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

markhb

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The concert venue is the main keynote arena for the project, but I believe they're planning lots of flexible breakout and floor space as well in the rest of the complex, which is exactly what the Civic Center lacks.

Today's Press Herald followup: Convention center boosters in Maine cheer $75 million plan for Westbrook.


If a streetscape like that emerges, the chamber could support a space at the scale Waterstone envisions, Hentzel said. Though backers are certain the Portland area can accommodate the business and visitors one convention center would attract, two would be too many.
“I don’t think we can sustain two convention centers so close together,” Hentzel said. “It would need to be one or another, and frankly, we are running out of land in Portland.”
 

Max

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Also, Max, have you visited The Gateway in Salt Lake City? Full of what I believe are chains and it’s rife with issues associated with quasi-public space but the layout, gathering spaces, weird nooks, art, lighting, and architecture make it an interesting place to walk thru. I’m not packing my bags to buy a condo in the units there but it is well integrated with downtown SLC, has good transit access, and is an easy walk from many local restaurants and shops. Definitely worth visiting if you have a few nights in SLC.
I have not, but I'm sure there are some developments like this that are better integrated into the existing environment than others. The location of Rock Row is somewhat arbitrary (I guess the quarry and the surrounding undeveloped land are the raison d'etre), but otherwise it's just kind of an offshoot of a busy commuter / commercial arterial.

That said, what's going on at Portland Foreside is not too dissimilar from this kind of manufactured neighborhood, with some notable differences: it's a direct continuation of an existing built environment, the site has been previously developed in different incarnations (primarily industrial), etc. Portland Foreside has the potential to be much more interesting and integral to the community if they can do it right.
 
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nomc

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Another example of a manufactured environment being plopped down in the middle of nowhere would be The Downs - the website lists "Town Center" as still in the design phase, so it's hard to tell what/if it will be up being. But I assume along the lines of Rock Row, but heavier on the housing?
 

TC_zoid

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The contributors on this thread have impressive insight and suggestions for this development. The two cities should get direction here. But they won't, of course, and it will more than likely be a big yawn or de facto failure.
 

mainejeff

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The renderings look pretty cool. I'm surprised/not surprised the article talks a lot about the need for parking garages and doesn't mention need for a location with good public transportation access. Seems it would make sense to connect this sort of venue directly to downtown/jetport/Thompson's Point but maybe those plans are progressing separately.

Also, interesting choice to place this rendering in a random city other than Westbrook 🤓

View attachment 18274
It looks like SoCal....or somewhere in the Southwest.
 

TC_zoid

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I don't understand why Westbrook/Portland and its residents are falling for this (except for us). The entity, Waterstone Properties, appears to be a property management company, not a true developer with a vision. That illustration would need to show something designed for a cold environment (the pool is facing east). Are they that stupid? No, they think Mainers are stupid. It's arrogance. They are assuming Mainers won't figure it out before the $115 million dollar bond is floated. They will then simply hire engineering and construction firms to build on a half-baked idea. It will be semi-successful at best. If you want something cool and smart, hire Jim Brady along with Shamrock Marketing (entertainment) to create something worthwhile. Both are native to Maine and both have many impressive development and entertainment endeavors accomplished in Maine. Stop the madness, please. No more out-of-state companies that don't care about anything but money. Maybe all of the participants in this blog need to march on city hall to knock some sense into their heads. But then again, this company has a lock on the land, so never mind.
 

DanielPWM19

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I don't understand why Westbrook/Portland and its residents are falling for this (except for us). The entity, Waterstone Properties, appears to be a property management company, not a true developer with a vision. That illustration would need to show something designed for a cold environment (the pool is facing east). Are they that stupid? No, they think Mainers are stupid. It's arrogance. They are assuming Mainers won't figure it out before the $115 million dollar bond is floated. They will then simply hire engineering and construction firms to build on a half-baked idea. It will be semi-successful at best. If you want something cool and smart, hire Jim Brady along with Shamrock Marketing (entertainment) to create something worthwhile. Both are native to Maine and both have many impressive development and entertainment endeavors accomplished in Maine. Stop the madness, please. No more out-of-state companies that don't care about anything but money. Maybe all of the participants in this blog need to march on city hall to knock some sense into their heads. But then again, this company has a lock on the land, so never mind.
"Lacking Vision" isn't something the Greater Portland Area has lacked ever ... (sarcasm).
 

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