‘We feel Belfast has a need for this type of housing’

After lying dormant for 12 years, Belfast housing project comes to fruition

Mon, 11/04/2019 - 1:45pm

BELFAST — A housing proposal brought before the City of Belfast is finally coming to life thanks to the efforts of a new developer.

The Belfast Planning Board approved the original project on Shipmasters Cove Road in 2007, according to Wayne Marshall, the city’s code and planning director, though the project is only recently coming to fruition after the project sat dormant for a dozen years. 

“The owner started project construction, but lost the backing of his mortgage company when the housing crisis occurred,” said Marshall. “In short, project construction stopped because the owner did not have the resources (money) to continue.” 

Since 2007, the project remained dormant until a recent sale to Dave Giroux, a principal of Husson Park, LLC. 

The city had more than 100 units proposed with four different projects, Marshall said, between 2004 and 2007. 

“Only two of the projects started construction, and none were ever completed,” said Marshall. “It is particularly encouraging to see that even with the passing of time that new ownership and a reduction in the price of the property has helped lead to the completion of project infrastructure and the potential construction of the 10 housing units in the original proposal.” 

The development team behind the project previously developed a similar condominium project on the water in Brewer, so the team was able to translate some of that experience into this Belfast project. 

“Belfast is such an exciting town and this project has such beautiful views we could not resist,” said Giroux about his motivation to pursue the long dormant project. 

Purchasing the property and resurrecting the project, however, was not an easy task. 

The new owners had to navigate a number of liens and unpaid taxes to clear the title. 

“Buying property out of bankruptcy is always problematic but it is also something we have done before, so we had some reference on how to make it happen,” Giroux stated. 

The project is providing the city with high-end condominiums with great views and great access, Giroux said. 

“We feel Belfast has a need for this type of housing,” he said. 

The first four units are starting at $425,000, with future buildings slated to offer more variety, including some units on one floor that will be a bit smaller and priced accordingly, he said.

At this time, there are two units within a duplex completed with one unit already sold and the other completed and currently for sale

Another duplex is being completed and the pair of units are currently for sale, with a closing to take place upon the completion of construction.

A third duplex is planned for next spring. 

In all, the project is calling for 10 units spread over what Giroux believes will be a three year span and requiring $4.5 million dollars to complete. 

“They have done a good job of finishing project infrastructure and completing two of the unfinished dwelling units on the property,” said Marshall. 

Reach George Harvey at: sports@penbaypilot.com