By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,601)
The City’s Planning Board approved two projects this evening with relative ease in both situations. The first project to be considered was 62 India Street. Currently, Port City Glass, occupies the site. The approval was for a four-story, 45 ft. high. condo. Plans call for parking on the ground floor, three retail spaces and 29 market rate condos. The building is subject to the Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance and is in the India Street Historic District. To the developer’s advantage the proposal is not located in a neighborhood likely to rally against the development.
This building qualified for its review by the city staff rather than going the planning board route. Dasco said that he plans on removing the current building for his at the end of August or beginning of September.
The other approval came for a 180 room 6-story AC Hotel located at 158 Fore Street on an empty lot of 1.40 acres of land with sweeping views of the Portland waterfront. The developer, Ara Aftandilian, of Portland Norwich Group, LLC. told the planning board there will be a fitness center, and as a boutique hotel, there will be limited food service on site. There is a lease with the Gateway Garage for parking . There will be no pool. There will be no restaurant in the Hotel as well because there are so many in the area, Aftandilian told the planning board.
The developer also said that AC is a new brand from the Marriott chain designed with an European flair that includes lots of artwork in it. There are already other similar boutiques in Chicago, Washington, D.C., New Orleans and Boston in this country. Additionally, Aftandilian, said that he purchased the land and the parking garage in November of 2015 for $20. million. Since, he has sold the parking garage to 167 Fore Street LLC.
This building is the first of four buildings planned for the space across from another Marriott Hotel – the Residence. Unlike its original plans, this AC Hotel will have no condominium units on its top floor. That’s because the three other anticipated buildings on site will be residential as well as retail. The planning board approved plans for a Site 111 Site Plan with the understanding that the Development Team will work with city staff to make the roof line at the building top more interesting than it currently is; a request made by board member Carol Morrisette. Morrisette complimented the developer on all of the diversity in the architecture of the building other than the roof line. (See above right photo.)
It’s expected that ground will be broken for Phase 1 of this project by the end of this year.