BERLIN – Construction of Cannery Village, the affordable housing project planned near Flower Street, is expected to begin this month.
On Monday, town officials approved the public works and stormwater management agreements for the project. With the final approvals in place, Osprey Property Company Vice President Andrew Hanson said he was hoping work could begin next week.
“We’re excited to get started, ” he said.
Hanson has spent much of the past year working with town officials to move the long-awaited Cannery Village project forward. When complete, the development will consist of 44 workforce housing units on 25 acres on Cannery Way, just off Flower Street.
What makes the project unique, according to Hanson, is that it’s a rent-to-own community. After they’ve rented for 15 years, residents in the community will have the option to buy the home they are in. Hanson said rent in Cannery Village, which will include two- and four-bedroom homes, would average $700 a month.
The idea is that the homes will be affordable for people making between 30 and 60 percent of the area’s median income.
Hanson said he had already heard from a number of people interested in becoming tenants in spite of the fact he hadn’t even started marketing the project.
“We’ve gotten a huge amount of interest, ” Hanson said.
He said that unlike some developments, the entire Cannery Village project would be built at once. While the work is weather dependent, he’s hoping construction will be complete by Christmas.
“The goal is weather permitting in 10 months or less we’ll be done, ” he said.
Town staff said the public works agreement approved Monday ensures the developer does the promised work.
“The public works agreement is basically the document that binds the developer to perform the work on the town’s standards, ” said Laura Allen, Berlin’s town administrator. “Everything will be built to the town’s standards because it will ultimately be turned over to the town.”
Hanson said he would work with town officials to host a groundbreaking ceremony shortly after construction at Cannery Village began.
Mayor Gee Williams said he was thrilled to see the project, which was first discussed more than a decade ago, finally get underway.
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