BANGOR, Maine — City councilors approved a zone change request Monday to allow a local company to redevelop a former Bangor Theological Seminary dormitory into 30 units of senior housing.
Community Housing of Maine plans to convert Maine Hall, a 20,000-square-foot, four-story building at 288 Union St., into apartments for residents age 55 and older or disabled.
To move forward with the development, the zone needed to be changed from government and institutional service district to contract multifamily and service district. Bangor’s planning board already had approved the request at its meeting last week.
No one from Community Housing of Maine attended Monday’s council meeting, but, according to its application, the 30-unit building would fill an unmet market demand within the city.
The old brick building was constructed in the early 1800s as part of the city’s seminary, which ended its 186-year run downtown in 2007 when it moved to the Husson University campus.
Around this time last year, Seminary Redevelopment LLC, a development company formed by Paul Cook of Bangor and Kenneth Ray of Portland, bought the entire 9.25-acre property and announced plans to redevelop the site. Those plans fell through a few months later, but some individual projects continued.
Community Housing of Maine’s idea for a senior-housing complex was one of those plans.
City Code Enforcement Officer Dan Wellington said the adaptive reuse of the old dormitory was really the best conclusion. He also said that the redevelopment would have only a minor impact on the historic building.
Earlier this year, Bangor Public Library bought the former seminary library and is using it for storage.