Martin's Point drops bid for former South Portland school

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SOUTH PORTLAND — Two days after presenting a revised plan for a medical office building at the former Hamlin School, Martin’s Point Health Care on Friday withdrew its proposal.

Neighbors since March have opposed the plan, which would significantly reduce green space and a community garden that currently occupy the three-acre parcel at Sawyer and Ocean streets.

Representatives from Martin’s Point have met with neighbors in the last month, and, in an attempt to compromise, issued a revised plan on Wednesday

But in a letter sent Friday morning to City Manager Jim Gailey, Martin’s Point Vice President Richard Daigle said “after meeting with the executive team at Martin’s Point Health Care yesterday, our organization has decided to suspend our development proposal for the Hamlin School property.”

The health care organization, which now operates out of a 10,000-square-foot office at 51 Ocean St. in Knightville, said it submitted the proposal “with the intent to provide a professional facility that would integrate nicely in the neighborhood and would be developed in partnership with the city and local residents.”

Their “belief,” Daigle said, was that the repurposing of the property while finding adequate green space with ample room for a community garden could have been done in a “first-class manner that would meet and respect the needs of all interested parties.”

The company is “disappointed that we have not received feedback from the city about the economics we proposed while we have continued to work with the neighbors on planning with the goal of arriving at the very best concept for all,” Daigle said. 

He said Martin’s Point is “puzzled at the lack of response” from the city to a proposal that would create a “responsible, high-quality development, while incorporating relocation of the (South Portland Planning and Development Department) offices at no cost to the city, and provide significant tax revenues for years to come.”

With no indication from the city or neighbors that their latest proposal fits with the city’s vision of the property, “we find ourselves in a position where we must move on,” Daigle said.

He said, however, that Martin’s Point is open to reconsidering its interest in the property if the city chooses to advance discussion. 

Alex Acquisto can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or Follow Alex on Twitter: @AcquistoA

South Portland and Scarborough reporter for The Forecaster. Graduate of Western Kentucky University and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Alex can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106.