McIntyre plans to be discussed with public
By Jeff McMenemu
Posted Feb 4, 2019 at 9:18 PM
Updated Feb 5, 2019 at 7:31 AM
PORTSMOUTH -- The City Council plans to hold a March 5 meeting where architects from the city’s development partners Redgate/Kane will make a presentation about their plan to redevelop the McIntyre Federal Building property.
City Councilor Chris Dwyer, who is a member of the council’s three-person subcommittee on the redevelopment process, made the announcement at Monday night’s City Council meeting.
She said there has not been a venue settled on yet, but the meeting will likely be held in City Council chambers in City Hall or the Levenson Room in the Portsmouth Public Library.
There has not yet been a meeting time set, but it is intended to be held at night, Deputy City Manager Nancy Colbert Puff said Monday.
In addition to a presentation from the architect, Dwyer said Redgate/Kane’s representatives will also meet with people in small groups at the meeting.
Dwyer said she expects there will be 3-D models online available at the meeting, along with a physical model. T
he city is working to redevelop the 2.1-acre downtown property in a public private partnership with the development team Redgate/Kane.
Redgate/Kane’s proposal calls for using the McIntyre for office space and building a 4½-story mixed-use building and two 3½-story mixed-use buildings on the rest of the property.
The mixed-use buildings will feature commercial and retail on the first floor and 77 apartments above with 77 parking spaces for the apartment residents.
The plan also calls for several hardscaped open spaces, an indoor community gathering space, small kiosks, an art area, a possible market and potentially “a green wall.”
A group of business owners and citizens have launched a campaign and Revisitmcintyre.com, which states “the McIntyre project should not be a massive business forward development, but rather a thoughtful, carefully designed, yet economically viable project benefiting all of the citizens of Portsmouth.”
They are pushing an alternative development with a public park behind the McIntyre building, additional parking and preserving the existing post office.
Longtime state Sen. Martha Fuller Clark has also spoke out in opposition to the Redgate/Kane redevelopment plan and called for city officials to start the process over again.
Dwyer serves on the council’s subcommittee with City Councilors Doug Roberts and Rebecca Perkins Kwoka.
Both she and Mayor Jack Blalock acknowledged on Friday that the committee meets in private and does not keep minutes of its meetings.
Blalock stated the three members are allowed to meet in private, like council working groups sometimes do.
“We’re kind of trying to keep everything through the committee ... so we keep everything kind of focused,” Blalock said Friday.
Dwyer stated the subcommittee does things like scheduling the March 5 meeting.
During Monday’s council meeting, Dwyer stated that the “basic presentation parts” of the March 5 meeting will be televised, but not the part of the meeting where people meet in small groups.
“Often people in the small groups don’t want to be televised,” she said.