A property developer looking to create more than 800 housing units in Portland’s Bayside neighborhood will hold the required affordable housing units into one building rather than spread them throughout the proposed development.
Plans for 89 Elm Street include an eight-story building containing 201 affordable housing units among a larger development project. The lot is owned by the group 89 Elm LLC, part of a larger development project by Tom Watson and Port Property Management slated for the Bayside neighborhood.
Watson and other principals at 89 Elm LLC believe that this would satisfy the 25 percent inclusionary zoning requirement for the overall development of 804 units, according to a memo Watson sent to the city. Port Property did not respond to a call for comment. Neither did Acorn Engineering, the project managers.
The development which would contain all the project’s affordable housing units in an eight-story building is currently a parking lot, according to the memo. Construction is already underway on a 171-unit apartment building at the nearby 52 Hanover St. location, adjacent to Watson’s other recent Bayside development, the parcel that includes eateries Wilson County Barbeque and The Yard.
The ground-level part of the development would be set aside for retail space.
Each phase of the master development plan for the 804-units of housing will be submitted for separate site-plan reviews.
Matt Grooms, development review services manager in the city’s Planning and Urban Development, said this is the first stage of Watson’s Bayside redevelopment. There have been two workshops at the Planning Board, and this is part of a larger major development plan that includes 89 Elm St.
The applicant has framed the entire project as one development, which allows them under inclusionary zoning to put all the affordable housing into one building, according to Grooms.
Grooms confirmed that the 200-plus affordable units would be contained to one building, adding that he anticipates that the city’s planning board will hold public hearings on the project in June or July. Neither is confirmed.
Grooms compared the development to other large-scale projects like Portland Foreside, though said it is a “little unusual” because it was “an under-used industrial site.”
The plan was up for discussion at a neighborhood meeting hosted by the city on the evening of Tuesday, May 16, after the Phoenix’s print deadline.