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Development plan could bring 800 new housing units to Portland neighborhood

Port Property announced its "Master Development Plan" this past week proposed for the city's West Bayside neighborhood.

PORTLAND, Maine — This past week, a 10-year 800-unit housing development plan was proposed for Portland's West Bayside neighborhood.

Port Property announced in a news release on Jan. 25 its "Master Development Plan" that would build seven new buildings consisting of 200 affordable housing units and 600 market-rate units.

The proposed project was sent to the city's planning department for consideration.

The release states the development would also renovate and revitalize existing buildings including the Public Market parking garage.

One neighborhood resident said she is pleased the development will include affordable units because they are "desperately" needed in the area.

Sarah Michniewicz is the president of the Bayside Neighborhood Association. She has lived in the area for more than 25 years and emphasized the need for revitalization.

"With that opportunity [of development], there's a huge responsibility to get it right," Michniewicz said. 

Michniewicz added the neighborhood has always been a central location for social services like shelters for unhoused Mainers and the Salvation Army. With any new development in the future, she hopes the area can still serve Mainers in need.

While there are still details to work out, Michniewicz said she hopes more people are invited to the table to tweak the final plans.

“[There are] very few people that actually live within the parcels, but it’s of such importance to the entire city to create a strong, vibrant neighborhood here, that I’d like to see the conversation generally broadened to get more perspective from more stakeholders" Michniewicz added.

Michniewicz also advocated for the construction of green spaces like parks and walking areas during the building phases.

In Port Property's Jan. 25 release, the developer stated a key feature in this plan is the prioritization of pedestrian networks that connect with other areas of the city.

The whole project would be broken down into five phases over the 10-year construction plan. 

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