Q & A with developers and future residents Chip Newell and Susan Morris

Chip_and_SusanWhere did you live previously?

Before moving to Portland in the fall of 2013, we lived in four cities; Washington, DC, Dallas, South Beach Miami and Boothbay Harbor. We have lived in nine homes, both detached homes and condos since 1992 when we met in the Atlanta airport. It must have been destiny that we would move frequently.

What brought you each to Portland?

We both have always felt a draw to Maine. Chip went to Bowdoin College and Susan traveled through Maine every summer to a cottage in PEI when growing up in Montreal. We moved to Maine in 2004 after becoming enchanted with a property in Boothbay Harbor, and quickly fell in love with the state.  Business and civic involvements found us driving to Portland several times a week, so in early 2013 we started looking for a residence in the city.

Why the Munjoy Hill neighborhood specifically?

We have discovered that Munjoy Hill provides the best of all worlds, in the best of all cities.  Right outside our door we find restaurants, theater, groceries, coffee and an eclectic mix of shops that we can share with friends and neighbors. We can walk to the heart of downtown with its many offerings, including live music, a lively arts scene, and fascinating lectures. A few blocks away at the Eastern promenade, we can walk, run, bike, play tennis, paddle, sail, toboggan or just sit and enjoy the magnificent view of Casco Bay or the sunset over the White Mountains. Life does not get any better.

What made you decide to build instead of buy?

We looked at all of the condo offerings over a nine month period and concluded that what we sought did not exist.  We met our partner, Ed Theriault, who has owned the land at 118 Congress St. for over 15 years and we realized we could create our ideal residence on his site – arguably the best location for new residential real estate in Portland.

How do you envision 118 complementing the Hill atmosphere?

118 will bring two new retail spaces to the Congress Street corridor combined with 12 residences, the owners of which will add to the energy and vibrancy of not only Munjoy Hill but the Portland community.

If you had to choose, what three elements will make 118 your dream home?

The quality of construction that will minimize annual costs and ensure value over time, the unbelievable views and volume of light in the units, and the location at the peak of Munjoy Hill.  But we must say, the flow and thoughtfulness of the unit layouts are a dream come true as well.

What about moving into 118 has you most excited?

Too many things to list, but after this winter neither shoveling snow nor dealing with leaks has real appeal.  And the benefits of such energy-efficient systems will be welcome. Also knowing that we can travel with no worries about our home or possessions will be great.  But most of all we look forward to becoming more of a part of the Munjoy Hill neighborhood.

 

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