South Portland board gets first look at armory plan

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SOUTH PORTLAND — A Topsham developer with plans to repurpose the former National Guard Armory requested a conditional use permit Tuesday from the Planning Board.

David Latulippe of Priority Real Estate Group, who purchased the World War II-era facility at 682 Broadway for $700,000 last November, has proposed a $2.5 million project that would include five gas pumps (10 fueling positions), a convenience store and independent cafe on the first floor, and offices and/or community spaces on the second floor.

In total, the proposed commercial structure would be about 11,000 square feet and include a parking lot with approximately 60 spaces.

Approval of a conditional use zoning permit would allow the property to be rezoned from it’s current residential district.

Latulippe said he left the meeting feeling “very positive. Overall it was very well received.” 

His proposal includes preservation of the historic facade, Latulippe said, with plans to repoint brick, refurbish granite and cement, and replace windows. 

Priority is not proposing to alter the flow or reconfigure any of the surrounding roads, Community Planner Steve Puleo said; Hanson Street and Armory Street will still act as entrance and exit roads.

If the plan is approved by the Planning Board and City Council, conditional uses will likely include sign limits, structural design parameters and improvements, and general upkeep of the green space surrounding the building, Puleo said. 

One of the areas of concern is light pollution for nearby residences. Latulippe said measures are being taken to reduce light pollution; one possibility is the use of gooseneck, dark-sky lights because of their comparably modest light levels, Latulippe said.  

Aside from the minor points of concern, “conceptually, we are on the right path,” Latulippe said. 

A Planning Board public hearing is scheduled for March 10. The site plan is not expected to be approved before early May. 

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

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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.