A pop-up park in downtown Portland is causing complaints to pop up.

The park, on Federal Street between Exchange and Market streets in the Old Port, is being used by the new Press Hotel as an outdoor entertainment space. Adjacent to outdoor seating for the hotel’s restaurant, the park has benches, lighting and circles of outdoor carpeting.

The park, which has been dubbed the Federal Street Folly by the hotel’s developers, is open to the public and not restricted solely to hotel guests.

In May, the city approved a three-month permit for the park. The benches and other installations were put up in early July and the owners of the hotel are being allowed to operate it until Oct. 12. The city charged the hotel $500 for the permit, which is considered a reimbursement for the loss of two metered parking spaces, according to Sean Ireland, a spokesman for the hotel.

But some people aren’t happy with the loss of the intersection.

A resident complained on the city’s Fix It! Portland website that the streets around the hotel are convenient for avoiding congestion on nearby Congress and Middle streets. But with the park in place, drivers headed east on Federal Street now have to loop around Post Office Park and Middle Street to continue on their way. It’s not a long detour, but it can take time to traverse, given the heavy pedestrian traffic in that part of the city during the summer.

“It’s a pain in the butt,” said Steve Whiting as he walked through the empty park shortly after 5 p.m. on Friday.

“This is one-way and this is one-way and you have to go around,” he said, gesturing to Exchange and Market streets.

Whiting also said he thought the benches, lights and other additions to the intersection looked cheap, although he admitted that he didn’t know the pop-up park is intended to be temporary.

Jim Brady, developer of the hotel, told a City Council committee in the spring that he was inspired by a similar site he saw in Montreal on a recent visit. The park in Canada, he said, is the location for short-notice concerts and other entertainment and attracts thousands of visitors over the course of a year.

Ireland said the Federal Street Folly is an experiment that has never been tried before in Portland. If it proves to be successful, the hotel will reapply for a permit next year.

Ireland said the park is an effort to make upper Exchange Street and the downtown more pedestrian-friendly. If more people visit the area on foot, it not only benefits the hotel and surrounding businesses, but also serves as a way to promote the city’s arts community.

The Press Hotel partnered with the Portland Downtown District and Creative Portland on the park project, which has already hosted live musical and dramatic performances, as well as public readings by authors. Organizations such as the Mad Horse Theatre, the Portland Public Library and Portland Trails have participated in some of the outdoor events.

“This is something that is happening in other great cities across the country,” Ireland said. “We think this will be good for Portland by making this a pedestrian-friendly, walkable space.”

But users of the Fix It! Portland site don’t seem to agree.

On Thursday of last week, it was the top complaint on the website, with 14 people griping about it.

“I (used to) use this street everyday,” complained one man. “Now it is a patio for a private business. It is my understanding that the Press Hotel paid the city the lofty sum of $600 to annex this section of Federal Street for their own use 24/7 for 3 months. Who thought this was a good idea?”

On Friday, the complaints were gone, however, and the issue had been removed from the site.

Jon Jennings, Portland’s city manager, said Friday that he didn’t know why the issue had been taken off the site, but said he would find out Monday. He also said the pop-up park is the city’s first and it’s intended as a pilot program.

Jennings said city officials will review the experience after the park is removed this fall and determine whether they want to approve similar parks in the future. Jennings also said he didn’t know whether Brady was even interested in getting another permit next summer.

Madeline Malisa, whose legal office overlooks the park, said it seems to be working from her vantage point.

She said some events in recent days – such as a guitarist performing one day and ice cream sundaes for children on another occasion – drew a sizable crowd, although the park often seems empty or nearly so when there’s no event going on.

“You have to draw people up to this area, and I’ve seen a lot more summer traffic up here,” she said.

Malisa and her brother, Ted Kenney, were sitting on a park bench Friday evening while waiting to meet a friend. They said it’s a comfortable place to relax, and Malisa said she sees a lot of office workers taking advantage of the space to have lunch.

For her, she said, the loss of an intersection seems worth it.