FARMINGTON — It’s down to the finishing touches for the Brookside Village Affordable Senior Housing.

Construction on the 32 one-bedroom apartments at 247 Fairbanks Road started last July, said Chuck Pollock, site superintendent for contractor H.E. Callahan Construction Co. It cost $5.2 million.

An open house is planned from 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, June 18, according to developers William Marceau and Byron “Buzz” Davis of Brookside Partners LP,  who provided a tour of the project Tuesday.

The 32 tenants are expected to take up residency by mid-July. 

“Everything finished on time and on budget,” Davis said.

The 32,000-square-foot, two-story apartment complex is one of Maine’s first multifamily buildings that does not use fossil fuels. It has 227 solar electric panels on the roof and 15 geothermal wells under the parking lot to provide heat.

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“We’ve been making electricity for two weeks,” Davis said. 

The panels are expected to pay for themselves in about 10 years and last for about the 20-year life expectancy of the roof, Marceau said.

The goal was to earn gold status under LEED Certification. There may be enough points for platinum status, Pollock said.

“LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. To receive LEED certification, building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification,” according to the U.S. Green Building Council.

The project cost $5.2 million, Marceau said. The town helped secure a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant for sewer, water, a drainage system and road construction.

Each light, bright apartment has radiant, in-floor heat, Pollock said. All appliances, except ranges, are energy-star rated, he added.

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A security doorbell system admits visitors and each apartment has a pull chain to alert neighbors when the tenant needs help.

“It’s the trend, nationally, for people to age in place,” Marceau said. The independent living units bring tenants from around the county closer to the hospital, doctors and other services.

“The need for senior housing is huge,” he said.

Marceau recently purchased Sunny Hill apartments — now called Foothill Heights — near Brookside Village. He also owns Thomas Apartments next door. Among the three there are 79 units available, he said.

This is the first senior housing built in Farmington in 30 years.

The target group of tenants is 62 years and older or disabled persons who fit income guidelines, Susan DeRusha, office manager for Davis’ company, Riverbend, who has processed applications, said.

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The 32 tenants range in age from 62-94 with two people with disabilities in their 40s, she said. All are single and it’s a mix of men and women.

Each will pay 30 percent of their annual adjusted gross income, an amount of $16,000 or less.

Of the 32 units, four are completely handicapped accessible. Eleven more can be converted to be handicapped accessible, Pollock said. There are lowered kitchen counters and cabinets and some showers large enough to accommodate a wheelchair.

The front units overlook a pond with a handicapped-accessible trail, he said.

A common area is available for tenants on both floors. A laundry room is on the first floor and there is an elevator, DeRusha said.

It’s been a long road for Marceau and Davis — a total of nine years to complete this part of the old dowel mill property. A future condominium project named Willow Springs is also planned for the property.

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