Looking up on the Hill

Allowing neighborhoods to deteriorate so rents stay cheap, though, is not a good way to provide affordable housing, says Jeff Levine, director of the city's Planning and Urban Development Department. A better way, he says, is to support initiatives like the Avesta Housing project at the former Adams School site.

Portland Press Herald
By Tom Bell
Feb. 25, 2013

As a boy, Brit Vitalius, 39, a Portland real estate broker, remembers seeing boarded-up houses on the Eastern Promenade while his father pointed out the spectacular views of Casco Bay.

It was an odd juxtaposition, even for a child who didn't know anything about real estate. But Munjoy Hill in the 1980s had been on a downward slide for decades. Once a respectable working-class stronghold, it had become the kind of shabby neighborhood where visitors were told to be careful walking alone at night.

For years, people have predicted that the Hill would see the same gentrification that transformed the West End 30 years ago. For years, those predictions have been dismissed as wishful thinking.

No more. The Hill's turn has come, and the area is now the most desirable real estate in Maine, says Vitalius, who specializes in multi-family buildings.

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