When the city of Portland sold its properties in West Bayside, a number of prominent developers stepped up to the plate and purchased numerous properties with a promise and pledge to develop them into first-class properties, an economic and visual shot in the arm to a struggling neighborhood.

Besides new buildings and brand-new tax revenue, the jobs and, in some cases, the housing created in such new developments are just what the area has been waiting for. Surprisingly, however, one new owner at 55 Portland St. has decided to flip his building to Preble Street, which aims to create a 30-bed shelter.

So while the city has been working tirelessly in an attempt to alleviate the burden on the neighborhood, to spread out or move some of the traditional shelter care from one overburdened neighborhood, one developer has decided to pull the plug on its commitment to office space and sell its newly acquired property to create a new shelter. Everyone else who purchased properties is full force ahead in the redevelopment stages.

As I recall, in purchasing the properties, future owners were to present an idea for such newly acquired property. The idea weighed in to the city’s decision as to who would be the best fit for each purchase.

If the current owner sells to Preble Street, it makes the process look terribly tainted. After all, the city could have sold to Preble Street directly. Worse, if a profit is being made, it makes the process look extremely unseemly.

Christopher Aceto


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