Work crews in May raze the former John Martin’s Manor building at 54 College Ave. in Waterville. Construction is scheduled to begin this fall on a 23-unit multifamily housing complex at the site. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel file

WATERVILLE — The city is planning on some much-needed new housing now that Arcon Realty is expected to begin building a 23-unit multifamily complex this fall at the former site of John Martin’s Manor at 54 College Ave.

The Planning Board voted 7-0 on Tuesday night to approve final plans for the project, which is being developed by Arthur Turmelle and his family. The Turmelles have for years owned, redeveloped and operated dozens of rental properties in the city’s North End.

The former restaurant building on College Avenue was razed in May. Turmelle’s son-in-law, Michael Curran, also of Arcon Realty, spoke about the project Tuesday and showed a slide of how the nine vinyl-sided buildings are expected to look.

“It’s pretty,” Curran said, “so this is inspiring for us and, we hope, for the town as we push ahead to try to get this done over the next 18 months.”

The city’s subdivision and site plan ordinance requires a project to begin within one year of board approval and be completed in two years. Curran asked the board for — and was granted — a one-year extension in case prices of materials skyrocket or availability of materials becomes an issue. He said he did not think the extension would be needed, but was asking for one just in case.

Board member David Johnson said the original plan called for five buildings to be built across the road at 13 Maple St. Curran said that construction would be part of a second phase and was not included in the project being presented Tuesday.


“I don’t see an issue with it,” Johnson said of the requested extension.

Board Chairperson Samantha Burdick asked when construction will start. Curran said the plan is for work to begin no later than midfall. Burdick also said she did not have a problem with granting a one-year extension.

Board member Bruce White said he was thankful Arcon was willing to move forward with the project and he, too, would support an extension.

“I’m all for it,” White said, “and I think we should do everything we can to keep it moving.”

Asked what the cost for the project is, Curran declined to say, calling it a private business matter.

“It’s expensive,” he said.


In another housing matter, the board discussed at length a request by Kevin Violette for approval of revisions to a previously approved plan for a 24-unit development off Main Street, to be called City View Estates.

The development would be for those 55 or older, according to Violette, and the deed would stipulate no children may live there.

Jeff Allen of A.E. Hodsdon Consulting Engineers of Waterville said the development was originally considered a cluster subdivision, but it better fits the description of a multifamily development in the city ordinance. The development needs 100 feet of road frontage and now has 50 feet, so a city road would be built into the development.

While the initial plan was to do the development in phases, Violette said he wants to do it all at once.

“It saves us time, and it saves you guys time, and it saves the client time to do it all at once,” Allen said.

Allen asked for an extension of five years to complete the project, primarily because it is being privately funded, it will be costly and there could be supply chain issues, he said. The developer would like to start construction in the fall, he said.

The board decided to table the request until Aug. 23.

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