The Westbrook City Council will hold a public hearing Monday on a tax deal for 60 proposed affordable apartments for seniors in Cumberland Mills.

Nonprofit affordable housing developer Avesta plans to build its apartments on Seavey Street, alongside 60 market-rate apartments proposed by New Ventures, a private development firm.

The council has already given unanimous preliminary approval to a tax deal to help fund Avesta’s part of the project, with 75% of area property tax revenue going back to Avesta to finance the housing project. The move marks the first time the city has worked on an affordable housing project with an organization that is not the Westbrook Housing Authority. The project still needs Westbrook Planning Board review and approval.

Both Avesta and New Ventures hope to start construction on their respective parts of the 120-unit complex between Main and Rochester streets in 2023.

“There is a great need for safe, affordable homes for older Mainers,” Avesta Director of Development and Communications Sara Olsen told the American Journal via email. “In 2021, Avesta received 6,200 applications from people needing an affordable place to live. About half of them were older adults. Our development pipeline reflects the need we’re seeing across Maine and New Hampshire.”

Avesta, based in Portland, has two properties in Westbrook – Hyacinth Place and Steeple Square. New Ventures is run by Portland developer Jack Soley and Tim Hebert, co-owner of Hebert Construction in Lewiston.


The project saw little discussion at a recent City Council meeting, but council documents show support from city administration for more senior and workforce housing.

Details for the development are still in the works, but early plans call for it to be built on 1 acre of a 3-acre site. The senior housing portion would have an office, lobby, laundry and trash facilities and a community space.

The location is desirable because it is “easily accessible to activities of daily living, services and other amenities that help enrich residents’ lives,” Olsen said.

Hebert and Soley both have developed large commercial and residential projects, including senior housing.

“By collaborating on this together, Avesta and New Ventures are recognizing efficiencies in the development process that will translate into a much-needed, cost-efficient building process to support the housing crisis here in Maine,” Hebert said in an email.

He said the partnership will bring together “years of development and construction experience.”

“Our goal for this new development in Westbrook is to fulfill a much-needed gap in our housing market here in Maine,” Hebert said. “We are excited to be partnering with Avesta Housing and could not say enough positive remarks about how welcoming Westbrook has been in support of our co-development.”

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