Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

May 18, 2022

On MDI, new Jackson Lab workforce housing set for September occupancy

rendering of complex Courtesy / Aceto Landscape Architecture The complex consists of 24 units and aims to help alleviate a local housing crunch.

A new workforce housing complex developed by Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor is close to completion and scheduled to be available to employees starting Sept. 1.

The lab and the Bar Harbor Housing Authority recently signed an agreement that designates the latter as the property manager of the Hemlock Lane complex.

The development is expected to help address the critical need for year-round housing for employees working on the institution’s Bar Harbor campus. It will have 24 units of one-, two- and three-bedrooms.  

Housing availability on Mount Desert Island is extremely limited and ranks as one of the top issues for JAX employees, faculty, postdocs and graduate students.

“We are excited to partner with the Bar Harbor Housing Authority on this important project, which will help address a crucial need,” Catherine Longley, the lab’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, said in a news release. “The ability to build year-round workforce housing for employees is a strategic imperative for JAX.”

Many employees have a considerable commute due to the lack of housing options near the lab, she said.

In addition to providing full property management services for the project once it is occupied, the authority will manage the application process for the Hemlock Lane complex. The initial application and selection process will be run as a lottery system and a waiting list will be maintained thereafter.

“The housing deficit on Mount Desert Island is a significant impediment to attracting and retaining a year-round workforce, including individuals and their families who come to work at JAX from near and far,” said Duane Bartlett, the authority’s executive director. “These new residences are critical to the continued viability of our island communities.”

Bar Harbor-based employees who will be working on the Bar Harbor campus at least three days per week, are eligible to apply for the Hemlock Lane housing. That would include future employees who have accepted a pending job offer, dissertation graduate students and postdoctoral candidates. There are 1,423 employees at the Bar Harbor campus, and 313 of them live in Bar Harbor.  

Availability of housing near the campus is considered key to removing some of the challenges that affect retention and recruitment. 

“By providing access to market-rate, year-round housing, we aim to provide current and future employees enhanced living options,” Longley added. “Working with the town of Bar Harbor, we will continue to address housing and other issues that are important to our employees, like childcare and transportation.”

The project broke ground last summer.

The complex is located on Route 3, the primary travel corridor on the Bar Harbor side of Mount Desert Island.

Total investment in the development, on a 35-acre parcel owned by JAX, was $10 million.

The project utilized sustainable design and construction principles, including the incorporation of elements of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, Passive House and a system called Sustainable SITES that’s designed for creating sustainable and resilient land development projects.

JAX worked with three Portland firms on the project: Wright-Ryan Construction for construction management, Ryan Senatore Architecture and Woodard & Curran for civil engineering and permitting services.

Sign up for Enews

Related Content


Order a PDF