The Portland Phoenix

Roux Institute campus proposal returns to Planning Board

Roux Institute rendering

A rendering of the proposed Roux Institute campus in Portland's East Deering neighborhood as seen from Casco Bay. (Courtesy IDEALS)

The Portland Planning Board was slated to hold a workshop Tuesday night on the proposal to turn the former B&M baked bean site into the campus for the Roux Institute at Northeastern University, a proposed high-tech graduate school with focuses on machine learning.

The workshop, which was after the Phoenix’s print deadline, was to discuss the zoning map and text amendment application to create an institutional development plan and overlay zone at 1 Bean Pot Circle.

The applicants, the Falmouth-based nonprofit developers Initiative for Digital Engineering and Life Sciences (IDEALS), are seeking these in order to equip the graduate-level campus with housing and a hotel.

The proposal has appeared before the Planning Board in past workshops, where some planners expressed concerns over the ownership agreement between IDEALS and Northeastern University. This application would create a special zone or district over the existing moderate impact industrial zone. The proposal would shift the 13-acre campus to be part of the B5 zone, to allow a wider mix of uses.

Tuesday night’s meeting was a workshop, so no decisions were made.


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