Proposed gourmet market begins Cape Elizabeth approval process

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CAPE ELIZABETH — Almost a year after a preliminary proposal, plans to build a gourmet market near Cape Elizabeth High School are moving forward.

Resident Michael Concannon hopes to build a 3,000-square-foot, mercantile-style deli and light grocery store called C’s Gourmet Market at 349 Ocean House Road, adjacent to the high school’s driveway.

Concannon, along with landscape architect John Mitchell, presented the proposed designs for the market at a Planning Board meeting Tuesday night.

“I feel like we’re on a good track and hope to get final approval by the spring,” Concannon said Wednesday. “We’d love to be open by this time next year.”

The board was largely in favor of the plans, but expressed concerns about the market disrupting traffic flow in and out of the high school.

Members planned a site walk for the property at 5 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 23., which is open to the public. The walk is intended to answer the board’s questions and addresses concerns, although no decision will be made.

A formal public hearing before the Planning Board is scheduled for Nov. 20. If approved, the market will go through additional public hearings with the Town Council.

The proposed market will have about 24 seats and serve sandwiches, salads, soups, coffee and desserts, which will also be available for take-out, Concannon said. In addition to the prepared foods, he plans to sell wine, fresh bread, meat and a small selection of produce.

He said he hopes to model the business after Clayton’s Cafe in Yarmouth or Aurora Provisions in Portland. He also hopes to eventually move his other business, Port Printing Solutions, now in South Portland, into the 1,500-square-foot second floor of the building.

The market will be built on a 3/4-acre property that was formally home to a real estate office and had approval for a fitness center that was never developed. It’s also a short distance from the Pond Cove Shopping Center, which includes the Pond Cove IGA supermarket, Ocean House Pizza and Local Buzz coffee shop and wine bar.

A commercial center was proposed for the property in 2004, and would have included a Dunkin’ Donuts, but the project was abandoned due to high construction costs.

Neither Concannon nor his wife have restaurant or cooking experience, but they have ideas about the types of food they want to make and hope to hire a kitchen manager who can fulfill them.

“We’ll definitely be involved in the day-to-day operations, but we have to realize our strengths and weaknesses in certain areas,” he said.

Concannon said the market will probably have four or five full- and part-time employees.

Will Graff can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or [email protected]. Follow Will on Twitter: @W_C_Graff.

Sidebar Elements

A conceptual drawing of C’s Gourmet Market as it would appear from Ocean House Road near the entrance to Cape Elizabeth High School. Owner and Cape Elizabeth resident Michael Concannon said he hopes to begin construction by next spring.

Town plans $235K for improvements at Fort Williams Park

CAPE ELIZABETH — The town is proposing to expand parking and make access improvements at Fort Williams Park in accordance with the park master plan.

At a Planning Board meeting Tuesday night, landscape architect John Mitchell presented permitting plans for four projects that include the addition of 25 new spaces to the Ship Cove Parking area, upgrades to the picnic areas and improvements to the traffic and pedestrian flow. 

The most significant change would add a cul-de-sac to improve turning space and increase the parking spaces to 72, Mitchell said. The proposal also plans to add a paved walkway to the parking lot and make it wheelchair-accessible .

The concrete slab in the picnic area, which is cracked and broken in certain areas, would also be replaced, and a handrail would be installed.

According to the proposal, two intersections, at Powers and Ocean roads and Wheatly and Ocean roads, would be reconfigured for better traffic flow and minor improvements would be made to the drainage systems.

Although the town is seeking permits for four projects, only three would be completed in the fiscal year, Public Works Director Bob Malley said.

The total budgeted cost, which includes construction and soft costs, is about $235,000, Malley said. Funding for the project is generated through the park.

A Planning Board public hearing about about the projects is scheduled for Nov. 20. 

— Will Graff