Cumberland officials are making it possible for two affordable housing developments to be built on Route 100 where an office park was planned five years ago.

Neighborhood meetings will be held June 6 at the proposed sites of the single-family subdivisions, which would be built across from each other between Wilson and Mill roads, said Town Manager Bill Shane.

On Monday, town councilors directed Shane to negotiate contract zone agreements with the developers of both subdivisions. Each will build 17 to 20 houses that will sell for $175,000 to $225,000 in a town where the median home price is $350,000.

“The town had a good experience with Crossing Brook, its first affordable housing project, and we’d like to do more to diversify our housing stock,” Shane said Wednesday.

One subdivision would be built on 17 acres owned by Doris Wilson. A.H. Grover Inc. of North Yarmouth has a purchase agreement for that property, Shane said.

The other subdivision would be built on 10 acres owned by Elvin Copp, who has an agreement to sell the property to Telos Capital LLC of Portland, Shane said.

Copp’s land was to be the site of the Castle Rock office park, which was planned five years ago but never built.

“Businesses looking at Cumberland want to be located on Route 1,” Shane said. “We don’t have the population density in West Cumberland to sustain the businesses we had hoped to attract to the Route 100 corridor.”

Shane said he approached Copp and Wilson to find out whether they would be interested in pursuing affordable housing on their parcels. They responded positively and their real estate representatives began marketing the properties for a new purpose.

Eligibility and project guidelines for the proposed subdivisions would be similar to those that applied to Crossing Brook when its 49 homes were built near Town Hall 20 years ago, Shane said. Back then, the houses sold for $85,000 to $100,000 each. Now, they sell for about $250,000 each.

To be eligible to buy a house in one of the proposed subdivisions, a double-income family could earn no more than $101,220 per year, which is 140 percent of the median family income of $72,300 in Greater Portland, Shane said.

The neighborhood meetings on June 6 will begin at 6 p.m. at the Copp property and 7 p.m. at the Wilson property. Residents will be notified in the coming week, Shane said. 

Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at:

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