Portland City Council holds special meeting on 58 Fore St.
PORTLAND (WGME) - The Portland City Council voted Wednesday night seven to two, giving developers the go-ahead to tear down a building considered historic by the city, for the greater good of the revitalization of the former Portland Company complex.
Developers can now tear down one of eight buildings deemed historic by the city's Historic Preservation Board in order to build a greater public waterfront access to the 58 Fore Street property.
Developers say this easement is necessary to attract people into the new neighborhood they're planning to build, which includes shops, housing and an expanded marina.
The city council spent nearly four hours listening to public comment and discussing the controversial issue before casting their vote.
Mayor Ethan Strimling was one of two who voted against the recommendation, but recognizes the project is worth it.
"In the end I would have liked to preserve Building One but in end 7 of 8 are preserved, looking forward to this project really getting shovels in ground," Strimling said.
Many of the councilors who voted yes tonight say their vote is actually in favor of preserving Portland's history.
Seven historic buildings will now be preserved, where as if this didn't pass, the developers could have pulled the plug on the entire project, and all eight of the buildings could may deteriorated beyond repair before another opportunity like this came by again.