Scarborough council approves TIF for Route 1 project

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SCARBOROUGH — Town councilors on Wednesday unanimously approved a tax increment financing agreement with a developer who intends to rework a vacant Route 1 building into office space.

The council also voted 5-1 to oppose Question 2 on the statewide November ballot, which would reduce the excise tax on most new-car purchases.

Developer Robert Gaudreau plans to redevelop the 65,700-square-foot former Konica Minolta building. Best known to residents for his redevelopment of the nearby former Humpty Dumpty potato chip plant into the Nonesuch River Plaza, Gaudreau requested the TIF after discovering he would have to spend $350,000 to reconfigure access to the property.

Under the terms of the $325,000 TIF, the money will not be used for any improvements to Gaudreau’s property, but will only be applied to the required road work.

The TIF is for a term of 15 years and the buyer assumes all financial risk. The town will receive a projected $3.3 million in new investment, 250 to 300 estimated new jobs, improved traffic flow and safety, a more attractive Route 1 gateway from South Portland and the ability to shelter revenue to minimize impact on block grants, the school funding formula and county assessment.

Currently the town receives $28,000 in taxes from the property, based on the original assessed value of $2.3 million. During the life of the TIF, the gross projected new taxes would total nearly $796,000, with nearly $593,000 in projected total TIF revenues for Scarborough.

Calling the project a catalyst for future development, Scarborough Economic Development Corp. President Harvey Rosenfeld said he had “never met anyone with the guts Bob (Gaudreau) has… We have real confidence he can carry this project off.”

On Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. in Chamber B there will be a special joint meeting of the Town Council and the Planning Board to discuss the findings and recommendations of the Payne Road West Committee.

Peggy Roberts can ber reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or