Federated Companies Get Green Light from City Council to Develop Bayside; Councilor Leeman Dissenting Vote

Federated Companies Proposal for Somerset Street in Bayside.

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 1,2l5)

The City Council gave final approval last night to Federated Companies proposal to develop 3.25 acres of land in Bayside on the eastern end of Portland.  The original agreement between the city and the developer was signed last July.  Since that time, the two entities have been negotiating the final terms of the agreement.  Republican councilor Cheryl Leeman voted against the agreement saying that there “needs to be a bigger benefit for the city in this.”

Last summer Federated bought property from the city along Somerset Street in Bayside for $2.2 million.  Since that time it has been a wait and see process and anyone’s guess as to when the two parties would finalize the deal.  Last night Green Councilor John Anton said:  “We’ve been trying to develop this property for 12 years.  This is the third proposal we’ve received.  I’m not sure it would have happened anya other way.”  Anton was referring to Leeman’s objection to the city’s agreement to loan the Federated $9 million dollars to help build the parking garage for which it will receive 200 spaces in return from the 700 spaces anticipated.

The development will occur in two phases – the first phase will include the parking garage and tall towers – providing rental units at market value said Greg Mitchell, economic development director for the city.  Rents will range from $1,300 to $1,700 per month.  There will still be issues to be resolved such as “view corridors.”  Vikews from Cedar Street may be blocked, but that can be dealt with, said Alex Jaegerman, city planning office.  “Even if Phase 1 only happens, it’s worth it,” said Anton.

“This use for the land is so much better than anything we’ve ever contemplated.  It’s a game changer for Bayside,” said Kevin Donoghue, Green city councilor for District 1 in which Bayside is located.