The Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA), the state’s leading organization promoting responsible real estate development, honored projects from Portland to Biddeford to Bangor, with each receiving special recognition at MEREDA’s 2022 Spring Conference on May 24th.
Each year, MEREDA recognizes some of the state’s most “noteworthy and significant” real estate projects, completed in the previous year. The exemplary projects from across the state, completed in 2021, not only embody MEREDA’s belief in responsible real estate development, but also exemplify best practices in the industry, contributing to Maine’s economic growth by significant investment of resources and job creation statewide.
Each of the seven projects was selected in part based upon criteria including: noteworthy and significant project completed* in 2020 (*Building Occupancy Permit issued by 12 31 21), environmental sustainability, economic impact, energy efficiency, social impact, uniqueness, difficulty of development and job creation.
The recipients of MEREDA’s Top 7 Most Notable Projects of 2021 include:
- Westbrook Housing, Westbrook Development Corporation, and Anew Development’s Harnois & Emery Apartments in Westbrook preserves, redevelops, and expands affordable housing in a highly desirable location. This 75-unit mixed-income development includes a major renovation of 13 existing units and the construction of two new residential buildings on adjacent lots. The desire for this type of housing is so great that Avesta Housing had over 800 applications. Deering Place is close to public transportation, food, services, and healthcare and puts residents close to jobs in the downtown area.
- Husson University’s Harold Alfond Hall in Bangor, the new home for Maine’s largest College of Business. It represents a major milestone in the progression of professional education at Husson University. The building was constructed using a holistic approach to sustainable design and the new building meets or exceeds all International Energy Efficiency Certificate requirements and exceeds Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star Requirements by 15%.
- South Portland Housing Development Corporation’s Thornton Heights Commons in South Portland, a four-story, mixed-use affordable housing and commercial building with associated parking, community open space, and three new single-family house lots. The residential portion of the project includes 42 apartments with community amenities.The commercial portion of the project includes 7,000 square feet of dividable space, an outdoor seating area, and a satellite police station. The development process commenced with a difficult land use approval process and the successful completion of the project represents a public partnership built upon a team effort.
- Port Property’s Riverdam Mill Complex in Biddeford, an ambitious redevelopment of two mill buildings comprising the former Saco Water Power Company to the west of Factory Island. These historic buildings were transformed into retail spaces, restaurants, and 71 residential apartments, including 7 affordable units. Parts of the existing buildings were salvaged and repurposed on site, adding to Riverdam’s charm while also reducing its environmental footprint. ADA accessibility to the adjacent Riverwalk was a priority for the project, and after collaborating with the City of Biddeford, the project allows more people access to the beauty of the Falls and Saco Rivers.
- JB Brown & Sons & Ryan Senatore Architecture’s 40 Free Street located in Portland’s Old Port, is a new construction, mixed-use building made up of five retail spaces at the street level and 51 market-rate apartment units on its upper floors. Prior to development, the project site was occupied by a surface parking lot which limited density in Portland’s downtown and fractured the historic streetscape along Free Street. Through the development of an energy-efficient building that offers environmental, economic, and social benefits, this project provides an architecturally holistic solution for its site and for downtown Portland.
- Zachau Construction & Avesta’s Deering Place in Portland, preserves, redevelops, and expands affordable housing in a highly desirable location. This 75-unit mixed-income development includes a major renovation of 13 existing units and the construction of two new residential buildings on adjacent lots. The desire for this type of housing is so great that Avesta Housing had over 800 applications. Deering Place is close to public transportation, food, services, and healthcare and puts residents close to jobs in the downtown area.
- Zachau Construction’s Children’s Museum + Theatre Maine in Portland, a long-standing staple of the Southern Maine community and now has a beautiful new location on Thompson’s Point for children to learn, play, and explore. With its unique colorful siding that mimics patterns found in nature, the building is an iconic addition to Portland’s cityscape. With its state-of-the-art exhibits, the museum encourages creativity and exploration for children of all ages and backgrounds.
MEREDA congratulates its 2021 Notable Project Award Recipients and thanks its Membership for their continued commitment to responsible development in Maine. Each project will be recognized in the Maine Real Estate Insider e-newsletter published by Mainebiz, running Summer of 2022.