September 23, 2019
One of the increasingly rare infill lots in downtown Portland is now under development, as workers broke ground last week for construction of a six-story mixed-use building at 40 Free St.
Plans call for the 50,000-square-foot structure to include 51 one- and two-bedroom apartments, a parking garage within the building, and five retail units on the ground floor.
The project is on a 17,000-square-foot lot purchased in 2017 by J.B. Brown & Sons for $1.5 million. The lot, currently used for parking, is adjacent to the offices of Mainebiz.
The Portland Planning Board approved a site plan for the project earlier this year, but building permits are still under review. Construction is expected to be complete in 2020.
The new project is just yards from where another developer, North River LLC, in planning to expand the Portland Square complex.
North River bought Portland Square for $66 million in 2015, considered at the time the city’s biggest real estate transaction, and recently submitted a master plan to the city for expanding that property. The plan adds 325,000 square feet of office, retail and residential development to what is now 6.5 acres of parking lots bounded by Cross, Cotton, Fore and Spring streets.
The project includes a 135-room hotel, under the Canopy by Hilton brand, being developed by Jim Brady’s Fathom Cos. The hotel plan was approved by the Portland Planning Board in July.
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