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First home sells at new McKeen Street Landing in Brunswick

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First home sells at new McKeen Street Landing in Brunswick

BRUNSWICK — On May 3, developer George Schott closed on a deal with the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority to purchase 240 acres of land beneath hundreds of houses that he already owned on what is being called McKeen Street Landing, part of the former Brunswick Naval Air Station.

On May 4, Schott put five of those properties on the market.

It didn't take long for the homes to start selling.

Schott reported Wednesday that a four-bedroom garrison-style home with a garage on McKeen Street attracted two offers, one of which was accepted.

The house was purchased by a young couple that plans to raise a family in the area, Realtor David Gleason, of Coldwell Banker, said.

The property was listed at $144,500, but the sale price was not disclosed.

McKeen and Gleason said that they hope to list and sell a total of 19 properties on McKeen Street over the next six to 12 months.

In all, 231 homes will be sold over the next five years, a number that has raised concerns that the homes will depress the local real estate market. The homes provided housing for military families at the Navy base before it shut down.

But Schott said that by putting the properties on the market at competitive prices in phases over a five-year period, he will be mitigating the impact.

"As far as I know, there has not been any negative effect on the rental market when I was renting them, and there won't be any negative effect on the real estate market now," he said.

Gleason said Schott is pricing the homes at their appraised value, which will help protect others who are selling their homes.

"He's marking them at the appraised price, which makes them affordable for a lot of young, working families," he said. "He has kept the prices comparable to other prices in the Brunswick area. He's not undercutting other houses."

Schott is working to create an infrastructure of water and sewage systems that will serve the other former military homes on the property.

He then plans to bring all of the roads in the area up to town specifications, so that the town could assume ownership of them.

He estimated that the infrastructure will cost between $2 million and $3 million, and said said the town will benefit by taking over the roads and utilities.

"They are currently earning income for the town as rentals, not individual homes," Schott said. "The more individual homes are there, the higher the tax income will be. I want to move forward with the next phase so I can make it better for everybody."

Gleason said the other four active listings range from a $139,500 three-bedroom ranch to a three-bedroom townhouse for $109,500.

The land was purchased by Schott's company, Affordable Midcoast Housing, from MRRA; while the total sale price was $3.35 million, MRRA retained 12 housing units, and cleared a lesser amount.

"We netted, after our purchase of the 12 housing units, $2.375 million dollars," MRRA Executive Director Steve Levesque said.

Levesque said that the bulk of the money, $1.355 million, would be placed into a land sales reserve account.

In accordance with a March 20 vote of the MRRA board of directors, $227,400 will go to the executive airport budget; almost $174,600 to the MRRA Special Revenue fund; $237,500 to a capital improvement fund; and $500,000 to the  Leasehold Improvement Revolving Loan Program.

Matt Hongoltz-Hetling can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or matthh@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @hh_matt.