Two real estate developers have submitted proposals to build a compact neighborhood for moderate-income residents in partnership with the town of Cumberland.

At a public meeting Tuesday night at Cumberland Town Hall, Portland-based developers Bateman Partners LLC and Developers Collaborative each presented its vision for a neighborhood project proposed by the town that would include senior housing, an assisted living facility and a community center.

Cumberland wants to partner with a developer to build a neighborhood of up to 100 homes for people of various ages and income levels. Town officials issued a request for qualifications, a means of gauging developer interest in the proposed project, and held an informational meeting in September that attracted at least a dozen development and design firms. Only two proposals were submitted, however.

The neighborhood would be developed on 31.7 acres of town-owned property southwest of Tuttle Road near the town hall and would be funded in part by grants and property tax rebates. If successful, town officials hope the project becomes a model for other communities.

The project stems from a study completed in January that recommended creating more diverse housing options in Cumberland as a means of increasing local school enrollment, which has declined over the past few decades, although it has rebounded somewhat over the past two years. Town officials also have said that Cumberland does not have adequate housing options for seniors who want to downsize to a smaller, more manageable home.

Both proposals presented Tuesday were merely conceptual. The developers said they could be revised based on input from town officials and residents. At least some of the homes would be intended as rentals, but the developers said it would be up to the town whether the project also included some units for sale.

After they select one of the developers’ proposals, Cumberland officials have said, they plan to gather 100 to 150 town residents for an open feedback session during which they can voice their opinions and concerns about the project.

That feedback will influence the ultimate direction the project will take – or whether it moves forward at all, they said. Some residents have said they oppose the town giving tax breaks for such a project.

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: jcraiganderson