In a multi-part series, exclusive to the Maine Real Estate Insider, we’ll provide an up-close look at the most notable commercial development projects of the past year that are helping to fuel Maine’s economy in terms of investment and job creation. MEREDA is proud to recognize responsible development based upon criteria including environmental sustainability, economic impact, energy efficiency, difficulty of the development, uniqueness, social impact and job creation.
Our 2019 Top 7 recipients include:
62 Spring Street, Auburn, Anew Development / Auburn Housing
Founders Place Campus, Bangor, Bangor Savings Bank / CJ Developers
Cape Arundel Cottage Preserve, Arundel, Arundel-Kennebunkport Cottage Preserve, LLC
WEX Global Corporate Headquarters, Portland, Jonathan S. Cohen – 0 Hancock Street, LLC
Hannaford Center, Hampden, Good Shepherd Food Bank
Southgate, Scarborough, Avesta Housing
Station Square, Gorham, Great Falls Construction
MEREDA’s Board intended to honor the award winners at the 35th Anniversary Gala. Originally scheduled for the end of March 2020, the Gala was postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19. Though they may have their formal award delayed, these projects have only gained practical significance as they serve their communities–especially under additional strain and stress of these unprecedented times. We look forward to formally recognizing these recipients at a future MEREDA event.
Please join us this week in celebrating Cape Arundel Cottage Preserve in Arundel.
MEREDA: Describe the building and project.
Arundel-Kennebunkport Cottage Preserve, LLC: Cape Arundel Cottage Preserve (CACP), proud recipient of the NAHB 2018 BALA Award, is a distinctive seasonal cottage resort community near the south coast of Maine. Integrated into a landscape of bold granite outcrops, expansive Maine forests, natural wetlands and vernal pools the 300-acre project includes 263 charming cottages, community center and amenities, carefully designed into intimate neighborhoods to encourage family interaction.
MEREDA: What was the impetus for this project?
Arundel-Kennebunkport Cottage Preserve, LLC: The project was envisioned to satisfy a market for seasonal homes set in a community setting in Southern Maine providing access to the natural beauty, culture and growing vibrant urban scenes within the Coastal Maine and Kennebunkport-Arundel area.
MEREDA: That sounds like quite a process. How long were you in the planning stages before construction started?
Arundel-Kennebunkport Cottage Preserve, LLC: 5 years
MEREDA: Tell us about the most challenging aspect of getting this project completed.
Arundel-Kennebunkport Cottage Preserve, LLC: In one-word Granite! This project has taken a constraint – granite and ledge throughout – and found an opportunity by integrating ledge into all aspects of the project – from flowing masonry and boulder walls to natural water features and exposed granite throughout and building veneer. As a sustainable practice, ledge was crushed onsite to create gravels for use in construction, reducing the carbon footprint of additional trucking of materials to the site.
Additionally – protecting the natural resources – wetlands, vernal pools, streams onsite and designing a stormwater management system which respects and complements these assets.
MEREDA: Something unexpected you learned along the way was….
Arundel-Kennebunkport Cottage Preserve, LLC: How the natural setting and topography influenced the connection between the built and natural environment. An example is engineering boulder walls to minimize tree cutting and satisfy grading requirements on difficult topography resulting in magnificent western sunset views from cottages. Secondly the positive impact this project has had on the local Arundel-Kennebunkport communities – not just economically but raising the bar in creating a sense of place.
MEREDA: Now that it’s complete, what feature of the project do you think makes it the most notable?
Arundel-Kennebunkport Cottage Preserve, LLC: The integration of site design, landscaping and architecture that is representative of the Maine vernacular.