Thinking outside of the boxy Adams School

By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  January 2, 2008

Munjoy Hillers are eager to see what will take the place of the abandoned Adams School, which sits on about an acre and a half of land in the residential area between Congress Street and the Eastern Prom — but they’ll probably have to wait for quite a while before they see concrete action.

Redevelopment of the site is currently stalled, while a draft Request for Proposals, published in July, languishes in the council’s Community Development Committee. (To be fair, that body is grappling with other massive projects, such as the Maine State Pier.) Any successful reuse proposal will likely include some combination of housing and community space, which locals largely support — despite some concerns about losing winter parking-ban spots, increasing noise and traffic in the neighborhood, and continuing gentrification.

On January 12, the Community Building Collaborative (CBC), a local organization that encourages resource-sharing among various non-profits, will hold an evening forum to raise awareness and money for its proposal: an apartment complex-community center that would integrate green design and open space.

The CBC plan — called the Adams Community Living and Learning Center — includes 20 new units of cooperative housing in four buildings, which would “create an accessible opportunity for home-ownership,” says CBC president Jonah Fertig — an increasingly rare prospect on the peninsula. Another central part of the CBC proposal is the shared space for local non-profit organizations. Fertig says that approximately 20 groups have expressed interest so far — but few of those have much money to pay for a major real-estate development. Fundraising and grant-writing efforts will officially begin at next Saturday’s community meeting.

The city expects that for-profit developers will also submit proposals, whenever the official RFP is issued. In this arena, too, there are innovative ideas: last month, the city council told local developer Peter Bass that his firm could build a 26-unit condo complex at the intersection of Danforth and High streets with just 14 parking spots — 42 fewer than typically required. The complex will also have two shared cars that are owned and maintained by the condo association — like Zipcar, but only for those who live in the apartment building — and “parking spots” for 26 bikes.

The Community Building Collaborative meeting will be from 6 to 10 pm on Saturday, January 12, at the Adams School, 44 Moody St.

On the Web
The Community Building Collaborative:


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  Topics: This Just In , Business, Real Estate, Jonah Fertig,  More more >
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