Construction has begun on the first phase of the Woodside Condos retirement community. Jane Vaughan / Lakes Region Weekly

WINDHAM — A 14-unit retirement community is being built across the street from the Public Safety Building, with the potential of another 36 units being added in the future.

The Woodside Condos Retirement Community first appeared before the Planning Board in December 2018 and received approval on March 11 for a 14-unit, seven-duplex project on an 11-acre property located at Gray and Swett roads.

Dustin Roma of DM Roma Consulting Engineers, who is representing the applicant, proposed the second phase of the project in April, which will entail an additional 36 units in 18 duplexes. After a site walk on May 13, the second phase of the project received the Planning Board’s preliminary approval on May 29.

Dustin Roma hopes to have three buildings completed this year. Jane Vaughan / Lakes Region Weekly

Windham had been experiencing a lot of growth in single family homes. We’re trying to create some diversity in housing,” Roma said in an interview. “It was a risk to see what the market would support. We think it’s going to be a good project, and we’ve had a lot of interest.”

Planning Director Amanda Lessard agreed that there has been interest in the project, saying, “people have been reaching out. People often come in (to the planning office) asking about senior housing and have asked for the developer’s contact information. There’s not an overwhelming supply of this type of housing for the market.”

Regarding the larger second phase of the project, Lessard said the site “always had that development potential. They wanted to see what the demand was.”

Roma explained that the project was phased so that the construction process could be phased as well.

He believes the project will “be a really good fit” for that location, especially with the community garden and park across the street from the development.

“It’s important to have a recreation feature nearby for these type of projects. We’re building sidewalks all through the project” so that residents can walk across the street and around the neighborhood, he said. 

Construction has begun on the first phase of the project, and Roma said, “We’d like to get at least three buildings up this year before winter comes.”

He also hopes to complete the site work for the first phase of the project this year and finish the additional 11 units next year before then starting on the second phase.

Roma still needs to submit additional state permits to the Planning Board, as well as a final plan application, to receive final approval for the second phase of the project.

“We think it’s a good fit for Windham, and there’s definitely a need and we hope the town continues to support it,” he said. 

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