Good evening from the BDN Portland office on Congress Street. Today we got another glimpse of how Portland could look in 10 years.
What we’re talking about
This morning developers unveiled their plans for a quarter-billion dollar project along the water on the East End. You can see renderings of the proposal here.
Here’s Jake Bleiberg’s post:
Ten acres along Portland’s eastern waterfront would be built into an manicured neighborhood of residential buildings, shops and restaurants in a development that stirred controversy last year and will be formally unveiled today.
The redevelopment of what was once a foundry at 58 Fore St. will cost roughly $250 million and include more than 600 units of housing in a mix of glass and brick buildings and a hotel, according to the Press Herald, which first reported development plans submitted to the city.
Although development company CBP2’s unveiling of its proposed master plan for the site this morning was the first release of fine-grained details, the project has been at the center of a heated debate over development in Portland for more than a year.
In 2015, a group of Munjoy Hill residents tried to block the Fore Street building through a municipal referendum after the City Council rezoned the area to allow the construction of taller buildings. Opponents of the ballot measure spent more than $100,000 on campaigning, including $20,000 from CBP2, and it was handily defeated last November.
Portland’s inclusionary housing ordinance requires that 10 percent of the homes in the development be affordable for a middle-income household, which in Portland means roughly $77,000 a year for a family of four. However, the developer can buy out of this requirement by paying $100,000 to the city Housing Trust Fund for each affordable unit that would be added.
“[I]t’s too early to tell whether it will be built or if they will execute the buyout,” Angie Helton, a spokeswoman for CBP2 said this evening.
The rezoning of the eastern waterfront allows buildings as tall as 65 feet. At least one building east of Waterville Street will approach that height, while those west of the street will be shorter, the Press Herald reported.
Meanwhile, in taco news — Almost a year after it closed on York Street, El Rayo Taqueria opens Thursday for breakfast and lunch only in its new digs at 26 Free St. The deck is open, the breakfast burritos are rolling and dinner comes soon. — Kathleen Pierce
Oil spill response crew says its boat left Portland Harbor because pipeline couldn’t afford it — The Maine Responder, a pollution control vessel long stationed in Portland Harbor, was taken out of service last month in part because the company that pumps oil to Montreal couldn’t pay for its service, the ship’s crew recently told the U.S. government.
Employees of Marine Spill Response Corporation on Sept. 9 asked the Department of Labor to provide income support and job training for the six Maine Responder crew members through a program for workers whose jobs have been affected by shifts in international trade. The crew will lose their jobs, at least half of them later this month, according to the document sent to the Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance.
One of Portland’s greatest bands is celebrating its 25th anniversary this week — Troy Bennett hung out at a King Memphis rehearsal last night at a local motorcycle garage. The band has been playing rockabilly since 1991 and is celebrating 25 years with a trio of gigs this weekend, including Friday night at Portland House of Music and Events.
The Press Herald says South Portland High School is right to ban dances — Do you think this is a good way to address the substance use problems that have been reported at school dances? Does eliminating a destination help address the problem of students drinking or drugging before the dances?
Related: Here’s Judy Harrison’s story on a BDN event that brought together “about 160 students from more than 30 schools around the state … to tell adults how best to keep teenagers from using drugs.”
The Big Idea
‘We Gave Four Good Pollsters the Same Raw Data. They Had Four Different Results.’ — The NYT shows how much a pollster’s perspective weighs in on the results of a poll:
Polling results rely as much on the judgments of pollsters as on the science of survey methodology. Two good pollsters, both looking at the same underlying data, could come up with two very different results.
How so? Because pollsters make a series of decisions when designing their survey, from determining likely voters to adjusting their respondents to match the demographics of the electorate. These decisions are hard. They usually take place behind the scenes, and they can make a huge difference.
Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email Dan MacLeod at firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet @dsmacleod.
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