City Issues RFP for Historic Preservation Impact Study Due October 31st

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Has Preservation Office Head Deb Andrews Been Making Statements on Behalf of Her Office With “Limited” Data to Back Those Claims up?  Should All of Her Decisions based on  “Limited” Data be Opened up and Reviewed Again?

The city of Portland is inviting proposals from qualified constituents to complete a HIstoric  Preservation Impact study.  Since 1990, the city of Portland has had a robust Historic Preservation program, created to recognize, preserve and enhance Portland’s historic resources, including individual landmarks, historic commercial and residential districts and historic landscapes.  With the city council first adopted Portland’s Historic Preservation ordinance, six local historical districts and five historic landscape districts based on previously designed  National Register districts were established according to a press release issued by the city’s spokeswoman this morning.

Since that time, the program has expanded significantly to 12 local districts.  Approximately 2,000 properties throughout the city, in a diverse range of neighborhoods and contexts, are currently designated as historic properties.

However, limited data has been collected to document the impact of the historic district designations on Portland’s housing market in terms of affordability supply and accessibility as well as historic preservation’s impact on employment, collected heritage tourism, sustainability, downtown revitalization and equity and inclusion.

The city’s goal is for the study is to provide an analysis of and where applicable recommendations on the following:

Job creation and income generated by historic rehabilitation activity or other preservation efforts in Portland’s historic districts; the economic impact of cultural heritage tourism and its relative impact on relation to other forms of tourism in Portland; demonstrated effect of historic districts on property values and rent within those districts are compared to non-historic districts; the role of historic preservation in downtown commercial economic vitality; the contribution of historic preservation to Portland’s sustainable development (smart growth principies, energy conservation, climate resislence, green infrastructure, etc.); the social and racial impacts of historic preservation including but not limited to, the opportunities in Portland’s historic districts as it is related to the development of low and moderate income housing compared with other, non-historic district parts of the city.

Proposals are due by Wednesday, October 13, 2021, at 3:00 pm.  Copies of the RFP are available by contacting the city’s Purchasing Office via e-mail at:  jrl@!portlandmaine.gov or phone at 207 – 874-8654.

Munjoyhillnews.com suggests that the decisions made by the Historic Preservation Board should be opened up and reconsidered because of the “limited” data on which to make decisions.  The Board could start with the recent decision to include much of Munoy Hill as as a historic preservation district.

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