Cumberland council OKs Doane property master plan development

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CUMBERLAND — A master plan is in the works for the Doane property, a 43-acre piece of town-owned land intended for mixed-use development.

The Town Council voted unanimously after an executive session last week to sign a memorandum of understanding with Bateman Partners to give the Portland company 120 days to develop a plan for the property that will ultimately go to the council for approval.

Possible uses for the parcel include single- and multi-unit market-rate housing, affordable multi-unit rental housing and limited retail space. Bateman will also conduct a feasibility study to determine market demand, and draw up a business plan that will serve as the basis for garnering funding and investment capital for the project.

The agreement will dissolve if the project does not prove economically feasible.

If Bateman determines the project is viable, the company will sign an agreement to buy the property, which the town has owned for almost a decade. Bateman would oversee construction and manage the completed development.

Town Manager Bill Shane said there is no cost to the town for the master plan.

The Doane Property is off Drowne Road, bordered by Wyman Way and Route 9.

“We’re really excited about the possibility of developing this,” Town Planner Carla Nixon said last week, noting that development of the property is in accordance with the Comprehensive Plan.

She added that the project addresses the town’s need for affordable housing and that it is within Cumberland’s growth area.

“We like the idea of having (a mixed-use) type of development in the center of town, where people can get goods and services,” Nixon said.

Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.