A controversial condominium project proposed for Portland’s densely populated Munjoy Hill neighborhood is back on track after the developers, the city of Portland and neighbors reached an out-of-court settlement.

Portland-based housing developers Peter Bass and Ethan Boxer-Macomber announced the lawsuit settlement Thursday in a news release.

The development partners said Bay Realty in Portland will begin marketing the eight units of the project, known as 65 Munjoy Street, on Friday. The project, which is being developed with financial assistance from the city, is targeting first-time, middle-income homebuyers.

In an interview, Boxer-Macomber said one-bedroom units will be priced around $279,000, two-bedroom units in the low $300,000 range and three-bedroom units in the upper $300,000 range.

Boxer-Macomber said the settlement included slight changes to the project design, but he declined to be specific.

“We reached a settlement in late July, but I am not going to comment on the terms because I am not sure it would be productive,” he said. “We are on a fast-forward now and all signs are pointing to us breaking ground in November.”


The city began seeking proposals in 2014 to develop the small parking lot of about .16 acres on the site of the former Marada Adams Elementary School. Adam’s Apple LLC was the only developer to respond, and Bass and Boxer-Macomber were its project managers.

The Portland Planning Board approved the company’s project plans at a meeting in February. The city provided a $135,000 grant to help offset development costs for Adam’s Apple LLC and $40,000 to help clean up the site.

In April, six property owners – only one of whom is a year-round Portland resident – filed a lawsuit in Cumberland County Superior Court against Adam’s Apple LLC, arguing that the Munjoy Street project did not comply with height and design standards. The suit also named the city of Portland, arguing that it did not follow the proper process for vetting the proposal.

The firm originally submitted a concept drawing for a single building designed to look like two buildings, but the final design looks more like a single building. The plaintiffs argued in their suit that the city and developer should have done more outreach to the public after the plans changed.

Attempts to reach the neighbors who filed the lawsuit and their attorney, Keith Jacques of Biddeford, were unsuccessful Thursday.

In a Maine Voices column published in the Portland Press Herald in January, one of the plaintiffs, Matt Thayer, wrote that although he supports more affordable housing, city officials also need to consider good design standards, especially on projects such as 65 Munjoy Street that are sited in a densely populated, well-established city neighborhood.


Thayer, who lives in Pennsylvania but who also owns property on Munjoy Street, wrote that the proposed three-story condominium was taller than adjacent properties, was too wide and didn’t have multiple bay windows in the front. He also said the building would not blend into the streetscape.

Thayer, who could not be reached for comment Thursday, is a former co-chair of the Adams School Re-use Committee, which helped establish criteria for redeveloping the site.

Although the lawsuit caused a significant delay – construction was originally scheduled to start last spring – Boxer-Macomber said he is relieved that the legal matters have been resolved.

“At this stage we are just happy to have overcome the appeal hurdle and excited to be back on track,” he wrote in an email. “Peter and I are proud that our Portland community has firmly circled its wagons around a collective commitment to enhance, expand and diversify housing opportunities for all Portlanders.”

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:


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