By Carol McCracken (Post # 765)
Within two years, it is expected that the currently blighted Thompson’s Point will bloom into the major cultural hub north of Boston, said the three managing partners of a development group this morning at a city hall press conference. Ambitious plans for a $100 million mixed use development were unveiled this morning by William J. Ryan, Jr., Chris Thompson and Jon Jennings, of the Thompson’s Point Development Company.
In introductory remarks, Mayor Nick Mavodones said The Forefront will include Class A office space, a 125-room hotel, an event center in which the Maine Red Claws will play and a large musical theater on the almost 25 acres of buildable land. It borders the Fore River as well as close proximity to the interstate, the train and bus stations. The property can be approached by boat as well. “Thompson’s Point serves as a gateway to the city and will give the city an opportunity to make a great first impression whether a first time visitor disembarking the Amtrak or conference attendee,” he said.
Jennings, president of the Maine Red Claws, described in detail Phase One of “The Forefront” that will include an event center, concert hall, hotel, performance lab, one restaurant (to start) and a parking structure for 700 vehicles. An added feature will be a walkway about the premises built in conjunction with Portland Trails. Jennings, who was responsible for last year’s first annual Stars & Stripes Spectacular Fourth of July celebration on the Eastern Promenade, said this project is a “transit oriented development” – referring to Thompson’s Point stragetic location in the area’s transportation hub.
The developers expect to complete the permitting process by the end of this year, construction will begin the winter of 2012 and is expected to be completed by the fall of 2013. The project will create 1,230 jobs and $49M will be spent in wages to the workforce. Chris Thompson, of the Development group, said he was very excited about all of the benefits The Forefront would bring to the area. “Rarely do windows of opportunity like this one open up. I want to add to it,” he said.
For the most recent information on Jennings and the Forefront at Thompson’s Point development, please move ahead to Post # 1,157.
Please see Posts # 512, , 5/2 and # 513, dated 7/5 for more background on the first annual Stars & Stripes Spectacular.