Port Properties has bought numerous properties in Portland’s Bayside neighborhood and plans to build more than 800 new housing units. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

The developer behind a major housing project proposed for Portland’s Bayside neighborhood has unveiled new details about the mixed-use space.

A newly-released master development plan calls for over 800 new rental units, 200 of which will be affordable, along with new commercial space and improvements to sidewalks and streetscapes.

The project is being brought forward by Port Property, a Portland-based real estate development and management company.

Port Property filed initial information last month, but on Tuesday released more details and specifics on the project, which would bring a major infusion of rental housing into the Portland market.

The plans call for 804 new rental units, including 201 affordable units and 603 at market rates, according to the master plan filed with the city.

Port Property also plans to create 28,500 square feet of new commercial space and renovate existing commercial buildings, like the parking garage at 315 Cumberland Ave., which it plans to fill with commercial space on the first floor to create new storefronts, bars and restaurants.


It’s all contained within 13 parcels on seven city blocks in Bayside that span from Kennebec Street to Cumberland Avenue and from Preble Street to Chestnut Street.

Many of the proposed building sites are currently surface parking lots.

“We are thrilled to be launching this project and look forward to working with the City of Portland and the West Bayside community throughout the planning process to create something wonderful in this area,” said John Laliberte, Port Property’s head of acquisition and development for southern Maine, in a news release.

Port Property’s site plan for proposed mixed-use development in Portland’s West Bayside neighborhood. Courtesy Port Property

The company is already headquartered in the neighborhood, Laliberte said, and is committed to creating “a vibrant, sustainable, and inclusive neighborhood that meets the needs of current and future residents, all while honoring the history and character of the area.”

Sarah Michniewicz, president of the Bayside Neighborhood Association, said Tuesday she hasn’t had a chance to review the latest details of the proposal, but based on the initial plans released last month, she said it sounds like a good opportunity for development and housing in a neighborhood that traditionally has been home to many of the city’s social services.

“I think they’ve been thoughtful so far,” Michniewicz said. “We will work to maintain a good relationship. I think we all want the same thing – to move forward together and make the most of this neighborhood.”


City Councilor Anna Trevorrow, who represents District 1 where the project is located, did not respond to a voicemail message or email Tuesday asking for her thoughts on the project and whether she has heard any feedback from constituents on it.

“The review of the application is in its early stages, but (the planning department) looks forward to engaging with what promises to be a complex, layered and transformative project for the neighborhood and for the city of Portland,” said city spokesperson Jessica Grondin. “The infusion of housing it promises will be a needed and welcome addition.”

According to the release, a key feature of the development plan is to create a pedestrian-friendly streetscape with widened sidewalks, enhanced lighting and additional landscaping. Development is expected to take place over five phases during a 10-year period and will include construction of seven new buildings.

The master development plan – an optional planning tool that can be used to outline large multi-phase projects – will go to the city Planning Board for approval. If the board approves it, Port Property would submit a site plan for Phase 1, which includes 111 market-rate apartments at 196 Lancaster St., 201 affordable units at 89 Elm St. and the ground floor project at the Cumberland Avenue parking garage.

Jessica James, a spokesperson for Port Property, said Tuesday that city planning staff will now set a tentative date for a workshop and then a neighborhood meeting on the project.

James said it is too soon to say what price points the affordable and market-rate apartments would be offered at, though the city’s inclusionary zoning requirements stipulate that at least 25% of units in new developments of 10 units or more be dedicated as “workforce housing,” affordable for households earning 80% or less of the area median income.

Port Property is aiming to begin construction on Phase 1 in 2024 with a 2025 completion date, according to the release.

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