Dirigo Plaza to be built in three phases

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A recent photo of the Pike Industries land between Main Street and Larrabee Road, that will now become the 500,000 square-foot retail center Dirigo Plaza.

WESTBROOK — The Planning Board has approved a three-phase construction plan for the Dirigo Plaza development project.

The board on Tuesday unanimously approved the phasing plan for the 500,000-square-foot regional retail shopping center at the site of the former Pike Industries property on Main Street. The phasing plan was an amendment to the project, which the board approved in October.

The Planning Board on Jan. 3 also approved an application for a childcare facility on Mechanic Street.

The Dirigo phasing plan was presented to the board by J & J Gove Development, the company behind the development. The project, at the site of a stone quarry, will include a 99 Restaurant & Pub and Maine’s first Chick-fil-A restaurant, as well as a Wal-Mart. 

The first phase of the construction plan is to construct a building on the northern side of the property and to create a building pad for the Wal-Mart building. This phase will begin within three years of when the original plan was approved on Oct. 18, but a more specific timeline was not discussed.

The second phase, which will begin within five years of Oct. 18, is to construct the Wal-Mart building. The final phase, which will also begin within five years, is to construct a building on the southern side of the property.

While construction can begin at any point within the three- and five-year phases, all of the buildings must be completed no more than two years after the end of each phase.

“We hope to see you open sooner rather than later,” Planning Board Chairman Rene Daniel told the developers.

The Planning Board on Tuesday also approved a site plan change of use for 39 Mechanic Street so part of it can be used as a child care facility. The building is comprised of several offices and businesses.

Applied Behavior Consultants, a center for children with autism and other developmental disabilities, has been approved to use suite number 400 of the building. The company, which also has locations in California, was also approved to create a 2,000-square-foot fenced-in playground behind the building.

Approximately 40 children are expected to use the 4,300-square-foot suite, which will have four classrooms built within it. According to Jill Mullin, a representative of the child care company, there will be a one-to-one child-to-adult ratio at the center.

During the day the center will be used by children age six and under, and after school it will be used by school-aged children. 

“I personally think this is well overdue, and I think it’s much needed,” Daniel said.

Daniel’s only concern about the application was that there is no crosswalk near the building so children and adults can safely cross the street. Mullin told the board that there will be times when the group will need to do so.

The board approved the application with the condition that a crosswalk and crossing signs are installed on Mechanic Street near the site. An exact location was not decided upon Tuesday night.

City Planner Jennie Franceschi said the planning department will determine the best location for the crosswalk. Applied Behavior Consultants will be required to pay for the cost of the crosswalk and the signs. 

Mullin didn’t disclose when the center is expected to open.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or kgardner@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

A recent photo of the Pike Industries land between Main Street and Larrabee Road, that will now become the 500,000 square-foot retail center Dirigo Plaza.

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