Today we commemorated the completion of steel erection at the 667 Congress Street Apartments project with a traditional topping out ceremony.
Despite the dreary weather, spirits were high in Portland, Maine, as the tower crane carried its last load into place, completing the eighth and final floor of the building.
With steel erection complete, we will bid farewell to the tower crane and move on to the task of making the building weather tight. The tower crane was brought to the urban site to allow for the completion of steel erection within the limited space without disruption to the surrounding narrow streets.
We completed this project in 2 months – this is a real success for us.
The use of a tower crane also allowed the entire building to be built floor by floor while other work – such as concrete, framing and plumbing – could get underway on completed floors even as steel erection continued above. The project has become highly visible locally, and not just because of its relative height.
Once complete, the facility will be the largest housing complex in the area with 139 apartments, a fitness center, ground floor retail space and parking. The addition of this facility is expected to help address the housing shortage in the Portland area.
Here’s how it all began: Jonathan Culley of Redfern Properties, the initial customer on this project, applied to the city Tuesday for a zoning map amendment for the roughly $20 million project at 665 Congress St. The site is home to Joe’s Super Variety, formerly Joe’s Smoke Shop.
Culley said the 70-year-old store and Congress Street landmark would continue to operate in the first floor of the proposed seven- or eight-story building, which would house a mix of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments. He hopes to break ground this year and open in early 2017. The development would put hundreds of potential customers just upstairs, and we believe it will become a better solution that has been located here for years.
Culley has been rapidly building residential units in the heart of the city, where a housing crunch has driven up rents and forced tenants to compete for vacant units or look for apartments off the peninsula. Redfern’s other projects include luxury apartments in the West End, townhomes nearing completion on Munjoy Hill and another residential project planned for Anderson Street in East Bayside.
We are going to continue our cooperation with Redfern Properties, and inform you about our upcoming projects.