For several months, a large, unfinished structure has loomed over Interstate 295 from its perch on Washington Avenue at the intersection with the Eastern Promenade.
The building will eventually be high-end, luxury condominiums, that will join an increasingly crowded condo market in the city’s East End.
The four-story project called 218 Washington will include 45 one- and two-bedroom condos, with at least one parking space for every unit, and a 750-square-foot rooftop deck that overlooks Back Cove. There will also be 22 charging stations for electric vehicles.
The project, which entered the approval process in 2018 and began construction in spring 2021, is now slated to be completed early next year.
John Hatcher, owner of the Keller Williams Realty Hatcher Group, which is listing the condos, said about half of the units have already been sold. Prices range from $459,000-$1.6 million, depending on their size, location in the building, and view.
“The hardest thing about marketing things to be built is people couldn’t get a sense of the views,” Hatcher said. “Now we’re doing on-site hard-hat tours.”
He said there is also a showroom on Sewall Street where potential buyers can examine the project materials.
Hatcher said residents will have access to trails to the Old Port and Back Cove, the breweries and restaurants that have transformed inner Washington Avenue, and the convenience of being right off the highway.
He referred questions about the building’s slow progress to members of the development team.
Project partner Chris Tyll said like most construction projects, 218 Washington had been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, and is still experiencing “second- and third-layer effects of that.”
“A slowdown it adds costs …,” he said. “Like any project there are always going to be challenges.”
Tyll said 218 Washington buyers are people who live in Maine and may be downsizing but want to stay here, as well as newcomers who have transitioned to full-time remote work.
He said he didn’t want to “put the cart before the horse” when it comes to discussing the ability to fill all 45 units quickly, adding that rising interest rates are a concern. But given the demand for housing in southern Maine, with a limited inventory, he said the 218 Washington Ave. parcel is an “ideal” place to add more housing stock in Portland.
“There’s not much you could have done on that site from a commercial standpoint,” Tyll said. “Housing is the best use for that piece of land.”