By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,058)
Hampshire Street Properties announced last night that it has signed a letter of intent to partner on the redevelopment of properties in the India Street neighborhood with Developers Collaborative, Portland. Hampshire Street Properties is owned by businessman and philanthropist David Sussman, North Haven.
Last year Sussman donated space in a vacant tobacco distribution warehouse on Hampshire Street to the Portland Food Co-op. The Co-Op now uses the space as a distribution center for locally grown food. “The Hampshire Street neighborhood has a rich history and great potential for a vibrant future,” stated Sussman. “I am thrilled to be teaming up with Developers Collaborative to design a use for these properties that has a positive impact for the Hampshire Street neighborhood.”
Last August, attorney Thomas B. Federle attended a meeting of Creative Portland Downtown on behalf of Donald Sussman, his client. At the time, Federle told the group that Sussman, (husband of Rep. Chellie Pingree), was considering converting 7 buildings on the Street into artists’ live-in studios. (That number has changed to six properties because of the sale of one of the buildings to the Catholic Church.)In a telephone conversation this morning, Federle stated they have chosen to work with Developers Collaborative because the company has a short timeline which coincides with Sussman’s timeline for the redevelopment of the properties. Next month Federle plans to meet with the India Street Neighborhood Organization to “float some ideas” with the group. “This is a great neighborhood that has been neglected since the development of Franklin Street,” he added.
“It’s about time someone took care of the abandoned buildings. The homeless hang out in the doorways. They drink and beg,” said Jackie a customer at Sangillo’s Tavern. “It’s always during the daytime. Never at night. That’s when they go back to Milestone.” The Tavern has been at this location for twelve years and previously was on India Street in several different locations.
Federle, in a press release issued last night said: “Developers Collaborative has an impressive track record of creatively making reuse of properties in a way that enchanges the neighborhoods in which they exist. “They are champions of smart growth principles and sustainable design and they take a collaborative approach when working with the community. This makes them the right development partner for us.”
Peter Bass, a Hill resident, is a partner in Developers Collaborative, is known for his artist-friendly buildings. That includes Peloton Labs which is where the group has been meeting.
For more background information on this, please visit Post # 850, dated August 4, 2011 herein.