AUBURN — Underground parking for a planned Spring Street housing development had to go, according to Portland developer Ethan Boxer-Macomber.

“We realized that we needed to make some changes to be competitive,” Boxer-Macomber, of Anew Development, said. “Luckily, we were able to hold on to the things that were most near and dear to our hearts — most notably the mixed-use, mixed-income plans for the property.”

Boxer-Macomber said he would bring the third version of the 39-unit housing development to the City Council in September.

Eight of the housing units would not be subsidized, with market-rate rents. The remaining 31 would be reserved for “workforce” housing, city residents who make between 50 and 60 percent of the median income. He estimated that is between $20,000 and $24,000 per year or about $10 to $12 per hour.

The L-shaped lot runs along the back of the Engine House building from Spring to Pleasant Street and then back along Spring Street and the former funeral home’s parking lot to the KeyBank ATM. The funeral home buildings, on the northern end of the lot, were removed in 2014.

Plans call for at least two ground-level retail storefronts in the building.

The biggest difference will be resident parking, he said. The original plan called for underground parking, which added about $1 million to the cost.

“We went back and looked at our construction estimates from before,” he said. “Garages have to be built out of concrete and steel, they have to be fire rated and they trigger a whole litany of code requirements and expenses and trades that would not be there otherwise.”

Anew Development proposes to build a four-story building with 39 rentable housing units and retail, community space or office space on the first floor. It would replace the former Dillingham Funeral home at the corner of Spring and Court streets.

The project’s financial plan relies on getting housing tax credits from Maine State Housing, and it’s been turned down twice before.

“They’ve released a new policy and the new name of the game is cost containment,” he said. “Projects that deliver housing at the lowest costs were given strong preferential treatment and we had some costly approaches that we thought were nice to have. Those included the structured parking.”

Plans for plazas and open spaces around the project had to be sacrificed, too.

The financial details have not changed. He’s asking for $250,000 in federal HOME funds the city controls, as well as a tax-increment financing plan on the project. That TIF was approved in 2014 and renewed in 2015.

Boxer-Macomber said he plans to ask city councilors to restate their support for the project to help it qualify for state tax credits and extend the term of the TIF.

“What we are going back with the council to do now is to ask them not to change the terms of the TIF in any manner but to restructure it,” Boxer-Macomber said. “We want to reset the start and end times.”

Michael Chammings, city economic development director, said that discussion is tentatively set for the Sept. 12 agenda.

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