By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,136)
Two projects presented to the Planning Board this afternoon at a workshop were ok’d by the city’s Blanning Board for public hearings in the near future, although no date has been set yet. The developments are located at 185 Fore Street and 16 Middle Street. Nathan Bateman represented the company, Bateman Partners, LLC. David Lloyd is the architect for both projects.
The first of the two projects to be considered by the Planning Board was a proposal to develop a $4 million, four-story mixed use building with office/retail use on the first floor and six high-end condominiums units on the second through fourth floors – called the Fore Street Lofts – located at 185 Fore Street. There will be three 3- bedroom condos and three 2-bedroom units. The office space has a primary entrance on Fore Street and a secondary entrance on India Street. The residential units have a ground floor lobby with elevator access and a primary entrance on Fore Street toward the eastern corner of the building (next to the garage).
The more controversial of the two Bateman projects was the proposal for 16 Middle Street – a proposal that includes a five story mixed use building – with retail space on the first floor and four professional office condominium units on the second through fifth floors (one per floor). The development is located at the corner of Middle Street and Hancock Street Extension.
Two residents of the nearby Bay House testified against the proposal. Linda Guerra, expressed concern about shadows that will be caused from the new building saying she will not see the sun until 3:00 pm. “It’ll be like pulling down the shades,” she said. Guerra also questioned whether or not the area needs more office space because there is still a lot available. How will that building revitalize the area she asked the planning board. Board member Carol Morrisette responded that the amount of office space in the city is “not under our purview, not part of our responsibility.” Elizabeth Boepple added that “this use does fall within the zoning use for the neighborhood.”
Developer Nathan Bateman said that he is currently in the midst of negotiations for occupancy for 100% of the building. That includes a restaurant, although he could not say who that restaurant is.
editor’s note: There is a rumor floating around that the condo market has dramatically slowed down its sales. No sales for high-end conos in the area has happened for weeks now.