South Windham’s newest neighbor, Little Falls Landing, is almost halfway complete.

The boarded frame of this three-story senior housing complex now towers off Depot Street overlooking the Presumpscot River and nearby Keddy Mill.

And non-profit developer Avesta Housing says it should be ready to open the doors this fall.

Payton Construction of Saco just finished putting on the roof last week and continues to affix siding. Inside, the wooden skeleton of what will soon be senior apartments is being fireproofed while mechanics install electricity, heat and plumping.

Construction superintendent Charles Baillargeon is excited to be working on a project that may bring new life to the neighborhood. Baillargeon, who lives in Windham, helped oversee Payton’s construction of Windham High School.

“I’ve seen (the Keddy Mill area) stagnate over the years,” he said. “So it looks like this will turn it around a little bit.”

This is the third project in Windham undertaken by Avesta Housing, a non-profit organization that builds affordable apartments for the elderly.

There are currently waiting lists for Unity Gardens and New Marblehead Manor on Oak Lane in Windham, says Debora Keller, development supervisor for Avesta Housing. She expects the same demand for the 24 apartments at Little Falls Landing.

“There’s a huge need for subsidy apartments in Windham,” she says. “And Avesta finds that it can fill buildings as soon as it can build them.”

But not everybody can apply. Only seniors who are 62 years or older – and whose income is below the state median – are eligible. For those accepted, rent is subsidized by Avesta Housing and costs only 30 percent of the renter’s monthly income.

Keller is collaborating with Windham historian Kay Soldier to adorn the lobby of the apartment complex with old photos of South Windham and the Keddy Mill. In addition, local artist Sharon Cleaves is painting artwork to be hung on the halls as she did for Unity Gardens.

Like other Avesta Housing homes, Little Falls Landing will include a large community room, shared kitchen and a garden space in back. Seniors living at the complex will have an upfront view of the Presumpscot River from many apartment windows and an outdoor patio facing the river.

By the time Little Falls Landing is complete, the Keddy Mill should no longer be standing. The dilapidated mill is scheduled for demolition to make way for a series of townhouses and condos known as Village at Little Falls.

Keller hopes the riverside developments will be a catalyst for urban renewal in the South Windham neighborhood.

“Between the two projects, we think it is a really good fit for the neighborhood,” Keller said. “And the neighbors have been clear that they are anxious for some revitalization.”


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