The proposed redevelopment of a former mill complex would bring 109 apartments to South Windham — and some see it as a major step toward the rebirth of the village.

Hardypond Construction of Portland is proposing to renovate several of the buildings on the site of Windham’s first mill and construct two new multistory structures on the mill property along the Presumpscot River.

The housing would mostly consist of market-rate, one-bedroom apartments with some efficiency, two-bedroom and affordable units, according to materials the developer has submitted to the town.

Bob Gaudreau, president of Hardypond construction, said he hopes to have the first 45 or so apartments ready for residents by the fall of 2016 and the rest within two years from then.

He said he imagines the housing will attract recent college graduates as well as people in their 50s and 60s.

The cost of rent will likely range from about $750 over $1,000 a month with the more expensive apartments facing the river and the others facing the railroad line and adjacent trail.


Both the river and the trail would offer recreational opportunities for residents of the apartment complex, Gaudreau said. Eventually, he hopes to see passenger rail return as well.

“South Windham will have its new day,” said Gaudreau, who believes he’s on the ground floor of something great.

The village that straddles the border between Windham and Gorham along the Presumpscot River has been the subject of revitalization plans by the two towns since the 1990s.

In 2012, they received an $80,000 Community Development Block Grant that was used to improve the streetscape with lighting, benches and better crosswalks.

Tom Bartell, executive director of the Windham Economic Development Corp., said the proposed mill project could be “a very nice shot in the arm” for the area.

Also home to the former Keddy Mill and L.C. Andrews lumber yard, the village was once bustling, but as the businesses shuttered, the surrounding community crumbled, too.


The mill on Mallison Falls Road, where the housing project is proposed, was originally a sawmill built in the 1700s, then a woolen mill and later a steel mill. Most recently, it was home to Rich Tool and Die, which moved out in the ’90s, said Gaudreau, who has a purchase-and-sale agreement for the property.

The Town Council in July approved a contract zone for the site, which had been commercially zoned, to allow for dense residential development.

The Windham Planning Board held a sketch plan review of the project Monday and will schedule a public hearing once additional plans are submitted, said Town Planner Amanda Lessard.

“Hopefully others can see the light, that there are bigger opportunities for South Windham,” Gaudreau said.

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