Smart Growth at Stevens Square Creates a More Responsible Development and a Healthier Lifestyle (with new Video)

Over 55 Communities in Portland, Maine

Stevens Square at Baxter Woods is unique among over 55 communities in Portland, Maine. In addition to its brand new, modern, stylish condominium buildings with under building parking, there are many reasons why this 55+ Active Lifestyle community is different.

Smart Growth Development Video

The principles of smart growth development set the community apart. Watch and hear what Stevens Square developer Kevin Bunker says about this:

Read on to find out more (and see another video) about Kevin, his company, and smart growth development at Stevens Square at Baxter Woods.

More About Smart Growth Development and Stevens Square

Revitalizing Town Centers and Cities

Kevin’s company Developers Collaborative (DC) was founded on the principles of smart growth. In short, the core of DC’s philosophy is based on a simple concept: common sense applied to land use.

For DC, this means creating developments that revitalize town centers and cities. It means providing new space for new residents and businesses while guiding private investment into communities where people already live. And it means using existing public infrastructure as effectively as possible.

Portland, Maine’s Deering Center

Stevens Square at Baxter Woods is a perfect example of smart growth development. It’s located at the heart of the city surrounded by pre-existing infrastructure.

Deering Center in relation to Stevens Square and the rest of Portland
At the heart of Portland, just two miles from the Old Port, surrounded by green space with quaint shops and restaurants a short stroll away.

Avoiding Unattractive Sprawl-style Developments

Sprawl can eat up huge areas of green space in inefficient ways. A sprawling development tends to lack “walkability,”  creating a reliance on cars that generates greater amounts of pollution than a smart growth development.

A typical sprawl style development. Not smart growth!

DC’s focus on mixed-use and compact development helps reduce traffic by keeping trips short and offering residents options other than driving. By focusing development in town, village, and city centers, DC helps preserve rural areas and open space nearby from unattractive sprawl-style developments.

For more information about sprawl style development vs. smart growth development you can read this article from Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: https://cardi.cals.cornell.edu/focal-areas/land-use/sprawl/definition/

“Walkability” is Good For You

As Kevin said, the “walkability” aspects of smart growth create more healthy, engaging lifestyle opportunities. Stevens Square’s Deering Center neighborhood is a perfect example.

Deering Center is chock full of shops, restaurants, green spaces and historic buildings all within walking distance of Stevens Square at Baxter Woods. Click on photo to learn more about this great location.

This concept in reinforced by a recent article in the Atlantic magazine: “A new study shows that living near community-oriented public and commercial spaces brings a host of social benefits, such as increased trust, decreased loneliness, and a stronger sense of attachment to where we live.” 

You can read the full article here: America Needs More Community Spaces

Repurposing Historic Buildings

DC’s smart growth philosophy of developing within town centers and existing infrastructure lends itself to the repurposing of historic buildings. The preservation of the Thomas B. Reed School in Portland was a recent DC project. Last month it was added to the National Register of Historic Places!

The Thomas B. Reed School in Portland, preserved by Developers Collaborative

Historic Buildings at Stevens Square

The development of the Stevens Square campus includes the repurposing of two significant historic buildings. The Motherhouse at Baxter Woods is a former convent spectacularly restored by DC.

Smart Growth Over 55 Communities in Portland, Maine Reflection Garden near Motherhouse at Stevens Square in Portland, Maine | Retiring to Maine
The iconic Motherhouse at Baxter Woods. Click on the photo to learn all about it.

The Stevens Square Community Center is the second building being repurposed on the campus. The 50,000 square foot former Maine Girls’ Academy (previously Catherine McAuley High School) is in the process of being transformed into a community amenity on a scale unheard of in Over 55 Communities in Portland, Maine. It will also act as a connecting point to the surrounding Deering Center neighborhood, allowing local residents to take advantage of some the same new services available to Stevens Square residents.

Here is a comment recently posted to our Facebook page about the development of the Community Center:

“Amazing! Thank you for what you are doing with McAuley! My five daughters attended the school and I am so happy that it will be utilized by many just as the students used it! Thank you for having the insight to make this happen!”

Smart Growth Stevens Square Community Center Over 55 Communities in Portland Maine
The Stevens Square Community Center. Click on the photo to learn all about it.

Smart Growth Preserves Green Spaces

A smart growth development like Stevens Square uses existing infrastructure in a town center and repurposes existing buildings. This enhances the opportunity to preserve surrounding green spaces.

Mayor Baxter Woods is a 30-acre preserve directly next to Stevens Square’s brand new 55 Active Lifestyle condominiums. It’s the largest undisturbed forest in Portland, Maine.

The site of future Buildings Two and Three of Stevens Square (ball fields in foreground) next to Baxter Woods, a 30-acre preserve with two ponds, miles of walking paths, and open meadows.

Stay tuned for our next video. You’ll learn about the history of Baxter Woods and how through the development of Stevens Square, Kevin Bunker and DC are protecting, enhancing, and contributing to the study of this natural resource for years to come.

Smart Growth: Not Like Most Developers

Here’s a chance for you to get to know Kevin Bunker personally. You’ll hear from Kevin, his mother, and his business mentor!

“We value highly our reputation for creating developments that enhance their surrounding neighborhoods and address community needs. We employ a community-based approach to planning and building our projects.

The ways that we intervene in the build environment will affect peoples’ lives for a long time. We feel all developers owe it to their respective communities to do more than just make a piece of land or building generate the highest short term financial return possible.

Serving the community while creating a financially viable development is what we do best, and we see smart growth as a primary vehicle to achieve it.”

– Kevin Bunker, Developers Collaborative

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