Avesta, shop owner partner to help build a community in South Portland

On paper, the 64-apartment mixed-use development planned for South Portland’s Westbrook Street looks simply like a response to the need for affordable apartments in the city.

But the development, a partnership between Avesta Housing and Portland businessman Quang Nguyen, is also a key player in the city’s effort to make a loose group of large apartment complexes into a community.

A neighborhood hub is important, said Dana Totman, president of Avesta, a nonprofit organization that owns 80 properties in Maine and New Hampshire. “It creates a sense of community, a sense of identity. It creates trust, and a place where neighbors help one another.”

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