Munjoy Hill Lot Considered for Affordable Housing Development by City

61-65 Munjoy Street Lot Under Consideration for Affordable Housing Development.

61-65 Munjoy Street Lot Under Consideration for Affordable Housing Development.

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 1,756)

For the past several months now, a city committee, chaired by Councilor Kevin Donoghue, has been considering the development of a small lot on Munjoy Hill.  The lot is located at 61-65 Munjoy Street and is part of the property on which the Adams Condominiums are located that was contaminated by long use as an industrial site.  The matter has come before the Housing and Community Development Committee on several occasions and likely will be returned as details continue to be finalized.  It is yet to be determined whether it will be rental or condominium housing.

It is anticipated that twelve units of “affordable” housing would occupy the space that is approximately 6,771 sq. feet in size.  Mary Davis, of the planning office,  reported that there are still environmental issues that need to be resolved.  At the April 9th meeting, Davis presented the Committee with a  draft of a RFP to be distributed when ready. Several area developers have expressed interest in the project including RandomOrbit, owned by Peter Bass and Anew Development, LLC  a new company owned by former Avesta Housing principal, Ethan Boxer-Macomber.

A lot at 98 High Street has been under consideration as well, but at this time it is considered a long-shot by the Committee.  There is a deed restriction on the property from MaineDOT that specifies the property must be used for parking or another public purpose.  During the public comment time, David LaCasse said he’s opposed to that development option because it should not be removed from an ongoing discussion of Congress Square since the parcel was discussed as a potential open space replacement for Congress Square.  LaCasse is opposed to the sale of Congress Square to RockBridge.

Planning board officials presented to the Committee proposed amendments to R-6/R-7 zoning rules.  Before going to the planning board for its consideration, Councilor Nick Mavadones requested that the changes should be presented to Portland neighborhoods for their edification and feedback.  Those plans are incomplete at this time.