By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,535)
Although plans are still very preliminary, Ed Theriault, owner of TLA, confirmed today that he and developer Chip Newell have formed a partnership that will lead to the construction of a 12-unit upscale condominium development on the site of his 118 Congress Street property on Munjoy Hill. Currently, the offices of TLA are located on the site and will be moved to an as yet undetermined location.
The plans call for a 4 story building. That includes one story dedicated to garages, one to commercial space and the top two floors reserved for upscale condominiums. The current zoning calls for buildings to be no taller than 45 ft. According to Clyde Blackwell, an in-house architect, the developers plan to request a 50 ft. building height increase from the city. This height increase will permit the ceilings to be a foot taller than otherwise and provide a better “distant view” of Casco Bay from the building top. Failure to obtain this height change, will not affect the construction of the project, said Blackwell this afternoon. The design architect for the project, whose working title is “118 Congress Street,” is David Lloyd, of Archetype Architects, Portland. (Lloyd is also the architect for the addition to the nearby St. Lawrence Arts Center.)
Previously the site was home to the Whole Grocer. It was boughtg and shut down by Whole Foods in 2007. The Whole Grocer’s employees were all transfered to Whole Foods at the time. Back in the 1920s, it was a gas station and in the late 1880s, it was the mid-evil castle of Samuel L. Carleton, a local attorney and photographer; a photograph of which is at the TLA offices. TLA purchased the building in the mid-1990s.
“I have been considering this over the last year or so but wanted to make sure we had the correct team together before moving forward with the project,” Theriault said in an email to mhn.net this afternoon “Our goal is to develop somethng that will improve the site and be an asset to the community.”