Spotlight on Bayside Anchor

In 2015, Portland Housing Authority (PHA) completed its Strategic Vision Plan for all of its 1,000 units of public housing. PHA has various sites in Portland with under-utilized land and parking lots, and Bayside Anchor was just such a parking lot. Bayside Anchor created a unique partnership between Avesta Housing and the Portland Housing Authority that saw this project as a catalyst for future re-development and re-imagining of hundreds of units of public housing in East Bayside.

This project was launched as a winner in a 2013 national competition by Enterprise and Deutche Bank called “Lowering the Cost of Housing.” It was built for the very low cost of $149 per square foot, achieving the maximum affordability points under the State of Maine scoring system.

Bayside Anchor is a service hub for low-income residents in East Bayside, giving the project its name as a stabilizing “anchor” for the community. The Portland Housing Authority’s local property management offices were relocated into the first floor of Bayside Anchor, along with a Headstart pre-school and the East Bayside Community Policing Office.

Bayside Anchor was built to Passive House standards and received PHIUS+ certification. Combining the very low cost target with the ambitious goal of Passive House certification drove the development team to a construction management process and an extremely deep dive into construction details and value engineering.

Portland Housing Authority (PHA) and Avesta Housing were co-developers on this 45-unit, mixed-income, mixed-use Passive House Building located in the heart of the East Bayside neighborhood in Portland. The new building has nine market-rate units and 36 affordable units targeted for individuals and families making between approximately $23,000 and $49,000 annually. Bayside Anchor is a service hub for low-income residents in East Bayside, giving the project its name as a stabilizing ‘anchor’ for the community. The street level is home to a Head Start preschool program and Community Policing and PHA offices. Bayside Anchor is PHA’s first new development in 45 years, and a first step in revitalizing their properties in this neighborhood. These homes, along with the community services Bayside Anchor offers, will further enrich this already vibrant neighborhood.

Bayside Anchor is the first multifamily building in Portland that will be certified as a Passive House building by the Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS). Passive House is a set of design principles used to attain a quantifiable level of energy efficiency and resident comfort. The cost to operate each unit is predicted to be only $125 annually, and the heating load is estimated to be up to 85% less than if the building had been designed to meet minimum building code requirements. There is no centralized heating system needed in the building because the building is super insulated, airtight, and well ventilated. This design creates healthy, quiet, comfortable, and cost-effective homes for 45 families and individuals.

Click below to read more:

Mainebiz: Affordable housing units to be unveiled in Portland 

Maine Public: This Ultra-Efficient Portland Apartment Building Doesn’t Need Central Heating

Press Release: New Homes to Be Celebrated in Portland’s East Bayside Neighborhood

Portland Press Herald: Portland to unveil affordable, energy-efficient apartments

WMTW: Portland’s Bayside Anchor housing development celebrates grand opening

WGME: New apartments open in Portland