By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,401)
This morning managers of CPB2 LLC unveiled stunning renderings of their concept for the adaptive reuse of a significant portion of the former Portland Company site. The public meeting was held in the historic core of the sixteen buildings that compromise the complex located at 58 Fore Street on the Munjoy Hill waterfront.
Held at Building 2, most of the local press attended along with supporters of the redevelopment. None of the leaders from the “Souls” attended the well-publicized public meeting, although they have been clamoring for such a public showing for months. (The “Souls” are the NIMBY’s of Munjoy Hill -opposed to any and all development in that location.)
Clearly dedicated to the historical significance of the location, building no. 2 was built by John Poor, the man with a vision of connecting Portland to Canada by rail transport, said Brady. Brady, manager, of CPB2, said he expects to have 2 or 3 more similar ‘unveilings’ in the near future. While he expects that a portion of the eastern part of the almost ten acres purchased from Phin Sprague, Jr., may be dedicated to housing, it is too soon to determine if that will be the best use of the property when plans are finalized.
The housing market on Munjoy Hill is hot right now, but that may not be the situation in 5 – 10 years from now. Based on the renderings displayed today, it is impossible to imagine a more thoughtful reuse of this waterfront property that fills the needs of the City of Portland rather than the short sighted demands of the NIMBY’s of Munjoy Hill.
Brady said that the lease of the popular Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum has been extended through late 2017. Meanwhile, Donnie Carroll, executive director, said the Museum is going forward with is plans to move to Gray. Carroll has applied for about 8 grants including one just submitted to the Stephen King Foundation. He’s applied for almost $500,000. in grant money so far with more to come. The move to Gray is expected to cost about $12 M to complete according to Carroll today.
In the alternative, the Museum could choose to run the mini-railroad on the track at 58 Fore Street – the track that has a long-term lease from the Maine DOT in exchange for keeping it in operational condition – without a Museum presence on site.