Nationwide developers are planning to create labor housing and retail space in a long vacant lot at the entrance to downtown Bucksport.
Wishrock Development, a Portland-based home developer, aims to build a complex with 18 apartments and two stores. Town-owned main street lot that hasn’t been used for about 9 years..
It’s still in the early stages of the process, and Wishrock hasn’t officially filed an application, but this is exactly what the town’s is doing to strengthen Backport’s growing downtown and add the urgently needed housing. This is the type of project that the officials were looking for. It is also one of the three apartment buildings under construction in Bucksport and can inject about 35 units into the community to help the town recover from the 2014 Verso paper mill closure.
Wishrock went to the city council on Thursday and asked for a letter of interest so that he could apply for funding through the new state’s labor housing program. The current rough plan includes 12 two-bedroom apartments, six one-bedroom apartments, and two 600-foot stores.
This is not the first time there was an apartment in the property of 27Main St. Before the 2013 fire, a set of apartment buildings sat there. The town bought 1.1 acres of land in 2014, destroyed a burnt apartment and put the property for sale.
Since then, some proposals have been put together, but the town has not secured a buyer. People have proposed the development of larger apartments, restaurants and others, but nothing has really gained momentum.
The town works with a consultant Make a ready-made plan The preliminary concept of Wishrock is different in that developers can work to fit the vision of revitalizing the town. Still, it checks many of the same boxes as the pre-made plan. The company presented the council with a sketch of one long two-story building with a store on the first floor.
Rich Rotera, Director of Economics and Community Development at Bucksport, said:
The letter of interest does not link Bucksport to the project, and Rotella said some other developers are considering the site, but they haven’t made a firm plan yet.
Pen Lindsay, vice president of development for Wishrock, said his company’s projects depend on subsidies from states and towns selling land for $ 1.
Rotella said this was what other developers were looking for and not out of the question.
“For the right project, it was always on the table,” Rotella said.
Meanwhile, the other two developers are making progress in the other two apartments. Larry Wahl, owner of the local ice cream stand Dairy Port, Wilson Hall is in the final stages of refurbishment171-year-old former seminary turned into a handful of apartments.
Chris Pepin is also working on the construction of an 11-apartment complex in what is locally known as the Timberland Building. This property was once the site of a paper mill office.
According to Rotella, this influx of homes is the key to continuing the town’s transformation from a gristmill-less town to a popular destination.
“That’s the missing part here in town,” he said. “It’s definitely good to see. It’s been a while.”