Year-round residents of this apartment complex on Ledgelawn Avenue have been notified they must move so that it can be used exclusively for seasonal worker housing. FILE PHOTO

Complex will house workers

BAR HARBOR — Tenants in the Ledgelawn Apartments received notice last week that they need to move out by April 2.

The 18-unit apartment complex was purchased from the Cough family by hotel operator Witham Family Properties in December 2013 with the goal of having it available for employee housing, Bar Harbor Inn Manager Fred Link said Wednesday.

Since that time, the tenants have been a mix of year-round residents and seasonal Witham employees.

This year, Link said, the company is reserving all the units for employees. “It was a very difficult decision. We need more housing for the 2016 season. We have over 300 positions to fill. Many will be filled with local candidates, but we need to also hire from outside the region.”

Those workers will need a place to stay. Most seasonal employees will be here from April to November, he said.

The Ledgelawn Apartments are located between Ledgelawn Avenue and School Street. Each of the units contains one bathroom and two bedrooms. Each apartment encompasses two stories, plus a basement.

“When we first took over, all 18 units were rented, and they were all year-round,” he said. Now only seven of the units have year-round tenants. For the summer seasons of 2014 and 2015, the complex was a mix of seasonal employees and year-round residents. Both groups have month-to-month lease agreements.

“We’ve asked tenants to give us 60 days notice if they plan to leave, and we agreed to do the same as well.”

The hotel company’s maintenance crews take care of complex, Link said. Bar Harbor Police Lt. James Pinkham, who has lived in one of the units, will continue to serve as manager.

Witham Family Properties owns a nearby three-story residence at 30 First South St. It was listed for sale in 2015, but is not currently on the market. The property will likely be used for employee housing in the 2016 season, Link said.

When they bought the apartment complex, development director David C. Witham said the company was moving “to consolidate and upgrade our housing that will give us some flexibility if so desired to put other units back on the market.”

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated the property at 30 South Street is currently for sale.

Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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