Public Health Services Relocation Costs Not Public Info, Yet?


The First Floor of 39 Forest Avenue to be Leased to City’s Public Health Department June 1, 2021.

A Typical Office That Lines One Side of the First Floor of 39 Forest Avenue.

“We are very excited about the move.  There will be so much more space for everyone,” said Sandra Green of the city  this afternoon referring to the scheduled move of multiple Portland public health services to 39 Forest Avenue from several locations in Portland.  Green is a long-term employee of the city and was referring to the unanimous vote of the City Council last night that approved the move effective June 1, 2021.  She described the current location as “cramped” because the multiple services are confined to the first floor of the building.  The floors above 103 India Street are mixed housing units she said.

Although the city lease starts on June 1, 2021, employees at 103 India Street said they did not  believe they would be moving to the new location until October or November.  That’s because of renovations that need to be made to the new space.

The space at 39 Forest Avenue was once space leased by Maine Medical Center, although it has been vacant for sometime now.  The building has been for sale for a while now and the building owner tried to persuade the city of Portland to purchase the building.  The city wasn’t interested according to someone familiar with the situation.  The building is old and maintenance is an issue in the building this person said just before this blogger was told to leave the premises by the “subcontractor.”

Remaining from the days of the occupancy of Maine Medical Center were cubicles used for offices providing privacy and filling the first floor space.  Those cubicles had to be removed as part of the agreement with the city of Portland because they wanted the space to be wide open. The second floor will remain much as it is.

The cost of renovating the two floors is unknown at this time, but has been requested by from the city’s spokeswoman.  Don’t you think the public has a right to know the cost of renovations to this new facility?  Surely that figure was an important part of the planning for the move. has also requested from the city’s spokeswoman that the press be given a tour of the cavernous space.  No response. The Office Manager at 103 India Street has not returned an inquiry from this blogger  for more information on the anticipated move and issues surrounding it.