Providing decent housing is one way to attract people to town. That's why the Northern Forest Center is investing a million dollars in renovating homes in Millinocket, including a three-story home on Katahdin Avenue.
“We do a lot of economic impact investments to really try and help,” said Ailish Keating, project manager for Northern Forest Center.
The home at 100 Katahdin Ave. has sat vacant for years. It's the sixth home to be renovated through the group's Millinocket Housing Initiative Fund.
“It was going to be taken down by the town,” Keating said. “It was up for tax-acquired sale for probably three years in a row before we purchased it.”
“So instead of knocking it, and leaving another empty lot we decided it would contribute more value to the downtown area renovated and available for people who live and work here or who want to come and live and work in the community,” she added later.
Folks who move to town for work or play, “They're expecting a certain standard of housing that they might find in Bangor or Portland and other cities and towns and given the time lapse since there have been any real renovations done on a lot of properties that are available on the rental market – that is why we decided to take this on board.”
Most homes in the former mill town have not been renovated in decades, she said.
“We think it's very beneficial for the residents and the entire community,” said Cody McEwen, Millinocket Town Council chairman. “It parallels all the effort that is happening at the mill site right up the hill from here as well as all the groups and organization trying to revitalize the area.”
“It's just excellent for Millinocket,” he said.
Keating told WVII/WFVX that the next investment for the Northern Forest Center would be with vacant commercial spaces on Main Street.