Rock Row (née The Ridge, née Dirigo Plaza) | Westbrook, ME

Cosakita18

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Re: The Ridge (former Dirigo Plaza), Westbrook, ME

^ Some of those buildings could be in Portland – the city line is about 350' west of the Turnpike right of way. That land is actually owned by the City – there are about 18 acres of city-owned land between the Turnpike and the Westbrook city line, south of the railroad line.

Possibly related: tonight's economic development committee meeting at city hall went into executive session to discuss the possible sale of city-owned land "near the Turnpike".

My hunch is that Portland's zoning laws would be more supportive of this kind of higher-density development than Westbrook's, although I may be mistaken.
I just can't imagine how there would ever be enough demand to justify two large office buildings, especially in Portland's suburban environment.
 

markhb

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Re: The Ridge (former Dirigo Plaza), Westbrook, ME

I just can't imagine how there would ever be enough demand to justify two large office buildings, especially in Portland's suburban environment.
I think they're emphasizing medical offices for those. But as cneal said, over on that side of the quarry they'll be on Portland's side of the line. I checked, and that land is B4 Commercial Corridor north of c. 400' north of the railroad track (where there's really no room between the edge of the pit and the Turnpike land), and IL Light Industrial from that point south.
 

mainejeff

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Re: The Ridge (former Dirigo Plaza), Westbrook, ME

This an interesting development they are doing in China...



Of course it would make no sense here, but interesting nonetheless.
 

Dr. StrangeHat

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More details on the proposed amphitheater:

http://news.keepmecurrent.com/concerts-may-rock-rock-row/
http://www.theforecaster.net/westbrook-plans-could-end-portland-pier-concerts/
https://www.pressherald.com/2018/10/10/concerts-at-maine-state-pier-may-move-to-westbrook/

Here's the link to the planning board meeting video (presentation begins around 45:30):

https://westbrooktv.viebit.com/player.php?hash=xiBtM5e1LNDE

I'm already hearing a lot of NIMBY pessimism, skepticism and cynicism from Westbrook residents, especially older residents. People are automatically fearing the worst rather than actually looking at the plans and understanding what they are actually going to do. It's very frustrating, to say the least.
 

Portlander

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Love the proposed amphitheater idea, only wish the capacity would be closer to 12,000 so there would be no need to drive to Bangor for the upper tier concerts. Still a big improvement over the State Pier's 3,000 limit.
 

Dr. StrangeHat

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During the planning board meeting they did say that this was a temporary situation to provide proof-of-concept, and they'll consider expanding if it works.
 

markhb

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Major update to the rockrow.com website, including a hamburger menu, a LOT of concept imagery and this pic (on the Overview page):

 

Portcity75

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Out of curiosity where are you seeing a hamburger menu?

B Good is going there, chik-fil-a is out
 

Dr. StrangeHat

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I went to the Planning Board meeting the other night. The concert venue has flipped around to face north-easterly towards Exit 48 (previously it was facing south-easterly towards the Stroudwater/Westbrook Street overpass over the Maine Turnpike). The above has it facing more due east, which may be the final position, since the venue is planned to be more temporary for the first five years.

There are still some concerns from the Planning Board and public with regard to traffic flow and noise, but I think the venue will ultimately be approved.

Here's the video of the Planning Board meeting. Rock Row was the last agenda item. It starts around the 2:25:00 mark of the video: https://westbrooktv.viebit.com/player.php?hash=1GXME2r1lxcx
 

Portlander

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I wish the project well. There are still a lot issues to be resolved as with any development of this magnitude. Am hoping it doesn't turn into Westbrook's version of Thompson's Point which has been trying to evolve for almost a decade. There is a saturation point for even a booming Greater Portland when it comes to retail, dining and entertainment options. Thanks for the update and video Dr. StrangeHat.
 

Cosakita18

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Major update to the rockrow.com website, including a hamburger menu, a LOT of concept imagery and this pic (on the Overview page):

DO I see a train station along the mountain division RoW?

I'm really impressed with how this design has evolved from generic suburban retail to this. As Portlander said I hope it doesn't derail like other major mixed use projects in the area
 

Dr. StrangeHat

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Well, I do think they have the financial motivation to see this through. All of the infrastructure improvements that have happened at Exit 48 last year and this year, as well as the on-going improvements at Exit 47 and several other road projects throughout Westbrook and Portland, are being funded by the developers. That was part of the original Dirigo Plaza approval. Waterstone bought the approved project from the original developers and this liability came along with it. I overheard that it's close to $10 million in local infrastructure improvements that they've had to fund, so you don't walk away from a $10 million investment unless you go under (ala Federated).
 

Dr. StrangeHat

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DO I see a train station along the mountain division RoW?
The developer has expressed interest in using the mountain division line somehow. I haven't heard any details beyond that, but I'd love to see a DMU run on that line daily between Steep Falls and Portland.

I doubt NNEPRA would ever want to back the Downeaster down the line for just one stop given all of the investments they've made to extend and expand service to Brunswick.
 

markhb

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Out of curiosity where are you seeing a hamburger menu?

B Good is going there, chik-fil-a is out
Hamburger menu in the web design sense of the 3-line menu icon at the top right of the site page, not actual burgers unfortunately. And if Chik-Fil-A is out (please no), I can hope for them to go into the old Tim Hortons next to KFC.

I wonder if this project will be swanky enough to entice a Cheesecake Factory.
 

Cosakita18

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The developer has expressed interest in using the mountain division line somehow. I haven't heard any details beyond that, but I'd love to see a DMU run on that line daily between Steep Falls and Portland.

I doubt NNEPRA would ever want to back the Downeaster down the line for just one stop given all of the investments they've made to extend and expand service to Brunswick.
Maine DoT did rebuild a few miles of the mountain division in Westbrook / Windham a few years ago for a potential freight customer that never came to fruition. That line is perfect for a DMU / light rail shuttle between the city and some western suburbs.
 

markhb

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The Rock Row developers are looking to partner with Metro to enable them to access nontaxable bonds via FAME.

Waterstone Properties Group, the Needham, Massachusetts, company behind the proposal, needs a public or nonprofit agency to lease its planned road system to get $16.3 million in tax-exempt bonds it has requested through the Finance Authority of Maine.

Waterstone would pay Metro to lease its property and the bus service would help design a future transportation network in the 66-acre development.

“The compensation is good for Metro and good for taxpayers, but our whole goal is that this development going forward is going to be as multimodal and transit-oriented as possible,” Metro General Manager Greg Jordan said. “That’s our mission and what we are working toward.”
 

Cosakita18

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Waterstone is seeking tenants for the beer hall / food hall portion of the project, which they hope to have ready to go by 2021. A new MaineBiz article states that they want to have a full build out by 2022, which seems pretty ambitious to me

MaineBiz article:
http://www.mainebiz.biz/article/20181119/NEWS01/181119953

has work started on the Market Basket? I haven't been over in that area for a while.
 

markhb

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Waterstone is seeking tenants for the beer hall / food hall portion of the project, which they hope to have ready to go by 2021. A new MaineBiz article states that they want to have a full build out by 2022, which seems pretty ambitious to me

MaineBiz article:
http://www.mainebiz.biz/article/20181119/NEWS01/181119953

has work started on the Market Basket? I haven't been over in that area for a while.
There is grading going on and some (I think) pile drivers on site. At one of the meetings they said they were planning on pouring the slab in the spring.
 

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