The former Seton Hospital at 30 Chase Ave. in Waterville, photographed in 2021. A developer plans to convert the building into 67 apartments, with commercial storage space to be leased in the basement. Amy Calder/Morning Sentinel file

WATERVILLE — Developer Kevin Mattson says he hopes to start building 67 apartments inside the former Seton Hospital in six months, but that timeline is dependent on receiving approval of an application to MaineHousing which would dole out tax credits for the workforce housing project.

Mattson, a partner in Dirigo Capital Advisors of Topsham, told the Planning Board on Tuesday that asbestos abatement work has been ongoing for several months inside the building at 30 Chase Ave., where the basement would be used for storage for residents, as well as commercial storage.

The development of the apartments alone will cost about $25 million, according to Mattson.

“We’re really happy to finally be working on this building,” he said.

The developer presented a slight technical revision Tuesday for the plan, which the board approved in a 5-0 vote.

Mattson said the modification to the plan was needed to allow the parking to be separated into different ownership because it would be financed differently than the housing and basement financing. He said there would be no other changes from the approved plan. Historic tax credits will be used for the development.


Waterville Redevelopment Co. III LLC owns the property. Mattson attended the meeting with business partner Dave Francoeur and Kane P. Coffin, president of E.S. Coffin Engineering & Surveying Inc.

Mattson said the cost to rent a unit will be based on area median income.

The Planning Board voted 5-0 in March 2021 to approve the plan, which calls for 56 one-bedroom and 11 two-bedroom units. Construction is expected to take about a year from the time MaineHousing approves the application.

In 2013, Mattson bought the 150,000-square-foot Seton building, which in 1997 had become part of MaineGeneral Medical Center. The Planning Board unanimously approved earlier versions of the project in 2016 and again in 2018, when the number of apartments proposed was increased from 55 to 67.

The state approved the building as a national historic landmark, and construction must preserve the historic nature of the building. The 1960s-era building represents what is known as Miesian architecture, developed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who founded the style of architecture that features steel-framed and glass buildings.

Mattson said tons of debris have been removed from the building, and ceilings and pipes have to be removed and documented as part of the process, and asbestos abatement must be done per regulations of renovating historic buildings.

“It’s taking time, but it’s just great to be doing something,” he said.

In other matters Tuesday, the board voted 5-0 to approve a plan by developer Kevin Violette for City View Estates, a 24-lot, multifamily development on City View Drive, to be developed over five years instead of the previously required two years from the time the plan is approved.

The board also voted 5-0 to approve a request by Invaleon Technologies Corp. for minor changes involving mostly tree buffers to a previously approved site plan for a solar farm at 200 Eight Rod Road.

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