Cumberland gets 2 housing proposals for town-owned land

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CUMBERLAND — The town has received two proposals for moderate-income, multi-generational neighborhood developments on vacant town-owned property.

The Town Council heard both proposals in a workshop Tuesday evening, and will announce a selection Monday, Oct. 23.

Requests for qualifications from developers were posted last month at cumberlandmaine.com. Twenty-five people attended a pre-proposal conference and site walk Sept. 7, and proposals were due Sept. 27.

The Town Council in July unanimously established the town’s first affordable senior housing district on the 31-acre parcel, bordered by the Val Halla golf course, the Town Forest, a line of railroad tracks and Crossing Brook Road.

But the property could ultimately contain housing for a variety of ages, Town Manager Bill Shane said Aug. 17.

“We’re looking to start with a multi-generational neighborhood,” Shane explained. “And that neighborhood would be a mix of affordable housing, plus affordable senior housing.”

The town received proposals from Developers Collaborative – which includes developers Kevin Bunker, Laura Reading and Matt Teare – and Bateman Partners.

Developers Collaborative calls for a mix of senior and family housing, with up to 100 units composed of one, two or three bedrooms. A senior assisted-living facility with approximately 50 apartments would also be built, as well as an approximately 10,000-square-foot multi-generational recreation and community building, constructed in the style of a barn, and available for use by residents of the neighborhood and the greater Cumberland community.

The project would have common green space, pocket parks and community orchards and gardens, along with a sidewalk and trail network integrating with Town Hall, the Town Forest and Drowne Road ball fields, and sidewalks planned for Tuttle Road.

Bateman, working with the A.H. Grover excavating company and the Gorrill-Palmer engineering firm, is proposing three options, two of which could occur in conjunction with Bateman’s ongoing Village Green Master Redevelopment Plan along Drowne Road.

One pending phase of that plan hinges on relocation of the town’s Public Works and school bus facilities, freeing that space for redevepment by Bateman. But Bateman now seeks to incorporate that phase into this new project.

Two of the options proposed by Bateman would place 90-100 housing units on the town’s 31-acre lot, with a 10,000-square-foot community building and 50-bed assisted care facility on the Public Works parcel, to the west of the Town Forest.

The third would place 82 units, along with both the community building and care facility, on the 31-acre parcel, in case the Public Works and bus facilities take several years to relocate.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Cumberland has received two bids for a multi-generational neighborhood on 31 acres of town-owned land bordered by the Val Halla golf course, Town Forest, a line of railroad tracks and Crossing Brook Road.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.