By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,548)
The long talked about redevelopment of the Amethyst Lot on the Munjoy Hill waterfront has finally jumped to the head of the city’s to do llist. The city’s purchasing department received ten (10) responses to a Request for Proposal.by the deadline – Thursday October 13, 2016 at 3:00 pm. The proposal is to provide design services for the lot’s redevelopment The valuable lot is on Thames Street and is currently a vacant lot – often used for taxis waiting in line to service customers or for people wanting to get a close-up at the visiting cruise ships in port.
According to the request for proposal, the site is a combination of city owned lands and submerged lands. The lot abuts the Ocean Gateway marine passenger terminal to the west, a State of Maine rail/trail right of way to the north and the Portland Company complex to the east. The City Council has approved $80,000 in its current budget to support planning and design services for the Amethyst Lot process.
In late August, Bill Needleman, the city’s waterfront coordinator, presented an overview of the proposal to the city’s Economic Development Committee, chaired by councilor David Brennerman. Needleman said he was not looking for decisions but for feedback. The proposal is on a fast track. It’s expected that the matter will go to the full City Council next summer. In February of 2017, there will be a public forum.
In the meantime, Needleman is giving similar neighborhood presentations to those interested in the proposal. First up is a presentation to the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood, (MHNO )Organization At its October board of directors meeting. Jay Norris, president told the board that he does not support the proposal. There are so many other issues that should be addressed first he told the Board then – safer sidewalks and better maintenance of them. .
The lot was once used by Cianbro Brothers. for construction of rigs. The EDC said it would support a name change to the area. The redevelopment of the site is expected to provide public access to the waterfront which may include a public sailing program among other goals outlined by Needleman at the meeting in late August and reported in this blog.