A rendering of a potential 210-unit housing development proposed for a site off Bath Road in Brunswick. Courtesy of A.R. Building Co Inc.

A 210-unit luxury housing development planned for a site off Bath Road in Brunswick received preliminary approval by planning officials on Tuesday.

The apartment complex would consist of four buildings – two with 60 units and two with 45 units. The project is being proposed, built and managed by Pennsylvania-based A.R. Building Company.

The buildings would be constructed at the site of a former driving range on the other side of the street from the entrance to Medical Center Drive.

In a 4-1 vote, the Brunswick planning board approved the concept sketch with conditions that the final plan address concerns about potential vernal pool and wetland habitat as well as some pedestrian, traffic access and fire safety issues.

Planning Board member Jane Arbuckle was the dissenting vote. Earlier in the meeting, Arbuckle cited concerns about the completeness of the application, noting that if the Department of Environmental Protection identifies a vernal pool, it would impact the building plans significantly.

The rates for the one-bedroom apartments are expected to range between $1,200-$1,400 per month and the two-bedrooms between $1,500-$1,800 per month, according to Jason Kambitsis, the senior vice president of acquisitions & development for A.R. Building Company.

“Who we really attract are people who don’t want to own a home, young people who don’t own a home, and people who downsize,” said Kambitsis at the meeting. “We were really drawn to this site for a lot of reasons anybody wants to come up here, one is General Dynamics, close to the hospital and then the growth in the economy.”

Data from the Maine State Housing Authority indicates that, in 2020, median two-bedroom rent with utilities in Cumberland County stood $1,650 per month, a rate unaffordable for 66% of households.

In order to afford $1,650 per month, according to the Housing Authority, an individual would have to make about $66,000 per year, suggesting that $1,120 per month for a two bedroom rental would be affordable to the renter household median income of $44,804.

A.R. Building Company’s construction plans are the latest among multiple housing development proposals to pop up in the Brunswick Landing and Cook’s Corner area over the last several years.

In September, a proposal for a 40-home development in Brunswick Landing sparked pushback from neighbors, and in 2020 a now-approved 36-home development in the landing also drew criticism.

Kambitsis said the company is hoping to receive final approval in the first quarter of 2022.

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