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Updated: June 26, 2024

Avesta Housing officially opens Firehouse Village 55-plus housing site

Avesta's Village Commons exterior Photo / Kaplan Thompson Architects Village Commons provides 31 affordable homes for people ages 55 and older in Scarborough.

Avesta Housing, the largest nonprofit affordable housing provider in northern New England, held a grand opening for Village Commons, which includes 31 affordable homes in Scarborough for adults 55-years-old or older.

The housing complex is part of Firehouse Village, a 2.6-acre development on the site of the town's former public safety campus in the Oak Hill neighborhood. Village Commons, at 246 U.S. Route 1, also includes a Rosemont Market, Harbor Fish Market and other retailers. 

Avesta said Village Commons combines "a creative approach to affordable housing with smart growth development principles to provide safe, quality, affordable homes" for the 55-and-over set. 

The Firehouse Village developer is Firehouse Ventures LLC. It was designed by Portland-based Kaplan Thompson Architects and built by Lewiston-based Hebert Construction LLC, which worked with more than 30 subcontractors.

Residents will have on-site parking, laundry facilities and a community room that provides the neighborhood with space to participate in activities and classes offered by Avesta’s resident service partners.

Rebecca Hatfield Avesta Housing
Photo / Courtesy, Avesta Housing
Avesta Housing President and CEO Rebecca Hatfield speaks at the grand opening of Village Commons in Scarborough on June 18.

“This effort illustrates how former public space can be transformed to help create much-needed affordable housing and promote a vibrant, accessible, mixed-use community for residents and neighbors,” Rebecca Hatfield, Avesta's president and CEO, said at the June 18 grand opening.

“It is also a testament to how collaboration can help to create more affordable housing.”

Other speakers were Jack Soley of Firehouse Ventures LLC; Mark Wiesendanger, director of development for MaineHousing; and April Sither, vice chair of the Scarborough Town Council.

Rebecca Hatfield and Dawn Pendergrass
Photo / Courtesy, Avesta Housing
Dawn Pendergrass hugs Avesta Housing President and CEO Rebecca Hatfield following Pendergrass’ speech at the grand opening celebration of Village Commons in Scarborough on June 18. Pendergrass spoke about how Avesta helped her father with an affordable home at Village Commons after he lost his life savings in an internet scam.

One tenant's story

Dawn Pendergrass provided the final speech at the opening: She shared how Avesta helped her 74-year-old father find a home after he lost his life savings to an internet scam that targeted older adults. Suddenly finding himself on an extremely limited income, he and Pendergrass sought an affordable apartment for him through Avesta.

Pendergrass got a phone call from Avesta telling her that her father had been approved for an apartment at Village Commons.

“Tears streamed down my face as I signed the initial paperwork in the [Avesta] office. The stress and worry that I had been carrying for the past year began to lift,” Pendergrass said. “Avesta Housing saved my dad.”

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