100 Fore Street Garage Approved by Planning Board; Tuck O’Brion Leaving City

Archetype Architect’s Rendering of the New Parking Garage and Retail Space at 100 Fore Street.

A proposal to construct a 539 space parking garage at 100 Fore Street on the Portland waterfront was unanimously approved this evening by the city of Portland’s planning board. The planning board held two workshops last fall on the proposed development. .The property fronts on Fore Street and is perpendicular to Mountfort Street on the east end of Portland in the B6 zone.

The building, that once housed Idexx and Yale Cordage, is all but empty currently. The only tenant remaining is HamiltonMarine. That marine discount store has to vacate the premises by the end of this month according to Jonathan Cohen, property owner. It is moving to Presumpscot Street. That empty space will serve as a private physical fitness center, until the day comes that it is needed for a different purpose.

One of the conditions of approval is that the garage will be monitored for five (5) years following occupancy of it. It had been proposed to only six (6) months, but Cohen said he was okay with the extension. Tom Errico, the city’s traffic consultant, said referring to the upcoming development of Portland Foreside, a/k/a 58 Fore Street: “Things will change significantly over time.”

Six written comments on the garage application have been received by the city. They focused on the addition of new parking spaces, increased traffic congestion, parking as a use in a space that night otherwise provide housing, the economic and environmental necessity of reducing the city’s auto dependence and other comments.

Cohen also said that WEX expects to begin its move into its new headquarters on the Portland waterfront starting on February 1, 2019.

Tuck O’Brion confirmed tonight that he’s leaving his position on Friday to pursue other opportunities. He has served as planning director for the past three years. Christine Grimando, currently a Senior Planner, will serve as Acting City Planner Director, starting on Monday, January 14, 2019.