GARDINER — A development company is proposing to build reasonably priced housing units on Spring Street in a project that’s anticipated to take a couple of years to complete.

On Tuesday, representatives of Maine Affordable Properties are expected to present the company’s site analysis and inventory plan to the Gardiner Planning Board.

“This is still in the very early stages,” said Tracey Desjardins, economic development director for the city of Gardiner. “This is not the full application.”

Robert Anderson, of Maine Affordable Properties, said this is a very preliminary step to determine what can be done with the property.

“We’re thinking of putting in eight units, either condos or apartments,” Anderson said Monday. “It depends on the market and the Planning Board.”

The Planning Board is also expected to review the preliminary site plan application for Gardiner Green, a proposal to redevelop the former MaineGeneral property on Dresden Avenue to apartments and condominium units, which has drawn ire and concern from neighborhood residents.


The company is familiar with Gardiner, having bought five homes there that have been renovated or are being finished. In making that investment, the company is also making the bet that the Gardiner-Augusta area is the next spot to grow in the state.

“It’s more reasonable to build in and buy property in Gardiner,” Anderson said.

Among the renovation projects is the house that already stands on the Spring Street property.

“It’s a beautiful, old Victorian home,” Anderson said, which has been renovated and will remain on the property.

The company has also renovated a home on Mount Vernon Street and removed the ramshackle barn on the site.

Anderson said his company sees potential in renovating older homes and bringing them up to current electrical and plumbing standards. He also want to insulate them to keep heating costs down.


Perhaps the most visible project Maine Affordable Properties has undertaken in Gardiner is 3 Cobbossee Ave. The three-story house sits on a rise that overlooks Cobbosseecontee Stream. When the company acquired it, it was a shell, with none of the interior completed.

The plan is to finish the 4,000-square-foot building, creating three condominium units or apartments. Anderson said heat pumps and heat pump water heaters are being installed as well as 50-amp chargers in the garages.

“We’re also considering putting solar panels on the back side of the house,” he said.

Maine Affordable Properties acquired the 1.27-acre lot earlier this year from Matthew Shea.

As it now stands, the project calls for between eight and 10 units in duplexes to be built on the long, narrow lot, located on the south side of Spring Street between Mount Vernon and Autumn streets. The rest of the narrow, long lot runs behind most properties on Mount Vernon Street.

In the documentation filed, the site analysis shows that much of the property is covered by Norway maple trees, which will be removed during development, leaving a buffer strip along the property lines.

The Gardiner Planning Board meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting will take place via virtual conferencing; information on logging on is available at the city of Gardiner.

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