A 50-unit retiree community with suggested doctor’s offices for Bar Harbor


As older Mainers seek to “age well,” many retiree communities offer trendy housing amenities such as electric car charging stations, gyms, and Wi-Fi.

A new proposal in Bar Harbor builds on this trend with a retiree community that would include doctor’s offices and 50 independent living units.

The Bar Harbor Planning Council conducted a review of the proposal outline plan at a recent virtual meeting.

Called “Harbor Lights Retirement Community”, the project is proposed for a 59-acre parcel in Hulls Cove, a village on the outskirts of Bar Harbor.

The proposal aims to develop an 18.7 acre portion of the parcel.

“Salt water” style

The development would consist of a central building with 28 units ranging from 750 to 2,000 square feet, as well as medical offices.

Nearby are residential duplexes, as well as buildings containing a shared garage, fitness center, and manufacturing space with carpentry equipment, tools, and equipment storage. Other amenities would include walking trails and a shared gardening space with a potting shed and greenhouse.

The architectural style would be based on a concept of “traditional saltwater farms” with “staggered scale geometries and colonial farmhouse-like shapes with a connector and barn at the back,” as requested.

Programming would include on-site health care and assisted living services. Housekeeping services, maintenance of individual and shared properties would be provided.

Dairy farm

Historic uses of the property include dairy farming and an inn. The property has been owned by the Maller family since 1939 and is now owned by the Christopher S. Maller Revocable Trust.

Greg Johnston, director of civil engineering consulting firm GF Johnston & Associates in Southwest Harbor and project officer, told the council the goal is to complete the licensing process by this winter.

Kay Stevens-Rosa, director at A4 Architects in Bar Harbor, said the units would likely be attractive to senior residents looking to downsize and “improve their style.”

Stevens-Rosa said his company was preparing building designs ready for council review.

The board said their next step would be to conduct a site visit.

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