In the current times, where new buildings are popping up left and right in downtown Portland, Maine, it wasn’t surprising to hear that a new one is in the works on Commercial Street in front of Amigo’s Restaurant, which will provide retail and condominium space.

Rob Riccitelli
Rob Riccitelli

The parking lot was private and used by Amigo’s employees and the employees of the other businesses within the building, until it was purchased a few years back by UPP Global.

A few grandfathered spots remained for employee use, and the rest became “pay to park”. These were mostly used by tourists, who were frustrated with the lack of parking options and succumbed to paying large amounts of money to park for a few hours while they walked downtown. 

It’s not clear whether the current owner of the lot is involved in the planned project, or if they sold the lot to developers. The proposed building appears to be fairly large, and will ultimately vanish the view of Casco Bay from Gritty McDuff’s Brew Pub and other nearby businesses. 

With bars and restaurants nearby, it will surely be interesting to see how it goes over with new condo owners and renters. Sure, the location is convenient, but the potential noise and lack of parking will likely not be. 

According to a nearby employee, there still hasn’t been a permit obtained yet, which could delay the project. 

Needless to say, a few nearby businesses and employees that I spoke to are not happy about the project. This is mainly for the reasons stated in this article, especially the fact that they will now be scrambling to find a parking spot in Maine’s biggest city, which already has a massive shortage of (affordable) parking. 

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