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Old 01-23-2018, 10:25 AM   #3121
Cosakita18
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Re: Portland, ME - New Construction Continued

Quote:
Originally Posted by cneal View Post
The developer for the project is a big real estate investment trust based in West Palm Beach – Chatham Lodging Trust – and their architect is from Kansas.

It certainly looks like they have little knowledge of the neighborhood they're building in and are just mailing it in (maybe quite literally). Too bad for their investors.

The Middle Street frontage is the most valuable part of their site in terms of foot traffic and leasable retail/restaurant space. Putting a lawn there makes no sense.
I would love to see any kind of frontage along Middle St, even if it was just 1-2 stories of retail as a standalone or semi-detached structure. Heck I could even see residential units as part of this project. (Much like the original plan for the site back in 2012)

I know some people who would kill to live across the street from DuckFat
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Old 01-23-2018, 10:47 AM   #3122
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Re: Portland, ME - New Construction Continued

Speaking of hotels and convention centers. A new article in "The Forecaster" highlights Portland's hotel construction boom and hints at a few more hotel proposals that will come to the Planning board in the near future

Quote:

On Dec. 13, 2017, the Planning Board approved the first two phases of the master development plan for the former Rufus Deering Lumber Co. property at 383 Commercial St. The first phase calls for a 132-room hotel with adjoining conference center to occupy the stretch of Maple Street from York to Commercial streets.

On Monday, developer David Bateman said he expects to be back in front of the Planning Board soon seeking a conditional use permit for development on Fisherman’s Wharf that includes a 93-room hotel at 184 Commercial St.

In the offing are a 150-room hotel in the former Portland Co. redevelopment at 58 Fore St. West Elm Hotels has been selected by developers Jim Brady, Kevin Costello and Casey Prentice to run the property.

Plans are also on file with the city for a 148-room hotel at Thompson’s Point, but Planning Board site review has not begun for the Portland Co. or Thompson’s Point hotels.
The article also mentions the growing need for a convention center to attract year round business visitors.

Quote:
“This is why I’ve been a vocal advocate of a convention center to sustain the infrastructure of the hotel industry,” Hewins said. “We have to be thinking about how we can draw in more business people for off-season travel and mid-week travel.”
The full article: http://www.theforecaster.net/some-co...truction-boom/
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Old 01-26-2018, 10:15 AM   #3123
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Re: Portland, ME - New Construction Continued

Steel going up on Thames Street:



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Old 01-26-2018, 11:33 AM   #3124
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Re: Portland, ME - New Construction Continued

I love the sights and sounds of structural steel going up downtown! This will be an impressive extension of the street wall all the way from Maple Street and eventually High Street once the Deering Lumber site is completed. Will be 9/10's of a mile when finished with only a few holes/vacant lots during the entire distance. For comparison purposes, Congress Street's primary commercial corridor runs 8/10's of a mile from Mellon to Franklin.

Still hate the "Thames" name on that stretch, it should have been simply East Commercial street for continuity!

Last edited by Portlander; 01-26-2018 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 01-26-2018, 01:35 PM   #3125
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Re: Portland, ME - New Construction Continued

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Still hate the "Thames" name on that stretch, it should have been simply East Commercial street for continuity!


If I can recall my Portland history correctly, the "new" Thames St. Is a call back to one of the original streets when Portland was still called Falmouth Neck. It was what is now the eastern segment of Fore St.

Last edited by Cosakita18; 01-26-2018 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 01-26-2018, 02:07 PM   #3126
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Re: Portland, ME - New Construction Continued

It is indeed exciting to see all this activity and 20 Thames is going to be a great looking building, based on the renderings:

http://20thames.com/

That said it's going to be exclusive: the penthouse unit is being marketed for $1.75 million. I'm willing to bet for most of the buyers this will not be their primary year-round residence, and in that way I don't think the building will add a lot of daily vibrancy to the area, especially in the winter. I'm sure it will be fully occupied in the summer either by owners or those able to afford a very expensive short term rental.
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Old 01-26-2018, 02:39 PM   #3127
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Re: Portland, ME - New Construction Continued

It's not an issue with the choice of Thames for a name, I just felt it made more sense to continue the street (extension) as Commercial. Also not crazy about Spring/Middle and Temple/Union merger points, pick one street name or the other. Very confusing to visitors and even some locals.

What a perfect penthouse condo for the CEO of WEX who wouldn't even need the car service to get to work in the morning! A few years ago I dubbed this part of downtown Portland as the "New Port" due to all of the new construction from Franklin to Hancock and Thames to Federal Streets.
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Old 01-26-2018, 05:50 PM   #3128
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Re: Portland, ME - New Construction Continued

20 Thames should rise to be 83 feet tall:

http://me-portland.civicplus.com/Age...6?fileID=20603

https://www.emporis.com/buildings/13...ortland-me-usa
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Old 01-27-2018, 01:26 PM   #3129
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Re: Portland, ME - New Construction Continued

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It's not an issue with the choice of Thames for a name, I just felt it made more sense to continue the street (extension) as Commercial. Also not crazy about Spring/Middle and Temple/Union merger points, pick one street name or the other. Very confusing to visitors and even some locals.

What a perfect penthouse condo for the CEO of WEX who wouldn't even need the car service to get to work in the morning! A few years ago I dubbed this part of downtown Portland as the "New Port" due to all of the new construction from Franklin to Hancock and Thames to Federal Streets.
I believe at one time the East Commercial name was actually used over at the other end of the Prom, near the sewage treatment plant. Plus, I think E911 would have had an issue with low numbers on Commercial and East Commercial being so close to each other. If anyone wants to get rid of West Commercial and just extend the numbers from Commercial St. I'd be all for it, however.

The Spring/ Middle / Temple / Union intersection is a creation of Urban Renewal. Originally, Middle went up to Monument Square, Spring stopped at Center ( I'm really not sure that easternmost block even has proper street numbers), and Temple slanted east along the front of the garage. When they stitched them up Middle still continued up the hill and they decided not to renumber the rest.
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Old 01-27-2018, 03:59 PM   #3130
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Re: Portland, ME - New Construction Continued

When they tore down the former Falmouth Hotel and developed Canal Plaza in 1972 was when everything changed. One Monument Square (Casco Bank) was completed in 1970 followed by the Holiday Inn and the eventual razing of the Golden Triangle parcel. The Maineway project which refurbished Congress Street and removed the rotary at Monument Square and turned it into a plaza was finished in 1975 along with 511 Congress (Maine Savings Bank).

Upper Middle Street was still intact until they turned it into a pedestrian walkway during the construction of One City Center (1985) and the city decided to name the two block stretch by the same name. I remember parking in the Golden Triangle dirt surface lot numerous times over the years while the city struggled to develop it. City Hall even had a nationwide design competition to determine the best use for the property and I still have the original application package complete with slides, zoning requirements, design goals and survey plats. The actual tower is very similar in design and height to the winning entry.

This was an exciting period for downtown Portland after decades of decay and neglect. New office and residential towers, (Eastland Hotel was last high rise built in 1927 until Franklin Towers was completed in 1969) parking garages, hotel, arena, library and new brick and granite sidewalks and plazas modernized the central core. The Old Port didn't really get going until after the city and developers updated and improved the tradition downtown area. One Portland Square was completed in 1989, 4 years after One City Center.
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Old 01-27-2018, 11:37 PM   #3131
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Re: Portland, ME - New Construction Continued

So where did Middle Street make the turn towards Monument Square? Would it have gone through where the Lobsterman Statue is now in front of the Nick? I'm trying to picture it.

The way that the Middle/Spring/Temple/Union intersection is set up now is not intuitive for foot traffic. Most people are walking to/from the Old Port via Middle Street to/from Monument Square, crossing Temple Street where there is no crosswalk and through the little park area where the Lobsterman Statue is. It's engineered very poorly for pedestrian traffic right now.
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Old 01-28-2018, 08:25 AM   #3132
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Re: Portland, ME - New Construction Continued

Excellent visualization Max. Middle Street did curve up near the Lobsterman plaza. The Falmouth Hotel was actually located in the street/intersection in front of Canal Plaza. After the Eastland, the Falmouth Hotel was considered second in line for first class lodging downtown during it's golden years and had a popular night club that my parents went to in the 50's. Google images of the Falmouth Hotel or historic images of downtown Portland for more insight on how that area was reconfigured. Plum Street was removed and would have run down the the center of Canal Plaza towards the harbor. There is still a small cobblestone portion of Plum Street remaining on Fore to Wharf directly across from the Hyatt!
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Old 01-28-2018, 11:26 AM   #3133
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Re: Portland, ME - New Construction Continued

Based on a 1923 map of Portland, Spring St. went only as far as Cross St.

Also looks like Cross St. went uninterrupted from Commercial all the way up to Free St. Today it's cut in two by Portland Square.
If the original street plan was still in place, it would look something like this.


Last edited by Cosakita18; 01-28-2018 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 01-30-2018, 03:00 PM   #3134
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Re: Portland, ME - New Construction Continued

Nice overlay work! Plum Street would have cut right down the center of Canal Plaza all the way down to Wharf Street.
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Old 01-30-2018, 04:42 PM   #3135
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Re: Portland, ME - New Construction Continued

Thanks for the visualization Cosakita, very helpful. As I said the predominant foot traffic pattern still follows the former path of Middle Street, and I would love to see a bit of reengineering at this intersection to recognize this reality. At the very least I think there should be some kind of crosswalk about halfway up the Lobsterman Park sidewalk across Temple Street to the small brick plaza, basically following the natural flow of foot traffic now.

Anyhow I did Google the Falmouth Hotel and Plum Street and was reminded of this great bit of history that I read a number of years ago but had forgotten about:

http://strangemaine.blogspot.com/200...rt-2-plum.html
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Old 01-30-2018, 05:41 PM   #3136
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Re: Portland, ME - New Construction Continued

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max View Post

Anyhow I did Google the Falmouth Hotel and Plum Street and was reminded of this great bit of history that I read a number of years ago but had forgotten about:

http://strangemaine.blogspot.com/200...rt-2-plum.html

"in 1966, Canal Bank had even purchased the row of structures along lower Exchange Street, but these were inevitably not demolished"

I had no idea those buildings had ever been on the chopping block. Today the corner of Fore and Exchange is one of the most iconic scenes in Portland. "Urban Renewal" could have been so much worse.
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Old 01-31-2018, 08:08 AM   #3137
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Re: Portland, ME - New Construction Continued

Cosakita, the one thing I'll note on your map is that I think (I remember the construction in that era but not what was there before it) that Spring stopped at Center; that block between Center and Cross was filled in with buildings. Historic Aerials knows better than I, though.

So far as Urban Renewal goes, remember that the Spring St. Arterial was intended to go from State to Franklin, widening both through Middle St. in the Old Port as well as on the other end to create a parkway of sorts between Franklin and the High/State pair. And I'm not sure that it was really the Old Port (in the days of Joe and Nino's Circus Room) that stopped it... it was the threat to the Park St. Row House that I believe really inspired the opposition.
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Old 01-31-2018, 08:54 AM   #3138
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Re: Portland, ME - New Construction Continued

markhb, I think you are correct on your observations. I do remember 2 large (7 and 5 story) brick buildings that kind of blocked Spring Street @ Center. They were connected by an upper level walkway but I'm not sure if through traffic could pass under it and on to Middle Street. Wish I could remember the company that was in those structures and I do think that the rundown complex was demolished around 1971.

Last edited by Portlander; 01-31-2018 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 02-02-2018, 12:42 PM   #3139
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Re: Portland, ME - New Construction Continued

Looks like NewHeightGroup has submitted an application for a six-story condo building at 56 Hampshire Street, very close to their recently finished "Luminato."

http://www.portlandmaine.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=3173
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Old 02-02-2018, 01:43 PM   #3140
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Re: Portland, ME - New Construction Continued

Retail space on the ground floor. Interesting

Not a great location for retail honestly, but maybe they're counting on the Franklin St. Rebuild to attract more pedestrians to that area in the future.
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