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November 29, 2021

Affordable housing development breaks ground in Old Orchard Beach

Courtesy / Archetype Architects Milliken House, shown here in a rendering, will offer affordable housing in Old Orchard Beach.

A $15 million affordable housing development broke ground this week in Old Orchard Beach.

Milliken Heights, as it will be known, is expected to help alleviate year-round housing pressures in the seasonal community.

The 55-unit apartment building will be slated for households whose head is an adult 55 years or older. 

“The demand for year-round affordable housing in OOB is very high,” said Szanton Co. President Nathan Szanton. “We’re getting tons of interest from year-round residents who struggle to afford rent in the summer.” 

Old Orchard Beach’s population of 8,960 swells to over 75,000 from June to August, and many rentals are only available to locals from September through May.

The building, at 38 Portland Ave., will be located in the Town Center, a short walking distance from a grocery store, post office, pharmacies, banks, hardware store, library and the beach. The Portland Avenue site is near Old Orchard Beach Town Hall and will sit in the largely wooded area east of Milliken Pond. 

Of the 55 apartments in the building, 42 will be reserved for households earning below 60% of area median income, while the remaining 13 will be rented at market rates. Affordable units will rent for about $1,000 per month, while market rate units will cost about $1,300 per month.

The developer, Portland-based Szanton Co., has built 11 mixed-income apartment buildings throughout southern Maine and Seacoast New Hampshire since 2004. It has built nearby in Biddeford and Portland, but this is its first project in Old Orchard Beach.

The building was designed by Portland-based Archetype Architects and is being built by Ducas Construction, which is based in Scarborough.

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