Does Portland, Maine, Really Need More Hotels?
Hotels in Portland, Maine
If there is one thing Portland, Maine, has a lot of, it’s hotels.
When you drive downtown in the Old Port, it seems like every other building is a hotel, especially on the East End.
With so much construction constantly popping up out of nowhere, it’s no surprise when another condo or hotel is being built because people just want to be here. We’re probably one of the most visited states in the summer and more and more people are even trying to move here.
As a highly sought after state, we need places to house people.
But do we really need more hotels here?
New Hotel Coming to Portland, Maine
As shared by the Construction Equipment Guide, a new hotel has just been approved to be built next to City Hall.
The Portland, Maine Board approved construction of a 179-room hotel on the corner of Congress and Myrtle streets but when the construction will begin is unknown. It will happen in the near future but not within the next six months.
Now it’s time for what may be an extremely unpopular opinion but the one thing I do not think Portland needs more of right now is a hotel.
Yes, I understand tourism is extremely important for our local economy and it’s great that we have such an influx of people pouring in here every year to visit but as a local, I also just don’t like it. Sue me.
More hotels means more visitors, more traffic, more tourists, and those are all things that personally tick me off. I’m sorry!
Am I a bad person for saying I don’t like development in Portland? Probably.
Portland, Maine, Redevelopment Project
The hotel next to City Hall is just one part of a total project that will include three attached buildings, a hotel, 297 condominiums, seven retail units, restaurants, recreation spaces, and more than 330 parking spaces.
This is obviously really cool and will make Portland sick but it also makes me nervous about rent prices and the affordability of living in what was once a small city but is now turning into quite the metropolitan.
If we didn’t have out-of-staters buying us out before, we sure as heck will now.
This is all explained in the Construction Equipment Guide article and one part in particular stood out to me.
As the article points out:
“The city’s inclusionary zoning requirements mandate that hotel projects either build a certain number of low-income housing units based on the number of rooms they will have or pay a fee-in-lieu of Portland’s affordable housing trust fund”
This alone does bring me hope, at least our zoning requirements put into account our need for affordable housing. I just wish instead of a bajillion condos and hotels, we built up affordable housing throughout the city for those who live here and are starting to get kicked out of their homes from rent getting jacked up.
The company building the hotel plans to pay the fee-in-lieu, which comes out to about $700,000 in fees for the hotel’s 179 rooms.
I just don’t know how I feel about all of this. I love my city and I am proud of our expansion and continuous growth but it does make me nervous.