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Updated: April 27, 2023

Real Estate Insider: Foggy day for hardhat tour of Maine's tallest building

Peter Van Allen Jonathan Culley, center at back, leads a tour of 201 Federal St. for brokers from Boulos and Dunham Group, as well as other visitors.
Peter Van Allen View toward Canal Plaza (at center), which is nine stories tall.

Redfern Properties' hardhat tour of its 18-story building at 201 Federal St. may not have the best weather for observing the view.

The day was drizzly with low clouds, but it offered an interesting perspective on downtown Portland and the Old Port. Buildings that look big at street level looked dainty from the view on the 18th floor. On a clear day, you'd be able to see beyond Peaks Island, but earlier this week a view to the water was about all that was available. 

The building is still under construction and won't be completed until January 2024. But it was the first chance for brokers and other visitors to get a look at the interior. 

Jonathan Culley, managing partner at Redfern Properties

Jonathan Culley, managing partner at Redfern Properties, led a tour for about two dozen people, including mostly Boulos Co. brokers, a few Dunham Group brokers and a representative from Mainebiz. 

Much-needed housing

Culley said of the 263 rental units, 120 will be studio apartments and roughly 140 will be 1-bedroom units. The remainder will be 2-bedroom apartments. There are roughly 18 units per floor. 

The developer said his aim was to have more units so he could lower the price point, with studios expected to rent for an average of $1,500, with prices varying by floor and view. 

"This way we can rent to people who are making $40,000 to $50,000 a year," Culley said, rather than targeting a demographic making six figures or more. 

Each unit will have a washer-dryer and fiber-optic connection. The 1-bedroom units are about 650 square feet, while studios are closer to 420 square feet. Leasing will start in the fall. 

The ground floor will have about 550 square feet of retail space and another 2,500 square feet that will be a market. 

Peter Van Allen
Looking down Union Street, with the 13-story 1 City Center at right.


The Boulos Co. is handling leasing. 

Redfern, which had outsourced its property management, is establishing a management division to oversee its properties. With 201 Federal St. and 500 other units under construction, Redfern will have 750 apartments in Portland. The management company will have about a dozen employees. 

Redfern is also redeveloping the former Mercy Hospital site in Portland, which will have 165 units, and a site on Forest Avenue that will have housing for Maine College of Art students. 

Peter Van Allen
201 Federal St. is being developed by Redfern Properties and built by Landry/French Construction.


Landry/French Construction, of Scarborough, is managing construction of 201 Federal St. 

On the recent visit, workers were hanging sheetrock. Visitors accessed different floors via the construction elevator. 

Drew Sigfridson, a principal at Boulos, said Landry/French had to navigate a number of supply chain issues.

Most notably, the building's exterior panels, which averaged 12-by-10 feet including windows, were sourced from a company in New Hampshire. Close enough, since the finished panels could be shipped by truck.

Things got dicey on the supply chain since the glass in the panels was sourced from Lithuania, which had its supply of natural gas cut off after Russia invaded Ukraine. Glass manufacturing requires natural gas. 

It was a bit touch and go, but the New Hampshire supplier was able to get enough glass to keep the project on track. 


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