A Florida-based development firm has its sights set on redeveloping nearly a block of real estate in Portland’s India Street neighborhood.

The Portland Norwich Group LLC, which has offices in Florida and New Hampshire, has filed plans to build three new buildings, ranging from 50 feet to 77 feet tall, on the block of land bounded by India, Thames, Hancock and Fore streets.

On the same block as the proposed development, the group has approved plans to build an upscale hotel.

According to plans filed with the city’s Historic Preservation Board, which is reviewing the project since it’s located within 100 feet of a historic district, the developer is looking to build a seven-story building with office and retail uses on Fore Street and a six-story building with residences and retail on Thames Street.

1122357_598201 IndiaStreetDevel1216.jpgPlans also call for a four-story residential-retail building on India Street, just north of the former Grand Trunk building, which is currently being renovated by Gorham Savings Bank.

The block also contains a pump station used by the Portland Water District to move sewage to the East End Treatment Plant.

Built in 1903, the three-story building is the only building remaining of the Grand Trunk Railroad complex in Portland, according to Greater Portland Landmarks, a nonprofit historic preservation group in Portland. In addition to service as offices for the railroad, it served the same purpose for trans-Atlantic steamship operators.

There would be pedestrian walkways from Thames, Fore and India streets leading to the center of the parcel, which would contain a courtyard and drop-off area for the 150-room AC Hotel by Marriott, which was approved in May.

Deb Andrews, the city’s Historic Preservation Program manager, said in a memo to the board that it would not be reviewing the seven-story building on Fore Street, since it fell outside of the zone.

Andrews said the five-story office building designed by local architect David Lloyd at 5 India St. has “a high level of compatibility” with the historic Grand Trunk building at the corner of India and Thames streets. “Mr. Lloyd is proposing a clearly contemporary design but one which takes a number of its designs cues from its neighbor,” she said.

Andrews noted that the six-story building proposed at 20 Thames St., which is 77 feet tall, is considerably taller than the Grand Trunk building. It’s also 12 feet taller then the approved hotel.

However, Andrews said that only a portion of this building is in the historic zone, which is confined largely to India Street.

The block of land bounded by India, Thames, Hancock and Fore Streets in Portland is seen for a massive development.

The block of land bounded by India, Thames, Hancock and Fore Streets in Portland is seen for a massive development.Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

“Although the proposed structure is considerably taller than the abutting Grand Trunk Building, the Grand Trunk is oriented toward India (street), not Thames,” she said. “This fact makes the heights relationship between the two buildings a bit less sensitive than might otherwise be the case.”

Planning Director Stuart “Tuck” O’Brien said the Planning Board has not yet scheduled a meeting to review the plans.

The India Street neighborhood has been focus of much of the new development in Portland, mostly with new condominiums. However, the area has also attracted some rare investment into new office space.

Additionally, city planners are currently reviewing an ambitious plan to redevelop roughly 10 acres of land on the eastern waterfront into a new urban neighborhood.

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