Brown House Commons open, catering to retirees

At a ribbon cutting ceremony last Tues, znov 12, the Brown House Commons were officially introduced to the Waterville community. The Brown House Commons comprises 27 apartments at 110 College Ave., which was formerly occupied by Goudreau’s Retirement Inn.

Brown House Properties purchased the building two years ago, and in that time, the company has developed state-of-the-art homes for Waterville’s retired residents. Brown House Properties dedicates itself to providing senior citizens with high-quality housing. As such, it promises that at least eighty percent of the leasee population will exceed 55 years old. 

Because of the Commons’ unique location, Brown House Properties can provide senior citizens with the dual benefits of a city and rural location. The Commons is located in the heart of Waterville, but Brown House also purchased a two-acre green area and a six-acre wooded lot behind the building, providing Brown House’s tenants with fresh air and a nature oasis within the city’s center.

In an interview with the Echo, Lindsey Burrill, who helped found The Brown House Companies with her family, spoke about the Brown House Commons and its place in Waterville’s community. “Brown House Commons is a really unique facility in that it’s not assisted living. That would often be the next step in the journey of our residents, but right now it’s independent senior living, so these folks are 55 and older, but still independent,” Burrill said. She added, “some of them actually still have employment, some are recently retired and just sold their homes because upkeep was too difficult for them.” 

The Brown House Commons takes care of all maintenance for its tenants. It provides “that care-free lifestyle they dreamed about in retirement,” Burrill explained. 

Burrill also expanded on the Commons’s location in Waterville. “I would say the number one selling point that we hear most of our residents and most of the people we tour through the property is that it gives the convenience of city living so you’re right on College Avenue in the middle, in the heart of the city of Waterville[…]close to doctors’ offices and grocery stores, so they don’t have to travel very far,” she said. 

Despite this urban environment, the Commons have the added benefit of a natural outlet because they “purchased a six-acre wooded lot behind the property, so when you’re there and when you’re in our outdoor entertaining space, it is unbelievable to think that you are on College Ave. in the heart of the city because it feels like you’re out in the country,” Burrill explained. The College Ave. location combines the convenience of city living with the beauty of a rural lifestyle.

Brown House is also committed to the use of renewable energy resources. Burrill shared that at the Brown House Commons, the company “installed a 180-panel solar array.” The company installed the panels on parts of the roof that receive regular strong sunshine. The panels produce a significant amount of reusable energy. “That creates almost 75 kilowatts hours of clean renewable electricity every year, and with that, we’re offsetting almost 80,000 tons of carbon pollution every single year,” Burrill said. 

Over the summer, the panels capture enough energy to completely cover the Commons’s electricity needs and portions of the needs of other Brown House properties. On top of this, Brown House intends to build more solar panels on an undeveloped property in Canaan, Maine. The energy produced there will power many other Brown House Properties.