CAPE ELIZABETH – From his vantage point, Rick Wheeler could see the development taking shape. An excavator and a dump truck worked amid swaths of goldenrod below him. Behind him, a rock drill was creating openings for the dynamite that would blast away the hill where he stood.

“This is the new road,” said Wheeler, of Windham-based McGoldrick Bros. Blasting. “It’s going to be flat.”

The recession put the Eastman Meadows project on hold, but the site for the condominium project is now a flurry of activity. With five of the 46 units sold, developer Joel Fitzpatrick was able to break ground this month.

“This has been approved for a year and a half,” he said. “I’ve been waiting to pull the trigger.”

Eastman Meadows — aimed at residents 55 and older — is the first condominium project in Cape Elizabeth in at least 20 years. Condominiums are also part of the plan — at a later phase — for Cottage Brook, another development that has gotten under way recently.

Fitzpatrick’s development is not restricted to older buyers. But the single-level units are clearly marketed to baby boomers and empty nesters.

The condos, ranging from 1,500 to 1,800 square feet, have two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Features like dens, screened-in rooms and sun porches can be added.

Prices begin at $349,000 and can top $400,000, depending on the options.

The 40-acre development is located off Eastman Road, near the Purpoodock Club. The site had previously been farmland.

Crews are now putting in the private road — Tanager Road — and the sewer. They’ll then turn their attention to the first five condos and a model unit.

Fitzpatrick expects the first residents to move in about January or February.

Three of the first buyers already live in town, another is from South Portland and the fifth is from out of state.

The development’s plan calls for building in four phases. The timetable for completion isn’t yet certain.

“I can tell you what I hope for, which is three to five years, two to five, maybe,” Fitzpatrick said. “Who knows? It depends on the sales. Things are pretty unpredictable these days.”

Cape Elizabeth is already home to 297 condominiums, according to Town Planner Maureen O’Meara. Most were built in the 1980s and are located in the northeastern part of town, east of Route 77 and north of Town Hall, she said.

Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at:

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