Munjoy Hill Development Not Affordable
As residents of Munjoy Hill, we feel compelled to clarify the picture of the development at 128R North Street, as described in the article, “Munjoy Hill Residents Team up….” [November 2020].
Calling this “affordable housing” is misleading and inaccurate. The developer is planning a large four-story, six-unit building, out of scale with neighboring homes and squeezed into a small backyard lot next door to an historic home. Although the development includes one small workforce housing unit, the remaining five units are quite pricey, each valued in the half-million-dollar range. Apparently, the developer intends to live on the top floor in a 4-bedroom condo with a market value closer to one million dollars.
Moreover, the current plan actually results in a net loss of affordable housing units. The developer already demolished a single-family home and envisions demolition of an adjacent building with four rental units, in order to provide adequate road access for the new condominium building. There is no legal requirement that he replace the building to be demolished.
Last month’s article fails to take note of the tremendous resistance to this project by dozens of neighbors, who have voiced opposition to this ill-advised project consistently over the past year, and to two pending legal challenges to the project. We certainly appreciate the need for affordable housing on the Portland peninsula. It is a far stretch, though, to envision this ill-advised development as an improvement and affordable.
Deborah Cole & Bill Eager
Ann Casady & Peter Pitegoff
Lindsay & Susan Mann
Betty Lorber & Bud Pollak
Betts & Eldon Mayer
Munira & Ali Naqui
Terrell & Susanne Robins
Yael Reinharz & James Trainor
Peter & Pat Bagg
Linda & Michael Englert
Mary & Robert Morse
David & Nancy Machesney
$1 Million Affordable?
The public relations piece published recently in The West End News erroneously claims that developer Josh Wojcik is building “affordable” housing on Munjoy Hill. With the exception of one workforce housing unit, the remaining 5 units are luxury condos which will start at around half a million dollars and top out with a four-bedroom penthouse for the developer likely valued at a million dollars or more, based on current listings of similar condos in the neighborhood.
Meanwhile the developer is tearing down five affordable rental units that he owned on the property including a single-family home he did not maintain. So this luxury condo project, vehemently opposed by neighbors, actually results in a loss of affordable housing.
There is nothing “innovative” at all about this project, as the developer alleges. Rather it is a mundane typical super luxe behemoth out of scale and character with the neighborhood.
-Leslie Hart & Kevin Schochat
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