On Tuesday of this week, the Portland planning board approved the second iteration of Verdante, a six story condominium planned for 56 Hampshire Street, next to the major arterial, Franklin Street. at the bottom of Munjoy Hill. It is expected to have 30 market rate condominiums, retail space and a three level mechanical parking garage for 60 vehicles on the ground floor. Ventilation from the parking garage will be provided.
This meeting was the second for NewHeight LLC, represented by Chip Newell, because planning department staff wanted to be certain that the building design meets the city’s design standards. That included being certain that the “facade has visibility on all sides. We are pretty pleased,” said Caitlin Cameron, urban designer, for the city of Portland. David Lloyd is the architect. Newell is also the developer for the neighboring Luminato condos.
A large part of the recent planning board meeting was devoted to the removal by the developers of a copper metal siding to be replaced by metal painted to a similar color to imitate the copper – as a money saving consideration. Planning board members tried and tried to get a commitment from Newell to use copper rather than the painted metal.
Finally, it was decided that if Newell did not use copper, he would return to the planning board staff for approval. “If we can possibly use copper, we will. Trust me,” Newell told the planning board.
“Copper has gotten very expensive,” said Newell as he left the planning board meeting this week.