New Course Opens in Maine

A semiprivate Scottish-style course is part of the amenities at a new “active adult” development in Topsham, Maine.

Located on the Coastal Connector in Topsham, the 650-acre Highland Green is Maine’s first “active adult” retirement community. Local officials are excited about the project. “Retirement communities hold great promise for the state of Maine,” commented state economist Laurie Lachance in mid-2003. “Unlike other New England states, Maine is gaining more older people than we are losing. Highland Green is exactly the type of community that we need in Maine.”

Lachance’s assertions were borne out in a recent study conducted by the Maine State Planning Office. The report indicated that retirees are a real economic force. Retirees move to Maine with significant wealth and disposable income and their presence does not put pressure on state budgets, according to Lachance. One study indicates that that every retiree household has the equivalent economic effect of 3.7 factory jobs.

John Wasileski, who has successfully developed several “traditional” retirement communities in Maine, is the backer of Highland Green. He considers the development a haven for retirees looking for simpler lifestyles and more time to begin or continue less demanding careers, travel, visit family, further their education and pursue hobbies.

With the first wave of Baby Boomers turning 55, Wasileski’s community will appeal to those born between 1946 and 1964 with customized homes, fitness centers, and the nine-hole Scottish-style golf course. Boasting “maintenance-free” living, the project also involves more than 250 acres of conservation woodlands and walking trails along the Cathance River. It’s also close to Portland, the Atlantic Coast, skiing at Sugarloaf Mountain, whitewater rafting and fishing on the Kennebec, Penobscot and Dead Rivers, hiking and camping, and Bowdoin College.

“This is not your grandfather’s retirement community,” said Wasileski. “Most of our residents are drawn to Highland Green because it caters to their active lifestyles. With our nature trails, golf course and closeness to some of the world’s best outdoor-recreation activities, we are well-positioned to become New England’s premiere ‘active adult’ community. The homes are all custom-designed and offer great rooms, modern home offices and scenic views. Most of our residents will be successful businesspeople who demand these amenities – and we have been able to deliver on those demands.”

The nine-hole layout was designed by Portland-based Land Use Consultants, with help from noted golf author, James Dodson. Dodson wrote “Final Rounds,” the 1996 bestseller named the “Golf Book of the Year” by the International Network of Golf, and “A Golfer’s Life,” a collaboration with Arnold Palmer that was a New York Times bestseller. Dodson’s latest release is “The Dewsweepers: Seasons of Golf and Friendship.”

For more information about Highland Green, call 207/725-8066 or visit