A $40 million mixed-use development proposed for Saco Island has been delayed following a vote by the Saco River Corridor Commission.

The commission, a quasi-state organization whose purpose is to protect the environment along the Saco River corridor, voted Wednesday night to table the application of The Waters, an ambitious project proposed by developer Bernie Saulnier.

The commission made it clear at the start of the meeting in Dayton that it would not vote on the project last night, said Mark Robinson, spokesman for the project.

“They said there were a few reasons for that, but the only one they cited was that the developer has not submitted detailed architectural specifications for the proposed hotel,” he said.

The commission meets again in August and the project cannot move forward until it receives permits from the commission. Commissioners went on a 90-minute site walk on Saco Island on Tuesday and spent about two hours Wednesday night considering Saulnier’s application, Robinson said.

Saulnier purchased the 6-acre parcel on the eastern side of Saco Island – also known locally as Factory Island – in 2017. His plan for the island includes residential units, a 50-room boutique hotel, a restaurant and retail space, a 69-slip marina and a walking path along the river. The housing will be split between three buildings with a combined 87 apartment units and five townhouses.

Saulnier has partnered with hotel developer Jim Brady, whose projects include The Press Hotel in Portland, on the Saco Island hotel.

City officials have said the project has the potential to make a significant impact in the core of the downtown. Saco Island sits in the Saco River between the downtowns of Biddeford and Saco. It links both cities’ historic mill districts, where developers in the last decade have transformed former textile factories into housing and commercial and light industrial spaces.

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