June 01, 2020
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Former Portland monastery could be resurrected as affordable housing

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
A gull appears to fly over a morning moon in Portland.

PORTLAND, Maine — A one-time monastery in Maine’s largest city might see a new life as affordable housing.

Portland developer Josh Soley wants to convert the West End building into single-occupancy rooms. The Portland Press Herald reports the idea is a piece of a three-phase development planned by Soley that includes nearby low-income apartments and a halfway house a few blocks away.

The former monastery is a Greek Revival home built in the early 19th century, originally as a private residence. The Catholic Church bought it, and it became a girls’ school until the 1930s, when it was turned into the monastery.

The building remained as housing for nuns until 2018 when the last two moved to a monastery in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Soley closed on the monastery last month for $1.66 million.


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