GORHAM — The Shaw Brothers Family Foundation has town approval to grade three lots for future, agricultural-related commercial tenants at the 258-acre site the foundation is preserving on lower Main Street.

The lots are available for leases and well situated to bolster town tax revenue.

Jon and Danny Shaw, owners of Shaw Brothers Construction in Gorham, established the foundation. It bought the historic land tract two years ago from ecomaine, the recycling company owned by multiple communities, including Gorham.

The foundation’s vision for the site includes public walking trails, access to the Presumpscot River and restoring much of the property to hayfields. A large portion has been cleared and seeded to grass.

Frontage lots on lower Main Street (Route 25) have been dedicated for commercial use, benefiting the tax base.

Jon Shaw, president of Shaw Brothers Construction in Gorham, said Tuesday the  foundation is engaged in talks with a couple businesses but a deal hadn’t been clinched yet.


“They haven’t pulled the trigger,” Shaw said Tuesday.

Town Planner Tom Poirier said that the foundation has permission to haul in material to raise the grade of the three, perspective lots.

“It’s a huge step forward,” Shaw said.

In talks with the town before purchasing the land tract, the foundation agreed to keep frontage lots at the property available for agricultural-related businesses that would generate tax revenue for the town.

Lot lease money goes to the non-profit foundation. Lots will not be sold, Shaw said.

The available land is adjacent to Sebago Brewing Company, which opened its headquarters with a production plant and restaurant at the sprawling site earlier this year.


The foundation has been granted approval to continue restoring hayfields and building walking trails, following a delay in permitting from state and federal agencies. Shaw didn’t know this week when the trails might open.

“We just need some time,” he said.

Plans also call for a public parking area. The parking will be grass over a gravel base. “It won’t be muddy,” Shaw said.

Shaw said the foundation has been approached about holding Gorham Days at the site “we said, absolutely.”

Cindy Hazelton, director of Gorham Recreation Department, said Tuesday a committee has been formed to produce an event in September 2019 to celebrate the town’s farming heritage and roots.

The foundation’s land tract would be the appropriate setting for a celebration. It is the largest part of a 300-acre grant that dated to 1730, six years before Gorham’s first settler, John Phinney, paddled up the river into what was then a wilderness.

Robert Lowell can be reached at 854-2577 or rlowell@keepmecurrent.com

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