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March 11, 2021

Final piece in place for 50-unit Szanton Bath Uptown project

A rendering of a a brick apartment building on a street Courtesy / Archetype Architects The Uptown, shown in a rendering, is a 50-unit mixed income project in Bath planned by Szanton Co. MaineHousing recently approved the project for $840,000 in federal tax credits.

The final piece is in place for Szanton Co. to begin work on a 50-apartment project on the site of the former YMCA in downtown Bath.

The developed recently received approval of an affordable housing tax credit allocation from MaineHousing that allows Szanton to reserve roughly 70% of the units for those earning $25,000 to $38,000 a year, with rents ranging from $690 to $890 for a one-bedroom unit. The income restrictions and rents are set annually by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and are based on the area median income.

The remaining 30% of the apartments will be rented at market rates, without limits to tenant income. The majority of the new apartments will be set aside for households age 55 or older. All of the 46 apartments in the new building at 26 Summer St. will be fully accessible by elevator.

“We’re excited about revitalizing an important part of Bath’s historic downtown,” Nathan Szanton, Szanton Co. president, said in June. He said the project will accomplish three things — rebuild the streetscape along Summer Street, provide high-quality housing for a variety of incomes and bring the property onto the Bath tax rolls.

The company bought the half-acre vacant lot at 26 Summer St. where the Y once stood from the city in September 2019, and is also buying the Moses Block, next door at 24 Summer St., and the Columbia Block at 168-194 Front St., from the Bath Housing Development Corp. That sale is expected to be completed by the end of this year, the release said.

The new building will have 46 apartments, with another four added to vacant space in the Columbia Block. The 10 existing apartments in the two buildings will also be renovated.

Commercial tenants in the Moses and Columbia Blocks include a portion of Lisa Marie's Made in Maine; Loyal Biscuit Co; J'Adore Consignment; Open Door Books and the Library Book Store.

The project is named for the Uptown Theater, which was torn down in 1962 to make way for the YMCA. The YMCA gym, which is in the Columbia building, still exists and the project will include a renovation to make it into a community room and fitness center for residents.

Construction is expected to begin late this year, and doors are expected to open in February 2023.

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