The Westbrook Planning Board has approved a large shopping center to be built at a former quarry.

Wal-Mart has been the only confirmed tenant at Dirigo Plaza for months, but the latest documents presented to the Planning Board on Tuesday night included the layout for a Chick-Fil-A restaurant as well. Those national brands will be part of 500,000 square feet of new retail on the 80-acre parcel at the intersection of Main Street – Route 25B – and Larrabee Road, between two exits on the Maine Turnpike.

The developer, Jeffrey Gove, estimated about 25 retailers and restaurants will eventually open in Dirigo Plaza, but he declined to name any others. The project could open by fall 2017.

“We’ve still got a lot of leasing left to do,” Gove said. “I’m very sensitive to allowing them to make their own announcements.”


Across the street is another large retail area anchored by Kohl’s department store. The Chick-Fil-A will be part of a strip mall of businesses along Main Street, and two sit-down restaurants will be located near the lake. The Wal-Mart will be an anchor store for the development in an approximately 155,000-square-foot space next to Larrabee Road.

Wayne Morrill, from Jones and Beach Engineers, described the strip mall as a “streetscape look,” with brick walls and black awnings. He also told the board about wide sidewalks to be built on Main Street with plantings, an information kiosk, bike racks and benches.


“The No. 1 comment from staff was to have a consistent feel up and down Main Street,” Morrill said.

Gove plans to transform the empty 20-acre quarry into a lake surrounded by a recreational area. The existing land and gravel pit are currently owned by Pike Industries. The developer has previously said it will take about five years to fill the 314-foot-quarry, which would be surrounded by a multi-use trail and could be used for ice skating and other activities.

The new construction will also include traffic improvements on Main Street and Larrabee Road – new turning lanes, bike lanes, street light configuration and traffic islands.

“We’re trying to avoid congestion on Main Street,” Morrill said.

City Planner Jennie Franceschi said Gove will spend more than $6 million on those projects, which will also improve traffic flow around Exits 47 and 48 on Interstate 95.

“They are providing significant improvements to public facilities,” she said.


Gove had been waiting for approvals from state agencies as well, but said Tuesday night his team can now move forward with its plans.

Members of the public had previously raised concerns about traffic, safety and the types of businesses in the space, but none spoke at Tuesday’s meeting. The Planning Board’s approval was unanimous.

“I just want to congratulate Westbrook on this great project,” board member Dennis Isherwood said.


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