Old Port, Portland- Maine’s greatest port, now tourist destination.

This is the City’s oldest district between Commercial Street and  Spring-Federal Street. East to West, Old Port runs from Franklin St. to York and Maple. After Portland was largely destroyed by the British in the Revolutionary war, Old Port was rebuilt with 19th century brick buildings and fishing piers becoming Maine’s leading port and economic center. Old Port was revitalized in the 1970s when real estate developers transformed derelict warehouses into apartments, condos, offices and retail space. Old Port emerged as a popular urban district filled with boutiques, restaurants, bars, cafes, and night life. 

As much of Old Port’s historic fabric remains, it scores well in many urban categories including walkability, urban form, a wonderful streetscape, and beautiful historic architecture. Due to a plethora of local businesses and boutiques, Old Port contains most neighborhood retail amenities as well. Yet Old Port lacks amble access to green space (largely due to a privately controlled waterfront), expensive real estate, and mediocre public transit. There is still room for significantly more density to create a more well rounded district not so reliant on tourist and downtown workers.  
Click here to view my Old Port Album on Flickr

URBAN STRENGTHS

* Pretty great bike system citywide and to many suburbs. Limited bike lanes within Old Port and dwtn, but easy access to them on the edge of the neighborhoods.
* Very economically diverse population.
* Great cultural amenities with tons of restaurants, bars, and cafes, live music venues, and easy access to a cineplex and theaters.
* Lots of neighborhood amenities with tons of boutiques and locally owned stores, drug stores, bookstores, and easy access to several grocery stores in nearby districts.
* Very safe district.
* Convenient access to a great high school and a solid middle school is about 1 mile away.
* Great ADA infrastructure, attractive sidewalks, and consistent street trees.

URBAN WEAKNESSES

* Even with great access to Downtown, mediocre transit access.
* No bike sharing but this seems to be on the way.
* No great racial or generational diversity.
* For sale housing is very expensive. 1 bedrooms condos selling in the 300s & 400Ks. 2-bedrooms above 500K.
* Rentals also expensive. Studios start around $1,000 and 1-bedrooms in the $1,000s. 2-bedrooms in generally in the high $1,000s and $2,000s.
* Recreation amenities a bit limited. Several plazas and parks but one needs to walk a mile to a large park. Unfortunately no waterfront park along the harbor. 

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