Two buildings that would comprise Head of Falls Village are shown in this rendering, looking north from City Hall at Temple Street in the foreground and Front Street obscured to the right. The multiuse project would include more than 60 apartments. Rendering courtesy of Todd Alexander

WATERVILLE — The Planning Board is scheduled Tuesday to hear preliminary plans for Head of Falls Village, a 63-unit apartment complex that developers want to build at the corner of Front and Temple streets in downtown Waterville.

Buildings would be demolished near that corner to create the housing on more than 1.5 acres, according to development plans.

Todd Alexander, vice president and partner at Portland-based Renewal Housing Associates LLC, which focuses on affordable, mixed income and workforce housing, is developing the project with Northland Enterprises Inc., a real estate development and management company also based in Portland.

They have the land under contract that now houses Universal Bread, Damon’s Beverage & Redemption, the former Bob-In tavern and Creative Sounds, and a former office building known as the Heath House at 60 Front St. that abuts Appleton Street to the north. Those buildings would be razed to make way for the apartment complex overlooking the Kennebec River and Two Cent Bridge.

City Planner Ann Beverage said Monday the Planning Board is not scheduled to take a vote Tuesday on the plan, which must come back before the board for preliminary and final review. The developer is required to have letters of approval from the Fire Department, city engineer, Waterville Sewerage District and Kennebec Water District. The developer must also notify abutting property owners by mail before preliminary and final review.

Alexander wrote in an email Monday that plans call for constructing two buildings. One, a 33,800-square-foot, mixed-use building on Temple Street, would have about 15,000 square feet of office space and 18 rental apartments, with the apartments regulated under a program that limits occupancy to residents with household incomes at or below 80% of the area median income level for Kennebec County. He said such affordable housing is referred to as workforce housing.


The second structure, a 49,400-square-foot building along Front Street, would also be a mixed-use property, with about 6,600 square feet of retail space and 45 apartments. The plan to be submitted to the Planning Board calls for 91 on-site parking spaces, according to Alexander.

“We would like to start this fall,” he said. “The first phase involves building demolition and site work. Our goal is to start construction on one or both buildings in 2024.”

The City Council voted 6-0 on March 21 to authorize acting City Manager Bill Post to apply for a $200,000 federal grant for the developers, who plan to remediate asbestos and soils there before building the housing.

Alexander said at a public hearing before the council vote that the cost for demolition and remediation would be at least $700,000. Remediation would include removing contaminated soils from former gas stations and an auto dealership that were on the site, and taking it to a licensed facility. Asbestos under vinyl tile at the buildings would also have to be removed by a licensed asbestos abatement company, he said.

In other matters Tuesday, the Planning Board is scheduled to consider a request by Trafton Properties to revise a previously approved subdivision on Trafton Road.

Gaunce Investments LLC is scheduled to request informal preapplication review for a solar farm on Airport Road to generate power for Central Maine Motors Auto Group. Gaunce is also requesting a revision to the city’s zoning ordinance to allow the solar farm in the Commercial-C zone.

Edward Thompson is expected to request that 2 Seavey St. be rezoned from Commercial-C to Commercial C-1 to allow an empty commercial space to be converted into a one-bedroom apartment.

Herget Group Self-Storage is requesting informal preapplication review for contractor suites to be built on Industrial Road. Herget is also requesting that part of assessor parcel 62-13 on Industrial Road be rezoned from Residential-B to Commercial to Commercial-C to allow access off Drummond Avenue.

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