A Wal-Mart store will be the anchor tenant of a new retail plaza in Westbrook.

An architect for Wal-Mart presented design plans Tuesday to the Westbrook Planning Board, which is reviewing the proposed 500,000-square-foot shopping center.

The site on Main Street across from Westbrook Crossing, a plaza anchored by Kohl’s department store, is owned by Pike Industries, which operated a quarry there.

Developer Jeffrey Gove plans to turn the quarry into a lake that will be stocked with fish, open for ice skating in the winter and surrounded by a walking trail that will link to trail systems in Portland and its western suburbs.

Gove said he plans to break ground on the project in the fall and for stores to open a year later.

Rumors of potential tenants have included warehouse retailer Costco and supermarket chain Market Basket, as well as outdoor retailer REI and art-and-crafts chain Hobby Lobby.

Gove, who lets tenants decide when to make their plans public, said the announcement about Wal-Mart doesn’t mean any others are off the table.

He expects other national retail tenants to make announcements within the next three months. He said there will be more than one restaurant on the site and that he has been in talks with regional chains.

Gove said there will be room for local businesses, too, as there are at the Shops at Falmouth Village, a Staples-anchored plaza he owns on Route 1.

He said he’s “thrilled to have Wal-Mart” as the anchor tenant for the proposed plaza. The store would occupy 155,000 square feet.

Wal-Mart proposed building a 203,000-square-foot store on Westbrook Arterial in 2003, but those plans were scaled down and then scrapped in 2007 after intense opposition to a zone change needed for the store.

Residents said they feared the traffic, noise and pollution resulting from the store.

Others argued it would bring jobs and tax revenue to the city while saving them trips to Falmouth or Scarborough.

Wal-Mart has 25 locations in Maine, including three discount stores and three Sam’s Clubs, and employs more than 7,000 people in the state, according to its website.


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