By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,541)
31 Fore Street, an apartment building at the corner of Waterville Street on Munjoy Hill, is scheduled to be razed and replaced by condominiums according to plans recently filed with the city’s planning office – a pattern of gentrification on the Hill that reduces the number of rental units and leaves tenants looking for other apartrments when the number of vacancies is negligible. A situation for which the owner should bear some financial responsibility for displacing tenants who will be forced to move – somewhere.
31 Fore Street had its 15 minutes when its former owner, who does not live in Portland, was an active member of the Souls of Portland, the defunct group dedicated to blocking the development of 58 Fore Street directly across the street. The property has a sweeping view of Casco Bay. The former owner was concerned that the proposed development would hurt his chances of selling the property at its real value. However, last year Hlll residents Bob and Cassie LeBlanc purchased the apartment building with plans to convert it into condominium units.
Plans for the three unit apartment building call for a new structure that includes a mix of 1 one-bedroom, 1 two-bedroom and 2 three-bedroom units. The plans call for on-site parking for six (6) vehicles. The site is located in the R-6 zone.
Tenants in good standing who have lived at 31 Fore Street for six months are entitled to compensation for moving expenses, including security deposits, and set ups for new utilities according to many forward thinking municipilities. Tenants should also receive an extended period of time – 90 days – in which to find a comparable unit to which to relocate. It’s a policy that the city should adopt and make very public to insure that all tenants receive the same and fair treatment from developers. It’s the right thing to do!
There is research to be done here by the city staff; status quo Mayor Strimling just needs to instruct the staff to pursue it. The matter is expected to be on the February 2016 agenda of the planning board.
Plans are available and may be viewed in person at city hall, third floor by referring to APP 1D # 2016 005. Contact Jean Fraser, planner, at 874-8728 or at email@example.com for more infomation.