Flagg Partners, based in New York City, proposes a seven-story, 37-unit luxury condo development – with 68,318 square feet of space – at 208 Fore St. in Portland. It would feature street-level retail space and an underground parking garage.

Another high-rise condominium development is planned in Portland’s rapidly growing India Street neighborhood.

A seven-story apartment building with 37 units, street-level retail space and an underground parking garage is planned at 208 Fore St., on the corner with India Street.

Details of the estimated $15 million development are included in an application filed with the city in June by Flagg Partners LLC of New York City. A description of the project was made public Thursday.

Ted and Marianne Hovivian, owners of Flagg Partners, said Thursday that they plan to build luxury condominiums with high-end materials.

“Hopefully, we will bring to the condominium market some things we haven’t seen in Portland,” Ted Hovivian said in a phone interview. They have developed similar residential buildings in Williamsburg, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, he said.

The couple have been coming to their summer home in Kennebunkport for at least 20 years and are familiar with Portland, but only recently realized the opportunities offered around India Street.

“Until a few years ago we thought India Street was synonymous with Micucci’s (Italian market),” Marianne Hovivian said. “As we looked further, it looked like a growing neighborhood with something very prime about it.”

The purchase price of the proposed condominiums will be determined by their broker, Ted Hovivian said.

The proposed building would replace the two-story brick office building and parking lot currently on a parcel that is roughly one-third of an acre. It would include a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, two retail spaces fronting on Fore Street, a gym and lobby on the ground floor, and a subterranean garage with 31 parking spaces.

Renderings of the 68,318-square-foot building show a gray, white and red cube similar in appearance to other new residential construction in the neighborhood.

The sidewalk in front of the building would be rebuilt as part of construction. The complex would create a “small amount of new traffic” – about 20 vehicle trips during the evening peak driving hour – that is not expected to impact the surrounding neighborhood, according to the development plan.

Flagg Partners bought the parcel in 2017 for $2.7 million, according to city records. The office building was constructed in 1989.

Three apartments in the building or nearby will have to be set aside for workforce housing or the developer will have to pay a fee, according to Portland’s inclusionary zoning rules, said Jeff Levine, director of planning and urban development. The development will need approval from the Planning Board.


The Fore Street proposal is the latest in a flurry of housing and commercial construction reshaping Portland’s India Street neighborhood, situated on prime East End real estate between downtown Portland and Munjoy Hill.

Since 2015, nine residential or mixed-use buildings have gone up in the neighborhood, adding 93 units of housing. Another six residential and commercial buildings are under construction, including the new headquarters of Wex, the global payment-processing firm.

In the past four years, 17 buildings with 201 residential units and almost 590,000 square feet of space have been built, are under construction, or are planned in a nine-block area around India Street, according to city records.

Recent construction proposals include a three-building redevelopment on a block bounded by India, Thames and Fore streets; a redevelopment of the Shipyard brewery on Hancock Street into a hotel, offices and residences; and a planned 128-room hotel on Fore Street directly across from Flagg Partner’s proposed residences.


The dizzying pace of construction is fueled by the availability of building sites and a hot market for newly built urban residences, said Dava Davin, a broker with Portside Real Estate Group.

“That part of the city had a lot of opportunity for land development,” Davin said. “If you remember 10 years ago, there was nothing there, in this prime spot.”

In 2017, 42 percent of all residential sales in Portland were condos, according to an analysis by Davin, who presented on the Portland residential real estate market in January at the Maine Real Estate and Development Association forecasting conference. There were 371 condo sales, totaling $131.3 million. The median sale price was $290,000 and the median days on the market was 18.

New condominiums are very popular among baby boomers downsizing from a family home, Davin said, noting that the India Street area is especially attractive because of its water views and walking distance to the Old Port and downtown Portland.

“That particular area was ripe for the picking,” she said. “It appears new construction is still so popular for people and they are willing to pay top dollar per square foot.”

Peter McGuire can be contacted at 791-6325 or at:

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