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March 16, 2023

Szanton Co. unveils affordable housing development in Old Orchard Beach

rendering of building and people COURTESY / ARCHETYPE ARCHITECTS Milliken Heights, shown here in a rendering, is expected to help alleviate year-round housing pressures in the seasonal community of Old Orchard Beach.

Sixteen months after breaking ground, the Szanton Co. said it has completed Milliken Heights, a $15 million, 55-unit affordable housing apartment building in Old Orchard Beach for people age 55 and older.

The Portland-based housing developer said the project received high interest from the public, with units available to lease already down to 14. 

Located at 38 Portland Ave. in Old Orchard Beach, 42 of the units are reserved for households earning below 60% of the area median income, costing $1,113. Market rent units are opening at $1,475.

“The local community has gone above and beyond to share their enthusiasm and curiosity with us throughout the process,” Rachel Mishra, property manager for the property from Saco Falls Management, said in a news release.

The building was situated in the town’s center, a short walking distance from a grocery store, post office, pharmacies, banks, hardware store, library and the beach. The site is near Old Orchard Beach Town Hall and sits in the largely wooded area east of Milliken Pond. 

Milliken Heights is expected to help alleviate year-round housing pressures in the seasonal community.

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 was designed by Portland-based Archetype Architects.

The property includes a fitness facility, community room, laundry and indoor bike storage. It also comes with on-site parking and free Wi-Fi. Raised bed gardens are planned for the future. 

empty apartment space
A unit at Milliken Heights.
Courtesy / The Szanton Co.

This was Szanton’s first passive house project, said Kristin Martin, the company’s development officer for the project.

“The apartments include increased insulation and triple-pane windows, as well as mini-split heat pumps for heating and cooling,” she said.

Milliken Heights is the 12th mixed-income property developed by Szanton since 2004. Other nearby properties include the Mill at Saco Falls and the Lofts at Saco Falls in Biddeford. 

“We know from our talks with members of the community that affordable housing that’s available year-round is scarce in Old Orchard Beach,” said the company’s president, Nathan Szanton. 

Szanton has three other properties under development in Maine.

A grand opening will be held in early May to give the public an opportunity to see the property.  

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