In the late 1990s, the area of Portsmouth dubbed the “Northern Tier” was studied as an area in dire need of redevelopment. At the time there was a desire to connect the underutilized area to an already vibrant downtown for new energy and vitality. Even as recent as 2003 study circles, there existed a prevalent desire for mixed use developments that would engage the public on the lower floor and add residential to the upper floors, promoting energy and activity for a vibrant community – day and night. The Master Plan called for an extension of pedestrian friendly streets and human scaled architecture with a walk-able pattern.
Portwalk, currently in final stages of development, will ultimately establish four buildings between Deer Street, Hanover Street and Maplewood Avenue. The mixed use development will contain ever-desirable residences in downtown, retail shops, restaurants, and two hotels. The buildings will be connected by a two-lane, one-way thoroughfare with on-street parking and wide sidewalks. The thoroughfare will ultimately align with the Vaughan Mall walkway and create a large pedestrian loop that connects Congress Street with Deer Street. Pocket parks and landscape elements will add vibrancy and aesthetic appeal to the area.
DeStefano Architects served as the local consulting architect for the Portwalk project, bringing to the development vast knowledge of the needs for growth within the city. D|A teamed up with the developer, master planners, and construction managers for the Portwalk project to help envision, plan- and in the near future realize – the multi-use “answer” to Portsmouth’s Master Plan’s calling.