New apartments for seniors open in Houlton

Posted Aug. 28, 2010, at 12:23 a.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 11:53 a.m.

HOULTON, Maine — A little more than a year after construction crews broke ground on the project, a $2.5 million, three-story apartment complex is now open in the historic downtown.

Tenants began moving into Market Square Commons last week, Deborah Guay, property manager of the complex, said Friday. So far, four apartments in the 28-unit building are full, and Guay is processing applications to fill the other available apartments.

“Everyone who has moved in so far is really excited,” she said. “The building and the appliances are new, the building smells new and it just sparkles. It’s very exciting.”

Coastal Enterprises Inc. announced in late 2007 that it would construct the complex in Market Square, in the back of the Temple Theatre parking lot. The project gained approval from the municipal planning and zoning boards.

Then the economy tanked, and funding for the project was uncertain for a time.

But the final financial hurdles were cleared last June, and earth-moving equipment appeared on the grounds a short time later.

The 28 units will be rented to seniors in one- and two-person households. Five units have been set aside for tenants with visual impairments.

Residents who meet eligibility standards will pay rents of $425 to $565 a month, including all utilities, according to information provided by CEI.

Financing for the project came from MaineHousing, an independent state agency that combines public and private housing funds, along with other sources, to benefit Maine’s low- and moderate-income residents. CEI is posting a $600,000 financial commitment to the project.

An on-site services coordinator will help link residents with local services and transportation.

The building also includes a media room and a library, and is equipped with an elevator. There are laundry facilities on each floor, common meeting rooms and a central gathering area.

The building includes energy-efficient appliances, solar panels on the roof for hot water heating and a boiler system heated with wood pellets.

Guay said people have been excited about the new complex, and hopeful tenants began submitting applications last January.

“This is a great building and it’s right in the downtown, close to shops and restaurants,” she said. “People are excited.”

Applications are still being accepted and can be picked up in person from 7 a.m. to noon Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Market Square Commons.