B&M Baked Beans in Portland
The iconic B&M factory on Portland's East Deering waterfront on Sept. 1. It will produce its last cans of baked beans, brown bread and other food items later this year after being sold to the Roux Institute of Northeastern University. (Portland Phoenix/Jim Neuger)
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The Portland City Council on Monday unanimously approved designating a building at the former B&M baked bean factory site as a historic landmark.

The cannery building at 1 Bean Pot Circle will be maintained and used as a business incubator space at the Roux Institute campus once the school is built out. The building was originally built in 1913. 

The developers, the Falmouth-based Institute for Digital Engineering and Life Sciences (IDEALS), nominated the building be designated as a historic landmark. The Historic Preservation Board unanimously recommended this to the Council as well.

The cannery building is the only structure that will be retained on the 13.5-acre campus, which will eventually be taken over and run by Northeastern University, while IDEALS is developing the property. Other structures, such as an aging codfish-canning building built in the same year as the bean cannery, will be torn down and replaced with new buildings. They will also tear down and replace a pier next to the codfish cannery.

The overall redevelopment of the parcel is still making its way through the early stages of the Planning Board process. The developers are seeking an institutional overlay zone, which would create a special zone or district over the existing industrial one. It would transition to the B5 zone, which city staff said allows for more modern, mixed uses than the underlying industrial zone.


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