City + Harbor’s Collaboration with Maine Working Homes

We’re thrilled to be partnering with Maine Working Homes and its co-founder Merrit Carey on our recent listing: 31-33 Booker Street, Unit 1 in Thomaston.

This is the first home of a seven-unit workforce housing condominium development called Booker Place by Maine Working Homes. The small development company was formed in September 2021 by Carey and Andrew Curtis to create homeownership opportunities for Mainers who’ve been priced out of buying homes in the communities where they work.

Booker Place represents the first condominiums in Thomaston, an important step in addressing the state’s housing crisis. MWH also plans to focus on new construction and workforce housing development; and the purchase and renovation of distressed single-family homes.

Nine months after purchasing this distressed property at auction — which includes a three-story Victorian and a large outbuilding that was formerly a rope factory — MWH has successfully completed the first phase of this significant project: the conversion of the Victorian into two individual condominiums.

The first-floor unit in the Victorian is a completely renovated two-bedroom, two-bath home with a two-car garage and a private yard, offered at $279,000. The second unit is a two-bedroom, one-bath, also with a large private yard, to be offered at $249,000.

Both are priced at less than $200 per square foot, an excellent value in today’s real estate market.  The units need no infrastructure work, and condominium fees are estimated at $195 per month. The median home price in Knox County is an astounding $430,000, a number that is out of reach for a lot of Mainers.

“Over the summer, we undertook the detailed subdivision approval process with the town of Thomaston while we renovated the Victorian,” she said. “The property needed significant infrastructure and cosmetic upgrades. The units in the Victorian have exceeded our expectations, and we have successfully maintained the exceptional period details of the structure.”

The second phase of Booker Place is underway with the creation of five additional condominiums. Two will be traditional condo-style, side-by-side units; one of which has a one-car garage and a workshop. The remaining three condos will be stand-alone modular “houseominiums”: one three-bedroom saltbox-style home and two single-story, two-bedroom houses.

Creating homeownership opportunities for people working in our community is critical for Maine and its future; we need teachers, EMTs, nurses and municipal employees to be able to buy homes in the communities in which they work.

Carey said this is the second condo conversion project that Maine Working Homes has completed in the Midcoast, after also converting a South Thomaston multifamily rental property into reasonably priced condos. Condominiums are an important way to create ownership opportunities because they provide more flexibility with respect to zoning requirements.

“Condominiums often get a bad rap in Maine for a variety of reasons,” she said. “But done right, they are one of the best ways to offer ownership opportunities and keep costs down. We’re demonstrating it’s possible to create homeownership opportunities through frugal and careful project management.”

The project has been privately funded by Maine Working Homes founders and a private community-minded investor. And it has also garnered praise from local government.

“We are delighted to have Maine Working Homes in Thomaston,” said Kara George, Thomaston’s Town Manager. “This development has been a very collaborative one between the Town and Maine Working Homes, and we look forward to more housing options for our community members.”

Interested in viewing this listing or learning more about this project? Call Fletcher at 207-542-0412 or Michael at 207-450-4515.

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