From 1907 to 2011, the Nathan Clifford School served as an elementary school in Oakdale, a residential neighborhood adjacent to Portland’s peninsula and I-295. The Nathan Clifford School was designed by John Calvin Stevens, a renowned architect in Maine, and offered a number of important contributions to the educational and social history of the neighborhood and greater region. Since the school played a significant role in Oakdale’s history, the neighborhood was eager to see their landmark brought back to its former stature. In 2012, the Portland City Council authorized the creation of a task force to report back with a list of preferred uses for the property. After four meetings and a public forum, the task force found that sixty-three percent of participants favored residential use, with a strong preference for market rate condominiums and apartments.
In 2013, Developers Collaborative responded to the City of Portland’s Request for Qualifications for the Re-use and Re-development of the Nathan Clifford School, proposing 22 market rate apartment units. In response to community feedback, DC is maintaining the existing open space on Deane Street as a public park with the existing playground equipment. 22 one- to three-bedroom units will be located in the school building. DC’s proposal was unanimously recommended by the Proposal Review Committee to the City Council, which approved the sale of the property to DC in October of 2013. Planning Board approval was obtained in November of 2013 and construction is scheduled from February to December 2014.
This project has created 22 housing units while preserving a community landmark within walking distance of the downtown. The unit mix includes 1 one-bedroom, 16 two-bedroom, and 5 three-bedroom units. This is DC’s fifth historic tax credit project.