By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,257)
Late last month the City of Portland issued a Request for Proposal (“RFP”) for the redevelopment of a lot on Munjoy Hill – 65 Munjoy Street, according to Mary Davis, Division Director for the Housing and Community Development Division.
The RFP will be advertised in the “Portland Press Herald,” and mailed to a list of fourteen (14) developers from a list the city has accumulated over the years. The deadline for returning proposals is January 13, 2015. The proposals will be reviewed by a committee of city staff members. The matter will be returned to the Housing and Community Development Committee of which city councilor from District 1 Kevin Donoghue is chairman. The city council makes the final decision.
65 Munjoy Street is part of the original Marada Adams Elementary School – named for a legendary educator on the Hill. In 2006, the Adams School was closed upon the completion of the new East End Community School at 195 North Street on the Hill. A reuse committee was established by the city with Dan Haley, former owner of the Haley Insurance Co., serving at its chair. After extensive community outreach, the Adams School Reuse Committee issued a report which was accepted by the City Council in September of 2007, according to a memorandum prepared by Davis, last month.
The vision of the Reuse Committee was to develop life-cycle living. A RFP was issued in 2007 and Avesta Housing was the only developer to submit a proposal. The original Avesta proposal included a 40 unit affordable residential development and community park. But, due to the recession in 2008, it was hard to find financing for the whole project and Avesta asked to divide the property into two parcels. The main parcel was developed into the existing 16 unit Adams School Condominium project. Avesta requested an option to develop the second parcel (which included the parking lot and the green space adjacent to the new playground) at a later date. The City elected not to grant the option to Avesta.
65 Munjoy Street is used by the neighborhood for off-street and snow-ban parking. There has been neighborhood opposition to the development of this site because of the loss of parking. Existing snow ban parking options include East End School, Cutter Street, and Ocean Gateway Garage. Last year parking was expanded to include the water side of the Eastern Prom from Turner to East End Community School – creating approximately 100 additional spaces.
An outside consulting group identified “two triple-decker styled flats with flat roofs as the most viable design option. This design would yield 8 units – two 2-bedroom units on the ground floor and one 2-3 bedroom unit on the 2nd and 3rd floors. The design would include two surface on-site parking spaces.,” according to the memo. Sales prices of $217,000-$235,000 for the two bedroom units and $245,000-$285,000 for the three bedroom units have been recommended.