Sunday, March 9, 2014
Commercial Confidential tracks Maine's business leaders and economic indicators.
I'm an economics wonk and an online content producer for the Portland Press Herald.
"On the Move": Submit items of interest regarding new employees, promotions and professional honors — with photos and LinkedIn URLs — to business [at] pressherald.com.
This week at pressherald.com we're welcoming the new Franco-American blog from Juliana L’Heureux, who plans to write about Maine's Franco-American history and culture.
While we were getting the new blog set up, a couple people in my Twitter feed pointed out a new online mapping tool from the US Census Bureau that plots the neighborhoods where the speakers of various foreign languages live (the Census has been asking citizens about what languages they speak at home since 1890).
The dots are sparser in Maine than they are in much of the nation, but the maps do offer some insights into the state's history of immigration.
Here's a sample:
Yesterday's "Maine By the Numbers" box ran a surprising and seemingly disheartening bit of data:
Hourly earnings for nonfarm workers in the Portland/South Portland/Biddeford metro area in July 2013
Hourly earnings for nonfarm workers in the Portland/South Portland/Biddeford metro area in July 2012
If you haven't visited our online business section at pressherald.com/business lately, have a look — we've added a couple new features to help keep our readers up to date.
Staff writer Randy Billings, reporting from yesterday's planning board hearing, shared an preliminary design for a 15-story apartment building being planned for Portland's Bayside neighborhood (pictured below).
The project would include retail space on the ground floor and about 190 new apartments in the tower above. And it's only phase one in a larger project that would add four more towers with a total of 675 new apartments in the neighborhood.
With a project as ambitious as this one, some might wonder whether Portland's housing market — even with its miniscule vacancy rates — can handle such a large influx of new supply.
Back in the spring of 2011, the Press Herald ran its first story about the proposed Thompson's Point office, hotel, and sports arena project. The original proposal (pictured at left) featured a large sports arena and concert hall, along with a hotel, parking garage, and multiple new office buildings.
Over the weekend, staff writer Randy Billings had a story about the project's latest transformation.