Portland gets offer for Public Services property in Bayside

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PORTLAND — An agreement to sell the Public Services building at 71 Hanover St. could be taken up by the City Council at its March 2 meeting, City Hall spokeswoman Jessica Grondin said last week.

The proposed $340,000 sale would allow a $2.4 million expansion of Bayside Bowl, the 58 Alder St. bowling alley that will host a Professional Bowlers Association tournament at the end of March.

The proposal was recommended by the Council Housing and Community Development Committee on Feb. 11. The sale requires full City Council approval and is subject to a public hearing.

State Sen. Justin Alfond, D-Portland, Bayside Bowl owner, was the only person to respond to a city request for proposals to buy what is now a road salt and sand storage site.

Alfond’s proposal, filed by city-based Ryan Senatore Architecture, would convert an existing 15,000-square-foot building into an expansion of Bayside Bowl and a new home for nonprofit Portland Community Squash.

The squash program now works with students at the Portland YMCA on Forest Avenue.

Bayside Bowl opened in 2009 in the former Skillful Vending building on Alder Street, near the intersection with Lancaster Street. Its 12 lanes are frequently booked for league play, and will host a PBA match-play tournament from March 26-30.

The expansion would require environmental remediation work to remove some contaminated soils, but the plan complies with existing zoning and fits into the Bayside Vision Plan, according to a memo from city Economic Development Director Greg Mitchell.

Mitchell said the expansion would add eight new bowling lanes, eight squash courts for singles play, one court for doubles play, a classroom, and locker rooms for adults and children. The expansion would also add a function room and dining and lounge area to Bayside Bowl.

City officials have been looking to shift Public Services operations out of Bayside, although Public Services Director Mike Bobinsky said Tuesday his department may have to keep a temporary base nearby for salt and sand storage.

“Any move in Bayside will be temporary,” he said, and will require site plan approval from the Planning Board.

The city may also field proposals to convert the Public Services buildings at 65 Hanover and 52 Alder streets into housing, primarily priced at 110 percent or less of the area median income.

At the Council Finance Committee meeting Feb. 12, budget documents related to the fiscal year 2016 capital improvements budget estimated the cost of shifting Public Services out of Bayside at $6 million, a price that excludes the planned shift of some operations to the former Nelson and Small appliance distribution center on Canco Road.

The Canco Road relocation is now on hold as the city awaits a decision in a lawsuit against the state Department of Health and Human Services on reimbursement of general assistance vouchers to undocumented immigrants.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

Sidebar Elements


A drawing presented Feb. 11 to Portland city councilors shows how an expanded Bayside Bowl would fit into a Department of Public Services building at 71 Hanover St. A vote on the sale of the property for $340,000 is expected next month.

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Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.