A team of developers is looking to convert one of the oldest buildings in the India Street neighborhood into 10 high-end residential condominiums.

The development company, Clean and Simple Living, has submitted an application with city planners for eight studio and two, one-bedroom condos at 273 Congress St., the former location of the Angela Adams home furnishings store. The building is currently being used as offices.

Sale prices for units, ranging from 571 square feet to 1,043 square feet, in the so-called East End Lofts, are expected to range from $230,000 to $350,000, though those prices could change depending on final construction costs.

“Based on significant demand and growth, we thought this was a great place to invest,” said Kevin Dwyer, one of the development partners who is originally from Burlington, Vermont, but now lives in Portland. “We like the culture and the community here.”

The first floor retail space would be preserved.

“We’re not sure what we’re going to put in retail space, most likely not a restaurant,” Dwyer said. “We’d like something sedate and clean.”


The project is proposed in the center of three of Portland’s fastest-changing neighborhoods and at a time when housing demand is out-pacing the supply.

To the east is Munjoy Hill, arguably the city’s most coveted neighborhood, and to the west is the bustling downtown area. To the north is East Bayside, a demographically and economically diverse area that is attracting artists and food entrepreneurs.

To the south is the heart of the India Street neighborhood and eastern waterfront, where several large developments have already been built and others are being eyed, including on the 10-acre site of the former Portland Co. complex.

Built in 1865 and having survived the Great Fire of 1866, 273 Congress St. is the neighborhood’s fifth-oldest building. Portland’s first street – King Street, which was later renamed India Street – and its first settlements were also in this part of the city, according to an inventory of historic buildings in that neighborhood.

The India Street neighborhood was recently designated a historic district by the city and given a form-based code, where new developments are evaluated on how buildings look rather than how they are used.

The brick building has received several additions over the years, including the storefront that most recently housed the Angela Adams studio. The space above the retail space would be converted into a patio for two of the units, Dwyer said.


The historical features of the building would be preserved and enhanced, Dwyer said, and several large windows added to the long brick walls extending away from Congress Street.

“It’s a really cool building with a lot of history, and we think lofts suit it perfectly,” Dwyer said.

The development team includes Boulder, Colorado, native Scott Pearce, Portland real estate agent Tom Landry and architect Evan Carroll.

No neighborhood meetings have been scheduled, Dwyer said, and the project, estimated to cost $2 million, would have to receive approvals from the Historic Preservation Board and the Planning Board.

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