August 7, 2017 | last updated August 7, 2017 10:06 am

A coffee shop's move may spur new S. Portland business district

South Portland City Council may take the next step in creating the new Meeting House Community Commercial district, a move spurred by a Portland coffee shop owner who wants to move the business to Cottage Road.

The council at a July 24 workshop earmarked parcels that are zoned Residential Transition, including 372 Cottage Road, for the district, The Sentry reported.

Gail Bruzgo, of Cape Elizabeth, wants to move Omi's Coffee Shop from Brackett Street in Portland to the neighborhood.

City councilors told The Sentry that they may look at the parcels at 352, 362 and 372 Cottage Road at their Aug. 7 meeting, then in the future, consider whether the district should be expanded. The parcels are a block west of DiPietro's Market and David's restaurant, which are in a Limited Business district.

The city's comprehensive plan calls for a "re-emergence of the city's historic neighborhood centers," which include small commercial hubs that those who live in the neighborhood can walk to. Bruzgo's coffee shop wouldn't be allowed under the current zoning, but would in the community commercial district, which allows small restaurants, shops and other service and governmental uses.

Councilors hope the presences of the coffee shop would spur other small businesses to move to the neighborhood, the Sentry reported. "We're possibly looking at an ember that would like to turn into a nice little flame," said Councilor Claude Morgan.

Councilors said they would start with the three lots, Bruzgo's and the two on either side, then take a bigger look at the area in the future.


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