Portland developer plans 51-unit apartment complex in Ellsworth



ELLSWORTH — The Portland-based developer that constructed the Oriole Way Apartments off Washington Street behind Renys will bring plans for another 51-unit complex on nearby Foster Street, behind Shaw’s, in front of the Planning Board at the end of the month.

Developers Collaborative recently submitted sketch plans for the apartments, which will include market rate and affordable senior units, to the city for consideration, according to Kevin Bunker of the Developers Collaborative.

The plans for what the developer is calling Foster Street Apartments include three buildings, two with 12 units and one with 27.

They call for 24 two-bedroom units, which will rent “in the $1,300 range,” according to an email from Bunker, and between 27 and 29 one-bedroom affordable units geared toward seniors, which will rent for around $730 per month.

The affordable senior units will not be furnished, said Bunker. The company hasn’t yet decided whether the market rate apartments will be furnished.

If plans are approved, Developers Collaborative hopes to start construction in the spring of 2020, Bunker said.

The land, which is located on Tax Map 131 (lots 13, 14, and a part of lot 17), is zoned for both urban and downtown use.

To help finance the project, Bunker said the company is requesting that the city extend a current affordable housing Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district that encompasses Oriole Way to the senior units. It would not encompass the market rate units, Bunker said.

The City Council would have to approve the extension of the TIF, which takes the value of a project and shields it from calculations used to determine state aid to local schools, county tax bills and how much municipal revenue sharing money a community will receive.

So while Ellsworth sees less direct property tax revenue as a result of its TIF agreements, it also does not see a reduction in school funding or revenue sharing or an increase in county tax that would occur if the new valuation of the project were added to the city’s overall valuation.

The Planning Board will meet on Oct. 30 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall to hear public comment and discuss the proposal.

Kate Cough

Kate Cough

Kate covers the city of Ellsworth, including the Ellsworth School Department and the city police beat, as well as the towns of Amherst, Aurora, Eastbrook, Great Pond, Mariaville, Osborn, Otis and Waltham. She lives in Southwest Harbor and welcomes story tips and ideas. She can be reached at [email protected]

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