FREEPORT — After a year-long approval process that included a contract zone agreement, tax increment financing negotiations, tax-acquired property and several public meetings, construction of the Oak Leaf Two senior housing complex is underway.
The affordable housing complex at 24 South St. will have 25 rental units in a three-story building. A groundbreaking ceremony was held Thursday, Sept. 8, with members of Freeport Housing Trust, town councilors and financial stakeholders.
According to Jim Hatch, executive director of the Freeport Housing Trust, Oak Leaf Two is structured differently than other affordable housing properties in town.
“Oak Leaf Two is for people 55 and older whose income is 40 to 60 percent of the median income, which is a slightly higher range than the existing properties,” Hatch said. “There are a lot of people who work in retail who are 55 and older and we hope we can provide workforce housing for them, as well as retirement housing.”
The project is being built on land behind the existing Oak Leaf Terrace senior community. It will have two, two-bedroom and 23 one-bedroom units, Hatch said, with all three floors accessible by elevator.
Thirteen units will feature ADA-compliant handicapped accessibility and residents will have free access to high-speed Internet and laundry facilities. Rent for a one-bedroom unit will start at $510 per month including heat and hot water.
The other Freeport Housing Trust properties are available for residents who qualify as low income and for those who are 62 and older, Hatch said.
The project will be built by Zachau Construction of Freeport, with plans developed by Winton Scott Architects of Portland. Bath Savings Institution is providing $3.26 million in construction financing and will partner with Northern New England Housing Investment fund to provide $4.3 million in permanent equity investment in the project. Additional subsidy funding came from the Cumberland County HOME Consortium.
Hatch said the project is expected to be completed next May.
Freeport Housing Trust has started accepting applications from prospective residents, who should contact Preservation Management at 865-1486 for additional information.
A rendering of Oak Leaf Two, a new affordable, senior housing project in Freeport.
Jim Hatch, left, executive director of the Freeport Housing Trust, is joined by Chris Roney, president of Freeport Housing Trust; Town Councilor Sara Gideon; Aaron Shapiro of the Cumberland County HOME Consortium; Jan McCormick of the Northern New England Housing Investment Fund, and John Marsh of Bath Savings Institution on Sept. 9 at 24 South St., the future site of the Oak Leaf Two affordable housing complex in Freeport.