2014-12-12 / Community

Final draft of cottage TIF agreement is received

A final draft of a tax financing agreement which Arundel selectmen hope will pave the way for a $68 million development of 259 seasonal cottages on Route 1 was received Monday.

According to Arundel Town Manager Todd Shea, that draft agreement now rests at the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, where it awaits final approval from Commissioner George Gervais.

“Everybody is in agreement, but we still have not signed the credit enhancement agreement. We’re just waiting on the final approval from the commissioner,” said Shea. “That should be forthcoming within the week.”

At a special town meeting in July, local voters gave their assent to the Arundel Seasonal Cottages Municipal Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District and Development Program, by a vote of 26-2. Voters also recently extended the definition of what constitutes a seasonal cottage from a maximum of six months of residency to eight months.

Developer Joe Paolini plans to build the 259 seasonal cottages, ranging in size from 850 to 1,350 square feet, in a gated community on 159 acres between Route 1 and Mountain Road, over the next decade.

As part of the TIF deal, the town will retain 25 percent of the new property value in its general fund. The remaining 75 percent of new taxable value will be split between the developer and the town, with 67 percent (up to an annual maximum of $10.1 million) returned to fund the cost of construction and 33 percent used by the town to address infrastructure needs spurred by the growth spurt.

Parts of the property already have been cleared and, according to Shea, blasting is scheduled to begin “within the next few weeks.”

“They’ll make the entrance improvements and they’re hopeful to start the community center and the first three or four model units up and ready to go in May,” said Shea. “They’re already marketing and they’re ready to start selling.”

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