“Primarily it’ll be housing priced at market rate, but affordable. And it will continue the mixed character of the neighborhood, with art facilities,” said Hugh Nazor, Treasurer of the India Street Neighborhood Association. Mr. Nazor was talking about the anticipated redevelopment of the Hampshire Street corridor by businessman Donald Sussman who lives in the area with his wife US Rep. Chellie Pingree. A representative of Mr. Sussman’s, Tom Ferderle, has been meeting with the India Street neighbors.
Last August, attorney Thomas B. Federle, attended the monthly meeting of Creative Portland on behalf of his client, Mr. Sussman. At that time he outlined Mr. Sussman’s interest in converting properties on Hampshire Street into “live-in-studios.” Early last month, Federle announced that Sussman had hired local Developers Collaboration to redevelop the property. The national company, Art Space, visited a few properties in the area for redevelopment consideration. Hampshire Street was selected as a favorite, but because of the long timeline, Sussman chose Developers Collaboration to redevelop Hampshire Street. The India Street Association has been meeting with Mr. Sussman’s representative, Tom Federle, periodically.
In a telephone interview this morning, Mr. Nazor said that while there is no design concept that is dominant at this time, it is expected there will be a number of street level commercial sites as well as various art spaces. Eventually there will be up to twice as many the number of residential units as there were previously in the redevelopment of Hampshire Street. It’s possible that the fronts of the new buildings would face Franklin Street, rather than Hampshire Street, Nazor said.
However, that depends somewhat on what happens in Phase Two of the Franklin Street Redesign Study meetings. Nazor a new member of that Committee said those meetings begin next month. Phase Two is charged with selecting ideas from the three redevelopment proposals for Franklin Street that resulted from the work done by Markos Miller and his committee in 2009. That selection might possibly affect how the Hampshire Street propoerties are located.
Nazor said that the India Street Neighborhood Organization is optimistic about the plan for Hampshire Street so far and we’ve been assured that Sussman will continue to work with us on this project whenever there is a new development. “Mr. Sussman will not be making a profit on this redevelopment. He had to do something with the property and is planning the development so as to benefit the neighborhood and the city.”
Almost two years ago, the India Street Neighborhood Association was formed out of concern for the deterioraton of the area. Joe Malone, a real estate broker who owns properties in the area spearheaded the organization of the group.
For more background information, please see Post # 1,058, dated January 6, herein.