Last year we shared news about our work on Saco’s Notre Dame de Loudres Church Apartments, an innovative project that garnered an honor from Maine Preservation. On the same development site in downtown Saco, we recently completed a new 31,000 square foot building, the Cutts Avenue Apartments. Utilizing a podium construction technique, this new building has an open-air parking garage with 16 parking spaces as its base with 4 floors above it, each with 4 studio apartments and 3 one-bedroom apartments. It shares an elevator with the neighboring Notre Dame de Loudres Church Apartments, as well as some design elements. For example, the lobby incorporates lumber from the church for a panel wall, and stained glass arch features can be seen throughout the building as well. Mostly, though, the Cutts Avenue Apartments with its clean lines and contemporary design offers an exciting juxtaposition to the historic church next door.
The sleek new Cutts Avenue Apartments have all the modern amenities: granite countertops and new cabinets, a bike storage room with a maintenance area, and views of the city from the upper levels. The city of Saco was an integral partner throughout the project, and with their goal of adding more downtown housing and commitment to being a walkable community, they helped make it happen. Downtown Saco now has two beautiful options on Cutts Avenue for people looking to rent and be walking distance to local businesses and close to transportation. Hardypond is proud to be a part of this community development.
Finding ways to improve building efficiency and be a leader in new construction techniques is a goal for Hardypond in every project, and there was an opportunity for both in the Cutts Avenue Apartments construction. We incorporated an innovative new product, Wally Walls – an insulated metal stud wall system, as the structural framing. It provides well-insulated walls for buildings, which translates into lower heating costs and excellent sound-proofing between units. Another benefit of the product is that once the wall system is up, it’s watertight, a feature that any builder in Maine working through rain and snow can appreciate. The Cutts Avenue Apartments building is the second commercial building in Maine to be built using this energy-efficient material. “We learn something new on each project we undertake, and using Wally Walls involved a steep learning curve since it was a new product for everyone who touched it,” says Hardypond President Deirdre Wadsworth. “The Cutts Avenue Apartments project provided a test case for us to collect data and gain a full life-cycle perspective,” she continues. While figuring out what using this new product meant for coordinating subcontractors and the project schedule, Hardypond also used it as an opportunity to teach other carpentry crews with their experience.
Looking ahead, Hardypond is planning to continue to develop downtown Saco by adding a third apartment building to the Cutts Avenue site that will be designed for residents over the age of 55.
Stay tuned for an update!