- Barbara Whitten, President, Greater Portland Convention & Visitors Center; Strong Supporter of the Proposed Development
By Carol McCracken (Post # 812)
Just after midnight this morning, developers for the proposed $100 million redevelopment at Thompson’s Point, The Forefront, received the incentives they needed to assure their investors that the future of this redevelopment was on track and they could be confident about the future of the redevelopment.
The city council, as expected, voted to give the Thompson’s Point Redevelopment Co. a tax break of more than $31,000. What was less certain, however, was whether the Council would vote to restrict future tax breaks to the developers through a “cap.” Leading the oppostion to the no cap, with the support of Council Cheryl Leeman, was Councilor John Anton. Leeman said that “typically there is a cap. This cannot be open ended for 30 years.” Chris Thompson, one of the three principals attending last night’s council meeting said that a “cap does not allow us the flexibility we need as we go forward in this project. It would be a disincentive to people who would like to be involved in this project.” The “no cap” proponents won.
Barbara Whitten, President, of the Greater Portland Convention & Visitors Bureau has been a strong proponent of the convention center development. Whitten established the successful Harvest on the Harbor event on the Portland waterfront three years ago. Whitten has said that this development would not be a threat to other venues in the area because it is three times larger than other area venues. Because of her position, Whitten has many contacts outside of Maine. “This convention center could bring in lots of business that would not otherwise come here.”
Thompson’s Point Redevelopment Co. has scheduled a neighborhood meeting this evening at 6 pm at the Clarion Hotel. This is a prequisite for site plan approval by the city’s planning board.
For more background information, please visit Post # 801, dated June 8 herein.