A key vote on the long-debated “midtown” housing project in Portland was postponed Tuesday at the request of the developer, which told the city it needed more time to review conditions set by the Planning Board.

Last month, the developer had said the project might not survive further delays.

A city official was adamant Tuesday that the project is moving forward, but there was concern in the business community that the latest delay could indicate that it’s in jeopardy.

“At some point these companies that look to do big projects lose their patience,” said Chris O’Neil, the Portland Community Chamber’s liaison to City Hall.

Midtown has been in the works for five years. The current version – the result of a compromise with opponents of the original, larger plan – includes four six-story residential buildings that could transform the Bayside neighborhood and bring 445 new apartments into Portland’s tight housing market.

The Planning Board was scheduled to hold a workshop and public hearing Tuesday, followed by a vote on the latest version of the project.

However, the Federated Companies told the city Tuesday morning it needed more time to review and address the project’s conditions of approval, said Economic Development Director Greg Mitchell.

“We’re still awaiting word from them on the specifics regarding their concerns,” he said.

The list of conditions includes redesigning the entrance ramp to the parking garage, providing adequate space between bike racks and relocating a fire hydrant, along with more general requests, such as coordinating with utility providers and updating plans to reflect the changes made.

O’Neil said some people are concerned that the city’s demands for such improvements to a needed project is a case of the perfect becoming the enemy of the good.

He noted that the city’s planning staff recently spoke to the City Council about how badly Portland needs more housing for its workforce. Now, he said, the demands from the same planning department could threaten a proposal that would provide it.

“We just wanted to point out the irony in all this,” O’Neil said.

Jonathan Cox, founder and chairman of the Miami-based development company, declined to comment Tuesday afternoon.

Cox has previously said the company has decided it would not comment to the media until after the project receives approval. A Portland Press Herald story last month quoted him saying, “If the Planning Board isn’t prepared to vote on Jan. 27, then we will withdraw.”

That meeting had been pushed back until Tuesday to give the city’s planning staff more time to prepare material for the Planning Board. City staffers were working Tuesday to reschedule the meeting again, but hadn’t set a date by Tuesday afternoon.

Midtown was first proposed five years ago and was scaled down after a lawsuit delayed construction. The number of apartments was reduced from 650 to 445, still large enough to have a big impact on the neighborhood and on the city’s tight housing market.

“It’s a very large, complex project,” Mitchell said. “We welcome the additional time.”

The delay also will give the city an opportunity to continue to work with the owner of Noyes Self-Storage, who has opposed a plan to raise the elevation of Somerset Street in conjunction with the development. That project is part of the city’s long-term plan to deal with flooding problems in the Bayside and East Bayside neighborhoods.

The Noyes family is concerned that raising the street could cause flooding on the first-floor of its storage building.

The family’s attorney, John Bannon, said Tuesday that the issue still hasn’t been resolved, but he believed the meeting was postponed for other reasons.