By Sarah Stebbins
From our August 2021 issue
In May, the Portland Planning Board unanimously approved the construction of what will be, by some measures, Maine’s tallest building. The 18-story, 190-foot-high behemoth at 200 Federal Street will inject 263 rental apartments — 27 of them deed-restricted, to remain affordable to medium-income earners — into the city’s tight housing market and provide two ground-level retail spaces. Developed by Redfern Properties, which plans to break ground this summer, the $50 million project required a zoning amendment from the city council because current regulations prohibit residences above 150 feet. How did the proposed high-rise sail through an approval process that has left others dead on the drafting table? The property’s location in a business district, rather than a residential one, surely helped. Portlanders may also be more willing now to stomach some architectural swagger to combat a historic housing crunch.
But is 200 Federal really so giant? When it’s finished in late 2023, it’ll be one of the puniest tall buildings in the country. Only Vermont and South Dakota’s tallest buildings are shorter. And if you count architectural flourishes, like towers and spires, it’ll be merely the third-loftiest building in Maine. How will it stack up against other tallest-of-their-kind structures here? We lined ’em up above.