It would be a good idea to see if the City Council still supports the proposal for Portland Landing a/k/a the Amethyst Lot on the Portland waterfront. That was a question posed to Ethan Hipple this evening following his presentation before the Economic Development Committee, chaired by Justin Costa, one of the more conservative members of the Portland City Council. “We don’t want you to put any more work into this until we know if there is financial support for it,” said the fiscally conservative Councilor Nick Mavadones.
What? Does this signal the beginning of the end of our promised access to the Portland waterfront? Is that what I heard?
Hipple said that the project initiated by city manager Jon Jennings several years ago is just entering Phase 1 of a four phase project. Hipple and others are focused on finding funding for this phase and have a long way to go in this mission. He plans on asking for CIP funding from the city as well as other sources, including grants.
The total cost of Portland Landing would be $17.2 million according to Hipple. Phase 1, Moon Tide Park would cost $1 million. There are three acres of land and ten acres of water. “There has been a lot of erosion. The pilings are eroding and seems like a good place to start the project,” said Hipple.
Committee member Spencer Thibodeau said he “doesn’t want i to be done in pieces.” Committee Chair Costa wondered if this project will get the “financial support from the Council?” He wants further discussion on this – maybe in a workshop.
This lot has been mentioned as one of the several waterfront properties on the list for consideration as a homeless shelter. It is city owned and it is not in a residential neighborhood. Both are important considerations for the project based on the past experience with the Barron Center.
This is the last time the Committee will meet this year.