medium size conventions and will even allow for auto shows and similar events.

The basketball/concert facility is a wonderful piece of the project but is not going to be a true arena with permanent fixed seats as you would expect. As grittys pointed out, the cost to incorporate an 8-10K seat arena (Mohegan Sun's set up is a perfect example) into the proposal would cost a fortune and would shift the priority of the complex. Portland already has an 8600 seat arena (6700 hockey), and as much as I would prefer a new 10K seat building downtown, I am ready to move on and support the renovations to the CCCC. Was able to review the planned changes and improvements the other day and I am pleased with the makeover, especially with the addition of brand new seating, larger concourses and a visually more attractive exterior.
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Old 09-16-2011, 08:39 AM   #53
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Re: Thompson's Point, Portland



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Old 09-16-2011, 08:48 AM   #54
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Re: Thompson's Point, Portland

Thanks cneal, glad they are connecting the garage to the event center with an enclosed walkway. Not sure about the placement of the office buildings?
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Old 09-16-2011, 11:17 AM   #55
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Re: Thompson's Point, Portland

I agree, Christian, that this is a much improved--if still imperfect--site plan proposal. I wish the city hadn't cut the position of urban designer in....2005?
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Old 09-16-2011, 11:23 AM   #56
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Re: Thompson's Point, Portland

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seanflynn78 View Post
I wonder if the Cumberland County Civic Plans fall through, that Thompson's point might jump on board with adding an ice sheet for hockey and perhaps increase the seating capacity? Glad to hear they have updated the master plan and I think this development will have a positive impact on this section of the penisula. Have they announced which hotel chain is going to be added?
I think if the city were willing to float a $50 million bond, perhaps the red claws could come up with the other $50 for a new 10,000 person arena. This is exactly what was proposed in 2005, but not at a local level--a state level--and was the reason the project failed (no political support for public financing through meals and lodging tax increase). Sean, have you seen the rendering for the 2005 proposal? It would have been great.
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Old 09-18-2011, 08:31 AM   #57
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Re: Thompson's Point, Portland

Do you think the Thompsons Point arena could eventually be expanded? I know there is talk of Having the America East Basketball tournament in Portland. Although UMaine is currently renovating Alfond Arena and next to get renovated is Memorial Gym in Orono.
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:29 AM   #58
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Re: Thompson's Point, Portland

Thompson's Point

Jon Jennings, a partner in the Thompson's Point development team, said the group is in discussions with a concert promoter interested in building an amphitheater at what will be called The Forefront at Thompson's Point.

Jennings unveiled new plans that would create a retractable wall on the north end of the development's proposed concert hall. It would open up to create the amphitheater that, combined with indoor seating, could seat 4,800 people.

The plan is part of a $100 million development proposal that would also bring a convention center and office buildings to the Fore River property west of Interstate 295.

It was the group's second workshop with the board. And for the second time, they were grilled about traffic concerns and pedestrian accessibility.

The development team, consisting of Chris Thompson and Maine Red Claws owners Jennings and Bill Ryan Jr., unveiled new measures to handle event traffic.

For events that draw 2,500 people or more, they said, a special traffic management plan would be used. A police officer and several flaggers would direct traffic, and the Thompson's Point access road would be equipped with a reversible lane to handle traffic before and after events.

After events, all exiting vehicles would be forced to turn right onto the Fore River Parkway, where they could access Interstate 295, the Old Port via Commercial Street, and South Portland via the Veterans Memorial Bridge.

Drivers who want to go west on Congress Street, however, would have to use the I-295 "clover leaf": get on the northbound ramp and then immediately exit to reverse their direction.

The group also plans on creating a traffic demand management plan that over time, they said, would reduce the number of single-occupant vehicle trips by 20 percent. It would also establish in an on-site traffic coordinator.

Traffic engineer Randy Dunton said, under the worst-case scenario, the development would generate about 570 morning peak hour trips into the property and 955 trips out in the evening peak.

But Planning Board Chairman Joe Lewis said he is "deeply skeptical" about that figure, since it assumes more than three people per vehicle.

Board member David Silk said developers need to make sure pedestrians have the most direct route to and from the facility, and that pathways are wide enough to prevent people from spilling over into the streets.

"They're like a herd of cows," Silk said of people leaving an event. "They take the path of least resistance."

Thompson said getting the traffic issues right is as important for the developers as it is for the city, since the group will be not just be building the project.

"We're not just developers, we're operators," he said. "The fact that we're going to run this, too, I think matters."

Despite the board's concerns about traffic and making the site accessible to pedestrians and bicyclists, Lewis said the city still enthusiastically supports the project.

"You guys are doing a great job," he said. "But we will continue to hold your feet to the fire to make sure you do the best possible job."
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:19 AM   #59
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Re: Thompson's Point, Portland

The answers from the q & a section somewhere starting in the 50 page area is interesting. It shows for one restaurant in the drawing but then in his answer he says he wants to have restaurant row. Also said movie theaters have talked to them.

I don't think a full cinema would be a good choice for that area but how about just an IMAX? That would do the trick and fill a void.

As far as the restaurant I think a Jerry Remy's would be a good idea if they want to expand up this far.
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Old 10-14-2011, 11:51 AM   #60
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Re: Thompson's Point, Portland

It's been awful quiet on the forums lately. Here's something from the Forecaster:

Talks could lead to garage, transit hub at Thompson's Point in Portland Oct 12, 2011 12:00 am

http://www.theforecaster.net/content...burban-propane

Some highlights from the article:

Quote:
Stakeholders are hoping to move Suburban Propane from Thompson's Point, which could pave the way for a new rail-side transportation center as part of the proposed Forefront at Thompson's Point.
Quote:
At a recent Planning Board workshop, the development team said it is trying to work out a plan to move the propane company, so a parking garage could be built along the railroad tracks.

The move could create the possibility of a new bus and train station.
The Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority is studying options for a new train station in preparation for the Downeaster's northbound extension to Brunswick.
Quote:

Although Clegg would not disclose any details, City Councilor Edward Suslovic said the city is contemplating selling a piece of land on Riverside Street to Suburban. That land was previously eyed for a new public works facility, but that proposal is not going forward, he said.
Quote:
Suslovic said if the bus-and-train station is put within the Thompson's Point development, it would open up the land that now houses the Portland Transportation Center for redevelopment.
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