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Updated: June 12, 2023 Building Business

Building Business: Housing takes center stage, with larger projects underway

Rendering / Courtesy Szanton Co. Hebert Construction, of Lewiston, will convert part of the historic Continental Mill in Lewiston into 72 apartments. Picker House Lofts is being developed by Szanton Co. in collaboration with MaineHousing.

Hebert Construction, of Lewiston, has a hometown project it is starting. The firm will be converting part of the historic Continental Mill in Lewiston into 72 apartments, mixed-income housing. Picker House Lofts, as the project is known, “broke ground” on June 9. Szanton Co., of Portland, is the developer, working with MaineHousing. Platz Associates, of Auburn, handled design.

In Falmouth, Penobscot General Contractors is raising the steel structure for a major development. It will have 46 apartments. Ground-floor retail spaces, what will be known as the Shops at Falmouth Square, will range from 1,500 square feet to 22,000 square feet. Office suites will be 4,500 square feet to 10,000 square feet. Compass Commercial Brokers is handling leasing.

The project entailed clearing a large wooded parcel on U.S. Route 1, just north of Bucknam Road. Workers are now in the process of raising the structural steel. The project is expected to be completed by late 2024.

DEW Construction, of Williston, Vt., is building a major apartment complex in Kittery, with 303 units, visible from I-95 and not far from the Piscataqua River. The project will include four buildings, 270,000 square feet in all.

Rendering / Courtesy Saunders Architecture
Wright-Ryan Construction will manage the addition of a visitor center at the Woods and Water National Monument.

Wright-Ryan lands Woods and Water project

Wright-Ryan Construction, of Portland, has been hired to manage construction of the visitor center for Katahdin Woods and Water National Monument. The client is Elliotsville Foundation Inc., in partnership with the Wabanaki Advisory Board. Design is being managed by Saunders Architecture.

It will be two levels, a total of 7,896 square feet, and is designed for 242 occupants. The project will use forest products and mass timber, including 165 custom-built structural laminated columns, while minimizing the use of concrete and steel.

The building will operate as a thermal battery, off the electrical power grid with mainly passive utilities, including a 36.75 kW remote solar array for electrical service and a propane generator for backup. A thermal mass-floor system will provide passive heating in cold weather months in conjunction with a solar “trombe” wall, optimizing the structure’s operational vitality and resilience.

In addition to the center, the job will entail building an 3.6-mile access road to the site, an eastern lookout, a network of accessible paths and access routes, and state of the art off-grid sustainability features.

Of the $35 million needed, $22.8 million has been raised so far.

The site will be known as the Tekkpimək Contact Station at Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Tekkpimək translates from the Penobscot language to “as far as one can see” and is pronounced de gah-gah bee mook.

Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument was created by Presidential Proclamation in August 2016. The 87,500 acres of land was donated to the United States by Burt’s Bees founder Roxanne Quimby through Elliotsville Foundation Inc. to mark the centennial of the National Park Service.

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