June 21, 2018
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New York developer plans 270-unit student apartment complex in Orono

By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff

ORONO, Maine — A New York developer has submitted a plan for a 270-unit student housing complex at the end of Washburn Drive, and if it’s approved by the Orono planning board, shovels could hit the ground in the next two months.

“I believe they plan to start at the end of May,” Bill Murphy, Orono code enforcement officer, said Friday.

The New York-based Park 7 Group, which has built student housing developments in other areas of the country, including near the University of Oklahoma in Norman, first approached the town in January. The name of the proposed complex near the University of Maine campus is The Avenue.

The project’s site plan is a clustered subdivision consisting of 270 multi-bedroom units that are expected to house between 850 and 925 students, Murphy said. He said he had no information about the cost of the project.

“We’ll know more about the project after the meeting,” he said.

The planning board meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 19 and the proposed complex is the only item on the agenda.

If approved, the new complex will be larger than The Grove, which opened in September 2012 and has approximately 200 units with room for 620 tenants.

Washburn Avenue is located near the Rangeley Road entrance to the university, and The Avenue apartments will be located at the end of the current cul de sac.

The Grove, owned by North Carolina-based Campus Crest Communities Inc., is located a half-mile from the Rangeley Road entrance, or just north of Orono Thriftway Food Center.

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