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October 7, 2015

Developer proposes new hotel near Portland’s eastern waterfront

A developer is proposing to build a six-story hotel with condos on the top floor near Portland's eastern waterfront, the Portland Press Herald reported Tuesday.

The Fore Street project, estimated to cost $20 million, would include a 150-room AC Hotel by Marriott, 16 condominiums and roughly 4,000 square feet of restaurant or retail space, the paper reported.

The city's planning office told the paper that the Planning Board will likely take up the proposal this month or in early November

The project, from developer Ara Aftandilian of the Portland Norwich Group in Sanibel, Fla., would be located on a portion of a vacant 1.39-acre lot between the Ocean Gateway garage and terminal. The location is near the former Portland Co. complex, the site of a planned mixed-used redevelopment that met resistance from area residents who pushed for an upcoming referendum question to block the plan.

The question on Portland's November ballot would place protections on public views of Portland's harbor by limiting building heights under certain circumstances. Opponents of the referendum have said it could halt development in the city.

As for whether the city could support additional hotel rooms after the influx of more than 650 rooms in the downtown area in the past two years, Greg Dugal, executive director of the Maine Innkeepers Association, told the paper it's too soon to say.

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Developer building Portland hotel buys waterfront lot and Ocean Gateway Garage

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