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Scarborough board gives Foley Farm project initial OK

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Scarborough board gives Foley Farm project initial OK

SCARBOROUGH — With the promise of more than 100 jobs, prospects for development of land set back from U.S. Route 1 and Hannaford Drive moved forward Monday with unanimous Planning Board approval for the One Foley Farm Road master plan.

As proposed by Risbara Family Development and St. Clair Associates of Cumberland, One Foley Farm Road will be what plan documents called "a home campus for a major area employer.”

Set on two acres of land off Little Dolphin Drive and Foley Farm Road, the project calls for two phases of construction, each for a two-story, 20,000-square-foot building.

Site plan approval is still needed from the Planning Board, as is project approval from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection because of wetlands at the edge of the property.

The second phase of construction is expected to begin within five years, Nancy St. Clair said. She said the buildings could accommodate 100 employees; the site inventory analysis letter filed with the Planning Board estimates as many as 140 employees could be relocated to the site.

St. Clair and Rocky Risbara are seeking site plan approval for both phases.

The buildings would be linked by a central atrium and have frontage on Foley Farm Road, Little Dolphin Drive and a new road linking those streets. 

St Clair said creating the new road is a critical to the project. The multiple access routes for employees “reduce the overall impact at one connection point,” according to the site inventory analysis. Traffic flow to the site is not expected to be enough to require an independent traffic study.

She said adding sidewalks and linking the roads will allow employees better access to local businesses and restaurants, and fits in well with the goal of making the Oak Hill area more pedestrian-friendly.

While remaining mum about which employer is interested in the site, Risbara did say a successful venture could lead to more growth at the site, which abuts the home of his family construction business on U.S. Route 1.

The overall project requires Planning Board approval because it exceeds the Town Village Center 3 zoning maximum of 20,000 square feet for one tenant.

The land was once part of a 4.57-acre parcel sold by Madeleine Gendron. About 2.5 acres of land was sold to Dolphin Marketplace LLC. Plans for retail development on the site are in the marketing stage and have yet to be presented to the Planning Board.

Planning Board members signalled their approval for the master plan even before the vote, but promised more detailed questions during the site approval process.

Board member Jeff Thomas praised the plan, but said he will be paying attention to landscaping details in the site plan.

Designed so there is no visible rear of the building, the office will be visible from U.S. Route 1. Risbara said he expects heavy equipment stored at the construction offices will be moved next spring, and acknowledged the proposed office is a tight fit.

"It's exciting, it is the first one coming to you in this area, but we kind of have some handcuffs with things that are already there," he said.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.