A 45-acre farm in Portland’s Stroudwater neighborhood is under contract to a group of Maine investors who want to build 96 single-family homes on the parcel.

“I’m excited about it, because we feel like there is a need for new quality housing stock in the city that just isn’t available,” said Michael Barton, one of the investors in Camelot Holdings, LLC.

The group is not disclosing the sale price for the Camelot Farm property at 1700 Westbrook St. It was listed for $2.4 million.

Most of the city’s development in recent years has been multi-unit buildings.

“We don’t see a lot of single-family residential developments. Portland is pretty built out,” Planning Director Stuart “Tuck” O’Brien said. “It’s been many, many years since there was a proposal to do this type of subdivision.”

In the past 20 years or so, there have been a couple new single-family home subdivisions in the North and East Deering areas, but those only had about 20 lots, O’Brien said.

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Located on Portland’s western edge near the Maine Turnpike, the Camelot property is considered the largest undeveloped residential lot in the city. It currently features a sprawling, single-story ranch house – built by Peter and Mary Rogers in 1961 to accommodate their 11 children – and 45 acres of hilly pasture land plus 1,500 feet of frontage along the Stroudwater River.

According to plans filed with the city, the group is seeking a zoning change from R-1 to R-3.

R-1 is the city’s least-dense zone for residential development with a minimum lot size of 15,000 square feet or just over one-third of an acre. Under that zoning, approximately 100 houses could be built on the parcel, Barton said.

Changing the zoning to R-3, which has a minimum lot size of 6,500 square feet, would allow Camelot Holdings to build about the same number of homes – clustered on smaller lots away from the river and flood plain – while maintaining green space.

Barton said about 17 acres of the property along the river would remain undeveloped and preserved.

“Long after we’re gone that land will still not be developed,” he said.

The riverside area will be used for trails and recreation, according to the plans, and 43 percent of the property will be open, shared or green space.

Barton said the group has met several times with Stroudwater neighbors to discuss the plan, and met with Portland Trails about providing access to the land along the river. Leaders of the neighborhood association could not be reached Friday to talk about the plan.

The full site plans filed with the city are available here.

If approved, the group will develop the property in stages, with the first phase of 20 to 25 houses built in the first five years, he said. Camelot Holdings will build some of the homes, but not necessarily all of them. The property’s location on Westbrook Street means a subdivision can easily tap into existing water, sewer and gas lines.

Barton declined to identify the other members of Camelot Holdings LLC, but he said it is made up of fewer than six people and business entities, all from Portland or Maine.

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