PORTLAND — Work has begun on Stevens Square, a multi-phased construction project that will add five residential buildings on land behind the former St. Joseph’s Convent on Stevens Avenue.

The project, coupled with the redevelopment of the convent, now called The Motherhouse. is part of Portland’s first master-planned 55+ community.

The first building, to the right of The Motherhouse, will open in 2020. Once completed, the campus will include a gourmet kitchen, fitness center, outdoor pool, community gardens, fire pit and pub/cafe for resident use, as well as meeting space in The Motherhouse, and a community center, indoor pool, auditorium and fitness area in the old Maine Girls Academy building.

Kevin Bunker, developer of Stevens Square said the site’s redevelopment began with the $18 million project to restore and convert the Motherhouse into 88 senior affordable and market rate units and the acquisition and rezoning of the former Maine Girls’ Academy, which he called a “connection point” between Stevens Square and the surrounding community.

“We wanted to make the development as community-based as possible and a great fit for the people who will live here, but not just for the people who live here,” Bunker said in a press release.

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