Sanford Springvale News

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Planning Board Green Lights New Apartment Construction

Artist's rendering of the Austin Place 2 apartment building planned for South Sanford.

Sanford’s stock of residential apartments will be increasing in the next year with two new projects which were given approval by the Planning Board on August 18.

The Sanford Mill building at 61 Washington St. will undergo some interior renovations, as about half of the first-floor commercial space will be redesigned as 7 one- and two-bedroom apartments. The building owners have had difficulty finding commercial tenants for the space, but the residential units are full and there is a waiting list for any which become available. The vacant restaurant space, formerly Mill 67, will stay as it is, at least for now. Last October, Jim Nimon of the Sanford Regional Economic Growth Council told the City Council that prospective restaurant tenants have indicated the lack of easily accessible parking is a problem.

In South Sanford, TPD Construction, builders of Austin Place, which opened this spring on Country Club Road #1, plans to construct a 24-unit building right next door, just behind the McDonalds and the Shell station. The new building will be called Austin Place 2. It will be three stories tall and include 16 two-bedroom units and 8 one-bedroom units. Construction is scheduled to begin later this year.

Several years ago, when the gas station was built, a 91-unit hotel was planned to be built on the property. Subsequently, plans changed to create residential and commercial space, with the original Austin Place, plus a 4-unit multi-use retail/office building, which was never constructed. With these latest plans, Phase 2 of Austin Place will replace that commercial space and instead provide more apartments.

TPD has also received Planning Board approval for two buildings in the downtown area. A 12-unit building will be on Main St., on the vacant lot between Sunset Tower and the former Verizon store. The other, which will consist of 24 units, will be just around the corner on Roberts St., where Ballenger Auto was. See our previous story on that project. A company spokesman could not provide any information on when construction of those buildings might begin.

The Planning Board also gave the green light (for the second time) to a proposal by Rymes Propane and Oil to construct a bulk fuel transfer facility at the end of Cyro Dr., in the Industrial Business Zone. The project was first approved in 2018, but as the time limit on the permits has expired, it had to go through the full approval process again. The facility will include above-ground propane storage tanks as well as underground fuel oil storage, and a three-bay garage for overnight delivery vehicle parking.

Watch the full Planning Board meeting video here.

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