East Bayside Neighborhood

Jul 18

Planning Board Workshop meeting July 22, 2014

There was a healthy turnout for last Wednesday’s meeting about the proposed Redfern Properties development at 3G’s property on Fox/Anderson St.  Lots of great questions, comments, and thoughts.  City Planner, Nell Donaldson was present and invited written comments/questions about this proposal.  She will be the lead Planner for this application and her contact information is:  hcd@portlandmaine.gov  All e-mails will be forwarded to the Planning Board.  There is a Planning Board workshop meeting about this proposal Tuesday July 22 at 4pm held at City Hall, Room 209.  Public comment will be taken at this meeting so we encourage you to attend if you can!

Jul 16

Developer’s Neighborhood Meeting Tonight

Hi All! This is a reminder of tonight’s (Wed. July 16th) meeting to hear Redfern Properties’ proposal to develop the parcel where 3G’s Garage (Fox and Anderson Streets) is currently located. The meeting will be at Redfern’s Office at 178 Washington Ave at 6pm. If you are unable to make the meeting but would like to participate in the process we encourage you to write comments to Jean Fraser, City Planner, at: jf@portlandmaine.gov
Photo: Hi All!  This is a reminder of tonight's (Wed. July 16th) meeting to hear Redfern Properties' proposal to develop the parcel where 3G's Garage (Fox and Anderson Streets) is currently located.  The meeting will be at Redfern's Office at 178 Washington Ave at 6pm.  If you are unable to make the meeting but would like to participate in the process we encourage you to write comments to Jean Fraser, City Planner, at:  jf@portlandmaine.gov

Jul 14

July 15th Monthly East Bayside Neighborhood Meeting

Please come join in our monthly East Bayside neighborhood meeting Tuesday July 15th, 7pm at Mayo Street Arts (10 Mayo Street). Lots to talk about including crime watch report.

Jul 11

Neighborhood Meeting for 3G’s Garage Zoning and Development Proposal

Some of you may be following the proposal by Redfern Properties to develop 3G’s Garage on the corner of Fox and Anderson Streets. Please come to the neighborhood meeting which will be held on Wednesday, July 16th at 6pm at Redfern’s office on 178 Washington Ave to hear their proposal, ask questions, and gain more information. When considering an application for a zoning change the City of Portland requires applicants to hold a neighborhood meeting to get feedback. Minutes will be taken and submitted to the Planning Board. Here is the invitation from Redfern Properties that went out to property owners in the area. Renters, however, do not get these notices so we want to ensure that all community members know about this!

East Bayside Neighborhood Organization's photo.
East Bayside Neighborhood Organization's photo.

Jun 06

NEIGHBORHOOD CRIME WATCH AND RESPONSE MEETING

Today, Friday JUNE 6th, at 2:30 the East Bayside Community Policing Center, 44 Mayo St. a few concerned East Bayside residents and property owners will be meeting with our community policing coordinator and senior lead officer to discuss problems with INTOXICATED MEN LOITERING, TRESPASSING, DRINKING IN PUBLIC, URINATING, and HARASSING RESIDENTS on Cumberland Ave. between Boyd St. and Smith St. (around the Bayside Variety store). 

This has been happening on a daily basis and we are hoping to develop a specific plan to address these problems. EVERYONE is welcome to attend.

May 20

Come to tonights EBNO monthly meeting May 20th 7pm at Mayo Street Arts.  Jonathan Cully of Redfern Properties LLC who is purchasing the 3Gs property (includes small red brick building) will be there. It’s an opportunity to listen and ask questions about what sort of development Redfern intends on building. View current projectshttp://www.redfernproperties.com/projects/

Come to tonights EBNO monthly meeting May 20th 7pm at Mayo Street Arts.  Jonathan Cully of Redfern Properties LLC who is purchasing the 3Gs property (includes small red brick building) will be there. It’s an opportunity to listen and ask questions about what sort of development Redfern intends on building. View current projectshttp://www.redfernproperties.com/projects/

YES on 1 -

May 19

MONTHLY MEETING, May 20th 7pm Mayo Street Arts

Hi Neighbors,

East Bayside’s monthly neighborhood meeting will be tomorrow May 20, 7pm at Mayo Street Arts, 10 Mayo Street. 

Presenting will be:

Jonathan Cully, of Redfern Properties LLC, who is purchasing the 3G’s property on the corner of Fox/ Anderson St. He would like to meet with the neighborhood of East Bayside. http://www.redfernproperties.com

Blainor McGough Director of Mayo Street Arts, to talk about National Night Out that will be happening in August.

"Yes on 1 - Protect Our Parks" (http://protectportlandparks.org/)

May 12

AVESTA HOUSING MEETING, MAY 13th

There will be a City of Portland Planning Division meeting for the proposed Avesta Housing. This is for 134 Washington Ave. (near the corner of Washington Avenue and Fox Street). The applicant is proposing 18 affordable housing units in a 4-story building. The meeting will be:

Portland City Hall
City Council Chambers
Tuesday, May 13th
4:00pm: Workshop
7:30pm: Public Hearing

April 22 

Avesta wants to raze one building, then raise another

The Portland nonprofit proposes replacing a modest single-family home with a complex of 18 units to help alleviate a ‘crisis’ in affordable rents.

By Kevin Miller kmiller@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

A Portland nonprofit is seeking approval to demolish a small house on the border of the city’s East End and Munjoy Hill neighborhoods to build a four-story apartment complex for low-income residents.

click image to enlarge

Pictured Friday, this house at 134 Washington Ave. at the base of Munjoy Hill in Portland is the site of a proposed housing development by Avesta Housing. “It is directly in front of a bus stop, and that is important for folks to get around,” said Greg Payne, development officer with Avesta. “And it has a lovely view of the cove.”

Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

This is an artist’s rendering of the 18-unit complex that Avesta Housing is proposing to build at the site of 134 Washington Ave. in Portland.

Drawing courtesy of Avesta Housing

ADDITIONAL PHOTOS BELOW

Select images available for purchase in the
Maine Today Photo Store

Avesta Housing’s 18-unit proposal is part of a growing number of housing projects in a city with a notoriously tight rental market, especially for people at the lower end of the income spectrum. Greg Payne, development officer with Avesta, said the property at 134 Washington Ave. was selected because it is a large lot located on the peninsula close to services and shopping.

“It is directly in front of a bus stop, and that is important for folks to get around,” Payne said. “And it has a lovely view of the cove.”

Located on the boundary line between the East Bayside and East End neighborhoods, Washington Avenue is a mixed neighborhood of single-family homes, houses divided into apartments and businesses ranging from auto shops to photography and pottery studios.

Avesta purchased the single-family home in May 2013 and recently received approval for low-income housing tax credits from MaineHousing.

Avesta’s application to the Portland Planning Division proposes a $1.7 million building featuring 18 efficiency apartments, each measuring approximately 340 square feet. Standing 44 feet tall, the four-story apartment building would be one of the tallest structures in the mixed-use neighborhood at the base of Munjoy Hill.

Payne said Avesta plans to work with partner organizations to market the apartments to veterans, a group with higher rates of homelessness or housing insecurity. That approach is modeled after Avesta’s Oak Street Lofts project, which opened in January 2012 and was marketed toward artists in a section of town bustling with art galleries and studios but limited options for low-income artists.

Eight of the 18 units would be reserved for households earning 50 percent or less of the average median income – or less than $27,300 for one person, according to federal data – while the remaining 10 would be for those earning 40 percent or less.

The company’s application states that the Oak Street Lofts project showed there was “immense demand for efficiency apartments in the $525-$675/month range, which is affordable for many low-income workers but in extremely short supply in the Portland area.”

“We want to make sure the housing we are building is the type of housing that people need and are looking for,” Payne added.

The average rent for a studio apartment (including heat) in Portland in 2012 was $695 a month while a one-bedroom apartment was $875 a month, according to annual surveys conducted by the Maine Real Estate Development Association. Those averages were 17.5 percent and 10 percent higher, respectively, than in 2010.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the “fair market” rent for an efficiency apartment in Portland this year is $688. The fair market rent for one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments is $819 and $1,012, respectively.

But price is not the only potential obstacle for those seeking rental housing. Availability has become a major concern in recent years.

A 7 percent vacancy rate is considered healthy for rental housing. Portland’s vacancy rate has been hovering around 2 percent.

“That really amounts to a housing crisis, and the people this really hurts are the low-income folks,” said Mark Adelson, executive director at the Portland Housing Authority, which administers Section 8 and other federal housing assistance programs in the city.

But Adelson noted that for the first time in 20 years developers have begun building new “market rate” apartment complexes – apartments where rents are not subsidized – precisely because the rising rental rates mean the owner can recoup building and financing costs. And that is important, Adelson said, because adding new rental units at all income levels helps to moderate the overall price.

Kevin Miller can be contacted at 317-6256 or at:

kmiller@pressherald.com

May 04

NOTICE zoning map amendment R6 to R7 Monday May 19th, City Hall, Council Chambers 2nd floor

Hello Neighbors. There are many new development proposals happening in East Bayside. One such project is an 18 apartment Avesta Housing Project located at 134 Washington Avenue. Please attend the May 7th meeting at Shailer School 56 North Street in the Community Room, 5:30PM.

Hello Neighbors. There are many new development proposals happening in East Bayside. One such project is an 18 apartment Avesta Housing Project located at 134 Washington Avenue. Please attend the May 7th meeting at Shailer School 56 North Street in the Community Room, 5:30PM.

Apr 30

IMPORTANT NEWS so please come hear and ask questions!

The planned May 5th meeting with Jonathan Cully, who has purchased the 3G’s property, has been canceled and rescheduled to our normally scheduled monthly meeting of May 20th.

http://www.redfernproperties.com/
Redfern Properties | Designing, building, and developing innovative residential properties.
Munjoy HeightsWest End PlaceHarborview TownhomesHarborview Flats37 Pleasant9 Lewis StNeal St FlatsWelcome to Redfern PropertiesWe are committed to designing, building, and…

Apr 23

Portland board advances plan for East Bayside affordable housing

The zoning change would allow the 45-unit Bayside Anchor development to be built.

By Dennis Hoey dhoey@pressherald.com 
Staff Writer

Portland’s Planning Board has recommended a zoning change in the city’s East Bayside neighborhood that would allow more high-density development and create more affordable housing.

click image to enlarge

Bayside Anchor, as seen in this artist’s rendering, would provide apartments to households making up to $45,000.

Kaplan Thompson Architects

click image to enlarge

This is a map of the proposed area to be rezoned in the East Bayside neighborhood.

Portland Planning Board

Select images available for purchase in the
Maine Today Photo Store

BAYSIDE ANCHOR STATS

 The project would have 42 units.

 Units would range in price from $535 to $1,000 a month.

 Residents would make between $18,000 and $45,000 a year.

After just over three hours of public testimony and deliberation, the board voted 5-2 Tuesday night to endorse the rezoning of a significant section of land owned by the Portland Housing Authority to allow the agency to build an affordable housing project called Bayside Anchor.

The recommendation will go to the City Council, which has final authority over any zoning changes.

The rezoning proposal was highly controversial because the city’s planning staff recommended that the entire Portland Housing Authority campus and seven blocks next to the authority’s properties be rezoned. The measure that was endorsed by the board affects less land and far fewer properties.

East Bayside is a sprawling neighborhood that’s bordered by Franklin Street, Marginal Way, Anderson Street and Cumberland Avenue.

Several East Bayside residents said the process that the city used to inform neighbors about the proposed zoning change had not reached everyone – especially renters – and urged the city to postpone action. However, most of the residents who spoke said they supported the plan to build affordable housing.

Planning Board members heard the criticisms and agreed that the public outreach probably could have been handled more effectively. They also said it is important to support a project that promises to create affordable housing.

“I feel like we haven’t done our due diligence” regarding the sweeping proposal that would have rezoned most of East Bayside, said Planning Board member Jack Soley. “We’ll have to drop leaflets and change hearts and minds before that happens.”

Instead, the board recommended a more modest zoning change that would affect the parking lot at Boyd and Oxford streets where Bayside Anchor would be built.

The project would consist of 45 multifamily units, including 36 affordable units and nine market-rate units. The zoning change, if approved by the City Council, will allow a more densely developed four-story building and smaller setbacks than current zoning permits.

The change would also affect the Portland Housing Authority community center and two nearby properties. Board members rejected a proposal that would have rezoned all of the housing authority’s properties in East Bayside, including Kennedy Park, Bayside Terrace, Bayside East and 47-49 Boyd St.

“This is a very long brush to swipe across East Bayside,” said Cynthia Cochrane of Hammond Street.

Cochrane said she learned of the proposed zoning change on March 31.

Michele Kastner of Anderson Street urged the Planning Board to hold off on making a recommendation.

“I don’t think (achieving) density is a vision. It’s an objective, a goal,” Kastner said.

Planning Board Chairman Stuart O’Brien urged his colleagues to act.

“I agree that we could have more (public) process. It could take more time, but I wonder what would change.” O’Brien said. “I don’t think this zone change is going to create dramatic changes and I don’t think this is an experiment. It’s time for us to take the next step.”

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

dhoey@pressherald.com

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors

Apr 21

REZONING R-6 to R7 

Hello East Bayside neighbors,

Many of you might not know (and for those of you who do) there is a proposal to change our current residential (R)-6 zone to R-7 zone in all/part of East Bayside.  This proposal was initiated 6 weeks ago.  There is a final Portland Planning Board meeting that we want you to know about.  It will be held Tuesday, April 22nd at 7pm, City Hall, Council Chambers, 2nd floor.  This will be the last meeting and opportunity to share your thoughts before the Planning Board votes and makes a recommendation to the City Council.   To view the application for this proposal please visit: http://www.portlandmaine.gov/planning.htm#Current_Backup_Material

Scroll down to the 4-22-2014 meeting to East Bayside Map Amendment.

We hope that you are able to make this very important meeting.  If you are unable to make it however, you can submit written comments to Rick Knowland, Senior Planner at rwk@portlandmaine.gov or phone 874-8725.  We also encourage you to contact City Councilor Kevin Donoghue at: kjdonoghue@portlandmaine.gov

Please spread the word and we look forward to seeing you all there.

Apr 16

East Bayside: ‘As good as it’s ever been’ -