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Updated: May 21, 2024

$17.4M affordable senior housing development breaks ground in Rockland

rendering of big gray and white building Rendering / Courtesy, Developers Collaborative A 49-unit project to develop affordable senior housing recently broke ground in Rockland.

Rockland has an affordable housing crunch, much like other places in Maine and around the country. 

In recent years, the city has been chipping away at the affordable housing crisis bit by bit, with zoning changes and efforts to make it easier for developers to build.

Now Developers Collaborative — whose founding principal, Kevin Bunker, was a municipal planner and lobsterman in the Rockland area — has a project underway to tackle the problem.

The Portland development company recently broke ground on Peasley Park, a project at 118 Maverick St. to develop affordable senior housing, with rents projected to range from $622 to $801 for renters meeting certain income guidelines.

people standing in a line with shovels
Courtesy / Penobscot General Contractor
The development by Developers Collaborative includes Penobscot General Contractors, Maine State Housing Authority, Archetype Architects, Gorrill Palmer, Trillium Engineering Group, Mechanical Systems Engineers and Bennett Engineering.

Penobscot General Contractors in Falmouth is the general contractor. The project is being undertaken in collaboration with the Maine State Housing Authority, Archetype Architects, Gorrill Palmer, Trillium Engineering Group, Mechanical Systems Engineers and Bennett Engineering.

Financing includes low-income housing tax credits administered by MaineHousing.

The credit provides a subsidy in the form of a federal tax credit to developers of affordable rental housing, according to MaineHousing. Developers using funding must reserve a portion of the rental units for lower-income renters.

The estimated completion date is April 2025, Laura Reading, director of affordable housing at the Developers Collaborative, told Mainebiz.

person in blue scoop-neck blouse
Laura Reading 

Reading is a 2023 Mainebiz 40 Under 40 honoree who has created hundreds of new units of affordable housing in Maine.

About the project

The new construction consists of 49 units. There will be four efficiency units that range from approximately 521 to 573 square feet and 45 one-bedroom units that range from approximately 662 to 1,013 square feet.

Seventeen of the units will be accessible. At least 60% of the units will be rented to households earning 50% of the area median income or less and the remaining units will be rented to households earning 60% of the area median income or less. 

MaineHousing will provide vouchers for 11 units that will be pledged for use by populations with special needs.

There will be a community room, laundry room, fitness room, storage and broadband infrastructure with capacity to support the provision of telemonitoring and telehealth services.

There will also be conduits from the electrical panel to terminal units at the parking area for future installation of one or more Level 2 electric vehicle charger and to terminal units at the roof for future installation of photovoltaic solar panels, with an electrical panel that is adequately sized to support both.

A park will be located on the northwestern end of the site and there will be raised garden beds as well as 62 parking spaces.

The entrance to 118 Maverick St. is within half mile from Sherman’s Bookstore and a Hannaford supermarket, which is also the location of a Rockland DASH bus stop.

The site is named after LeRoy Peasley, a decorated war veteran “who was beloved by his community,” Savannah Martin, Penobscot General Contractor’s business development and preconstruction manager, told Mainebiz.

“This new project site will provide affordable senior housing to the community that LeRoy loved,” Martin said.

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John Harvell
May 21, 2024

These units look beautiful but I can’t help but believe it’s more of a feather in a developer’s hat than it is really to build “affordable housing”. $346k per unit? The State should have boxes to check to not allow this type of funding to be used like this. There’s no reason why affordable housing funds should exceed $100k per unit. Even in this market. Use these funds, make the place look good, make it clean, make it efficient, and maximize the funds not the building.

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