The Jackson Laboratory begins construction of employee housing on MDI

bar harbor apartments

The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) has begun work on Woodlands Lane Apartments, a housing initiative for its employees. The 24-apartment complex will be located on the western side of Route 3, less than a mile from the research institution’s Bar Harbor headquarters.

“The ability to build year-round workforce housing for JAX employees is a key strategic initiative for JAX and it is wonderful to see the project get off the ground after many years of planning,” said Catherine “Katy” Longley, executive vice president and chief operating officer. “Working with the Town of Bar Harbor and others, we will continue to address housing and other important issues like childcare and transportation.” 

Construction of the project began in June with site work and building foundation preparation. One, two and three-bedroom apartments are expected to be completed by August 2022 with occupancy in the fall 2022.

The Woodlands Lane Apartments will create a residential community of individuals, couples, and small families. JAX is utilizing sustainable design and construction principles, including the incorporation of elements of LEED, Passive House, and Sustainable SITES guidelines in the project. In addition, with over two-thirds of JAX employees commuting from off-island, this housing will provide an environmentally-focused choice by reducing commutes.

“For JAX to attract a world-class workforce to this special and unique part of Eastern Maine, we must focus on ways to remove some of the challenges that impact retention and recruitment, such as close-by housing. By providing access to affordable, year-round housing, we aim to give current and future employees enhanced living options,” Longley added. 

JAX is working with Maine partners on this project, including Portland-based Wright-Ryan Construction for construction management and Ryan Senatore Architecture, and Bangor-based Woodard & Curran for civil engineering and permitting services.