BRUNSWICK, Maine — Tons of of recent housing models are going up on the previous naval air base right here together with a whole lot extra in different areas of city.
But housing stays far in need of demand as this well-situated midcoast Maine city, the ninth largest within the state with a inhabitants of about 22,000, morphs from a spot the place folks reside to at least one the place additionally they work. On prime of the brand new initiatives, a just lately handed ordinance goals to extend the variety of inexpensive models in new developments.
Discovering house is changing into a problem. The constructing flurry close to the doorway to the Brunswick Touchdown, a middle of enterprise exercise, will take up the remaining house there as soon as the virtually 400 models are constructed over the following couple years. That may unfold any new housing to different components of Brunswick, together with Cooks Nook, the place the city has authorised a 202-unit rental growth throughout from Mid Coast Hospital, one other main employer.
“The general lack of obtainable housing that individuals can afford actually hinders the flexibility for corporations to develop and rent,” stated Kristine Logan, govt director of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, which administers Brunswick Touchdown.
Brunswick Touchdown concentrates a variety of the city’s work exercise. It occupies about half of the previous air base’s 3,300 acres and is the place 188 residences, 63 condominiums, 85 single-family houses and 60 models of housing for brand spanking new Mainers are in numerous levels of growth. Some 2,600 folks work on the 140 companies there, and about 1,000 already reside there.
The touchdown began in 2011 as an innovation house utilizing former buildings on the decommissioned base. Companies positioned there now embody rocket firm bluShift Aerospace, Brunswick Government Airport, Flight Deck Brewing, STARC Techniques, Maine Expertise Institute and Wild Oats Bakery and Cafe. It additionally has its personal electrical firm.
Wild Oats and Flight Deck have grow to be main social attracts for folks within the space, together with from close by Bathtub and Topsham.
On a current weekday, Zoe Brush, 18, drank espresso along with her buddy 19-year-old Isaac Ensel at Wild Oats. Brush has lived in Georgetown, a couple of half-hour drive away, her entire life, however her mother and father closed on a home in Brunswick two months in the past.
“They seemed for 2 years,” she stated. “It’s undoubtedly a loopy time to be making an attempt to get housing.”
Russell Hewey, 34, the director of meals and beverage on the Brunswick Resort, moved to the realm 4 years in the past from Sanford and has seen housing costs improve dramatically. He lives close to the brand new developments on the touchdown and understands why persons are drawn to Brunswick’s arts and historical past tradition.
“The inflow of individuals could be good for the group as a result of it will likely be good for enterprise, however it may be detrimental with elevated visitors,” he stated. “It’s undoubtedly a change of life-style.”
The city is among the few in Maine to tack inclusionary zoning necessities onto new housing developments. In June, it authorised amendments that require new rental housing initiatives with greater than 15 models to incorporate no less than 15 p.c inexpensive residences for households with incomes of 80 p.c or much less of the realm’s median revenue. That involves about $1,300 for a one-bedroom condominium. Portland additionally has an inexpensive housing ordinance. The brand new necessities ended a moratorium on new developments that was much less beneficiant with inexpensive housing.
Lots of people who work in Brunswick don’t really reside there, based on Sally Costello, Brunswick’s financial growth director. Beside the touchdown, two different main employment facilities in Brunswick are Bowdoin Faculty and Mid Coast Hospital.
The brand new necessities purpose to make Brunswick extra inexpensive to these in search of jobs and eager to reside there and to assist companies. Brunswick’s largest problem is that individuals who work there can’t essentially reside there, Costello stated. The final massive constructing increase for single-family houses in Brunswick was within the Nineteen Eighties, with few constructed since.
“We’ve bought an getting older housing inventory,” Costello stated. “We’re actually excited that we’ve got all these residences going up, however we additionally want townhomes, condos and single-family houses.”
The city is also new methods to extend housing. A 63-unit undertaking scheduled for completion subsequent summer season contains 20 p.c inexpensive housing and sustainable parts together with warmth pumps and electrical automobile chargers. The city is giving particular property tax breaks to the undertaking, the place residences will run from about $1,300 month-to-month to round $2,000 with utilities and web, particular property tax breaks.
Developer Dave Holman of Holman Properties stated the four-story condominium constructing in progress on Admiral Fitch Drive already has 11 potential tenants on a waitlist. Some work in Brunswick, whereas others simply need to reside there.
“Brunswick is a bit distinctive in that it’s not only a rural residential city,” he stated. “It has a reasonably excessive density of main employers, in addition to Bowdoin Faculty, and it’s a pleasant group to reside in.”