This story appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.
Developers have revealed a plan to add 800 units of rental housing in Portland’s Bayside neighborhood.
Port Property Management and West Bayside Partners LLC are proposing to develop the housing on properties they acquired in October.
Craig Young, President of the Maine Real Estate and Development Association, says the proposal from developer Tom Watson is the first to emerge since the Portland voters approved new affordability and green construction requirements two years ago.
“I think what’s interesting with Tom and his group is that, you know, with the current ‘green new deal’ and some of the other policies that Portland has now, that Tom has found a way to create more housing,” Young says.
Young says demand for rental housing remains very strong in the city.
“I think there’s more depth to this market than people realize,” he says. “I think people are still moving to Portland. I think Portland’s in its, sort of, renaissance period. People are coming here, largely, I think, for quality of life, a food scene, access to four seasons.”
Other housing projects are underway around the city, including an apartment tower that will become the state’s tallest building and the conversion of the former Mercy hospital.
But Young points out those were all begun before Portland voters approved new requirements, including a mandate that developers either discount rents in one-quarter of apartment units to make them more affordable, or contribute to a city housing fund.