March 2, 2018

Investors bet big on Bayside neighborhood

Courtesy / Maine Realty Advisors
Courtesy / Maine Realty Advisors
Seen here is the triangular building at 19 Portland St., which figures in a project to rebrand the Bayside neighborhood as “The Flatiron Block.”

Plans are underway in Portland's Bayside neighborhood to rebrand a section as "The Flatiron Block."

That effort is spurred by the purchase of two properties in the past year by the same buyer: In a deal that closed Feb. 14, T International Realty purchased 255-263 Oxford St. from LMG Properties LLC for $925,000. Josh Soley and John Golden of Maine Realty Advisors represented the buyer. And on June 16, 2017, T International Realty purchased 19 Portland St., across the street from the Oxford Street property, for $800,000. Soley represented the buyer.

Soley has plenty of development experience in his blood. His father, David Soley, and uncles Jack and Tim Soley own East Brown Cow Management Inc., which owns a host of commercial properties in Greater Portland, including One, Two and Three Canal Plaza.

Soley said the investors behind T International Realty prefer to keep their identities confidential, but were open to sharing details of the project. Soley said it is not the T International Realty affiliated with President Donald Trump.

The properties are located on two of the five corners that result from an oddly configured intersection of Portland, Alder and Oxford streets.

The goal is to buy properties on two of the other corners as well, said Soley. The Portland Police Department has a station on the fifth corner.

"I would love to speak with the city on purchasing the police station as well. They are not precluded from the potential properties discussion," Soley wrote in a follow-up email.

Flatiron Block

Courtesy / Maine Realty Advisors
Courtesy / Maine Realty Advisors
Across the street from 19 Portland St., T International Realty purchased 255-263 Oxford St., on the right side of this photo, for $925,000, as part of the investment group’s plan to redevelop the neighborhood.

The two purchased buildings are made up of multi-unit housing, about half of them subsidized through MaineHousing's Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, and the other half rented at market rate. The subsidized rates are less than market rate, but are catching up quickly, explained Soley.

The buildings acquired were:

  • 255-263 Oxford St., built in 1910, which consists of a four-story clapboard building with more than 10,000 square feet divided into 17 housing units.
  • 19 Portland St., built in 1900, a triangular building fitted to a triangular block (hence the nod to New York City's Flatiron Building). It comprises 9,655 square feet divided into 11 housing units. T International Realty has so far invested several hundred thousand dollars in its rehabilitation, Soley said.

The investors commissioned an artistic metal sign, saying "Flatiron Block" and curved to conform with the triangular building's apex, to hang on the building.

"They believe that the future of Portland lies in Bayside," Soley said of the investment group.


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