PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER -- The city council has given the green light to a large residential development project in Bayside neighborhood.
The council approved a 60 foot building-height increase, so that a developer can build fifteen-story towers. A Miami-based company has the city-owned land on Somerset Street under contract to buy for 2.3 million dollars. The company wants to build four 165-foot towers and two parking garages.The project would take about ten years to complete. The end result would be a total of 93 thousand square feet of retail space, 1100 parking spaces and 675 market-rate apartments.
The project is part of an effort by the city to redevelop the neighborhood. But there are concerns that the towers would obstruct water views. There is also a question as to whether there is a need in Portland for that much market-rate housing.
"We have some of the lowest vacancy rates on the residential side of development in apartments" Portland Economic Development Director Greg Mitchell said. "Those vacancies are putting pressure on an older housing stock."
This is a three phase project. The first phase would bring 180 apartments, a six-level parking garage, and 40 thousand square feet of retail space. If the plan is approved, the company hopes to break ground before the end of the year.