Kevin Bunker, of Developers Collaborative, confirmed today that he has abandoned his effort to convert a massive former furniture warehouse into a shelter for new Mainers who currently are residing at the Portland Expo. The threat of a time-consuming rezoning battle of the 90 Blueberry Road property could have been a consideration in the abandonment of the property by the developer. In his email to this blogger, Bunker said he could not share any more information right now, but “stay tuned.”
In late March MaineHousing announced that the Center for Regional Prosperity had been awarded $4 million for a 280 bed shelter at 90 Blueberry Road, near the former UNUM headquarters on Congress Street The funding for this transition comes from Governor Janet T. Mills’ (D) Winter Emergency Energy Relief Plan, which passed with the broad bipartisan support of the Maine Legislature in January.
On April 11, William Shane, Chair of the neighboring Ecomaine, wrote to city manager West opposing the use of the property as shelter for new Mainers. He cited safety and environmental issues as reasons why the Board of EcoMaine did not support this use of the property. It is located directly across Blueberry Road from the abandoned former furniture warehouse.
“For more background information, please visit postsherein dated May 16, and April 14, 2023.