Avesta holds open house for new artist apartments

Greg Payne of Avesta Housing surveys an efficiency apartment at the organization's new Oak Street Lofts building in Portland earlier this morning. (BDN photo by Seth Koenig)

Earlier this month, I wrote about a flurry of development activity being undertaken by Avesta Housing and its partners, one of the more interesting projects in which was Portland’s Oak Street Lofts.

Here’s a quick paragraph snipped from that story as a refresher, in case you don’t feel like clicking through on the above link:

[T]hese aren’t the cookie cutter apartments of yore. Thin wires lining the hallways — meant for artwork — is one of the little tweaks in the design of Oak Street Lofts, a 37-unit building of efficiency apartments nestled in Portland’s arts district. The nearly $6.4 million project is nearing completion, and when it opens later this month it will be the first multifamily affordable housing building in the state to earn LEED Platinum certification for its especially low carbon footprint.

Well, tonight, during Portland’s popular First Friday Art Walk in the downtown, Avesta’s holding an open house from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the 72 Oak St. facility. The event will feature refreshments, an exhibition of Maine College of Art woodworking and furniture design students, and tours of the apartments, which range in rent prices from $506 to $760 per month (including utilities).

These apartments, due to their location, have been designed and marketed as units for artists, but there’s no requirement that tenants must produce art. They do, however, have to qualify in terms of income levels — the units are for lower income residents.

Here’s a statement by Jessica Tomlinson, director of public relations for Maine College of Art, as issued through Avesta:

This latest addition to the arts district is a continuation of the momentum that Maine College of Art initiated when it moved into the Porteous Building 15 years ago.The Arts District is now a destination for living, working, and playing. By providing artist‐friendly efficiency apartments on the peninsula, Avesta is serving a critical need for affordable housing while also enhancing the national reputation of Portland’s thriving arts scene.

Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.