This overhead view of a proposed development on Main Street in Southwest Harbor was submitted last week to the town’s Planning Board for consideration. Blueberry Ledge would have 14 new units and a renovated cape-style home. COURTESY G.F. JOHNSTON AND ASSOCIATES

Townhouse project goes under review

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — A developer is proposing to construct 14 townhouses on a 2.83-acre parcel at 291 Main St.

The Planning Board got its first look at the project proposed by William Patten and 291 Main Street LLC last week, voting unanimously at their July 20 meeting to accept the pre-application sketch plan for the residential subdivision. The next step for the board is a site visit, which they have scheduled for 6 p.m. on Aug. 3.

As proposed, the 14 townhouses would be in four buildings spread out on the property. One building would have six townhouses, another four and the remaining two buildings each would have two units. A circa-1840 cape-style home on the property has been restored and is the 15th unit in the complex.

According to G.F. Johnston and Associates, the engineers for the project, the design of the townhouses would have the character of traditional architecture along the Maine coast. All would be connected to public water and sewer lines.

The subdivision would be known as Blueberry Ledge. The goal, according to a letter to the Planning Board from engineer Greg Johnston, “is to create a small community of townhomes within easy walking distance to all the village amenities.”

Patten admitted that the plans were only preliminary and might change depending on the real estate market.

“At this point, it’s fluid,” he said, explaining that a marketing analysis has not been completed.

Right now, Patten said they are thinking about two-bedroom units of about 1,152 square feet in size.

“We want them to be reasonably priced,” he said. “I would think under $300,000 would be reasonable for a two-bedroom home.”

There is a possibility that some of the units, particularly those in the four-unit buildings, will be apartments.

“We might rent them. We might sell them; we don’t know right now,” Patten said.

Patten said he envisions buyers to be a mix of those seeking summer residences, retirees and those still in the local workforce.

The project will not look out-of-place in the downtown, Patten promises.

“It will conform to the character of Southwest Harbor,” he said. “It will tend to be rural, rustic.”

“Blueberry Ledge” was the name of Patten’s family’s summer home in Northeast Harbor, which was built for the late president of Harvard University Charles Eliot. He said he chose it for the subdivision to honor both Eliot and his grandmother.


Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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