Settlement could recharge Riverwalk project in Portland

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PORTLAND — While one long-awaited development in the India Street neighborhood has finally sprouted, a recent legal settlement could clear the way for another.

Riverwalk was a proposed $100 million development that would have included condominiums, retail shops, and office space on two blocks bounded by Hancock, India, Middle and Thames streets.

The project was proposed eight years ago, but aborted after only one part of it was built in 2008: the Ocean Gateway parking garage at Middle and Hancock streets.

The project ended in a dispute over ownership. Fred Forsley, president of Shipyard Brewing Co. and a partner in Riverwalk LLC, sued business partner Drew Swenson and Boston-based Intercontinental Real Estate Corp. over rights to the garage.

Court documents filed in February show that the parties have agreed to settle the case, but terms had not been finalized last week. Forsley did not immediately return calls this week.

Once the terms are worked out, the settlement could make it possible for another developer to acquire the garage and pursue a new project.

Meanwhile, work continues on Bay House, another mixed-use development a block away, bordered by Hancock, Middle and Newbury streets.

Bay House was proposed at about the same time as Riverwalk. Both projects were promoted as transforming a once-blighted part of the eastern waterfront, bringing with them visitors, jobs and money.

And like Riverwalk, Bay House seemed to have stalled – the result of marketing and financing challenges, debate over tax breaks for the project, and changes in plans.

Bay House finally broke ground last September. When complete this December, the development will include two market-rate residential buildings, one with 42 condominium units and another with 52 apartments.

William Hall can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @hallwilliam4.