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Big-box store plans on track in Scarborough

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Big-box store plans on track in Scarborough

SCARBOROUGH — A series of big-box stores planned for Gallery Boulevard are on track to open in the fall of 2015, developers told the Planning Board this week.

Gallery Place, at 700 Gallery Blvd., is slated to add Marshalls, Bob's Discount Furniture and HomeGoods stores – all of which are expected to move from The Shops at Clarks Pond in South Portland – to a tenant base that already includes Walmart and Lowe's. PetSmart has also pre-leased space, and a restaurant and small retail store are expected to come on board soon.

The 113,500-square-foot, three-building project is being developed by Waterstone Retail, of Needham, Massachussets. Vice President of Development Doug Richardson told the Planning Board he expects construction to begin in April 2015. The two smaller buildings currently have no pre-leased tenants.

The discussion at Monday's meeting focused on architecture and whether the latest site plan conforms to the large-scale buildings and facade design subsections of Scarborough's design standards. Richardson assured the board the project would use the same brick-faced masonry found on the exterior of Walmart and Lowe's, to give the subdivision a unified look.

Board members were glad to see a revised site plan that reflected requests made at previous meetings, including more crosswalks and a bus shelter for public transit commuters. Members also asked the developers to "visually improve the site corridor" and include a shopping cart corral in future iterations. 

Rock climbing gym moves forward

At Monday's meeting, the Planning Board approved a site plan amendment for architectural changes to a rock climbing gym planned for Haigis Parkway.

A site plan for the gym, called the Salt Pump, was approved in February. But Good Rebel Holdings LLC, the Auburn-based group behind the job, requested minor changes – involving light fixtures, exterior paneling and a lowering of the roof line – to make it more economically viable. Those alterations came at the suggestion of Patco Construction, the general contractor chosen for the project.

No firm timeline for the building or opening of Salt Pump was given.

The Planning Board approved the amendment request unanimously, but Ron Mazer raised questions about the future of the project. His concerns were triggered by a May 19 memo from Good Rebel Holdings that said the site plan changes were intended to minimize the "real risk" of the project not moving forward because its appraised value is likely less than the building costs.

"Are we at a stage where this project may not go through?" Mazer asked.

Taki Miyamoto, the driving force behind Salt Pump, didn't hesitate to respond.

"The answer is no," he said. "We are moving forward. We've selected Patco. We've started the building permit process. We've started the climbing wall design process. We're not trying to say we're not moving forward unless these changes are accepted. We're saying it helps us in the process."

Brendan Twist can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or btwist@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter:@brendantwist.