Construction of the residential zone at The Downs is well underway, with some residents moving into apartments on Friday, July 26. Other units will see occupancy beginning this summer, according to the Scarborough Town Planning. (Evelyn Waugh photo)

SCARBOROUGH — The Downs master plan for development is proceeding on schedule, with some units in the residential zone, between Route 1 and the racetrack, beginning occupancy last week.

Crossroads Holdings LLC, a partnership of the Scarborough-based Risbara Brothers Construction and Michaud Properties, is responsible for The Downs master plan, a $621 million development.

The Downs is a 429-acre parcel stretching from Route 1 to Exit 42 of the Maine Turnpike, and is home to Scarborough Downs racetrack, once called “Maine’s Showplace of Harness Racing.”

The racetrack is still in use, but has experienced years of decline in revenue. Now, its acreage is being developed into a mixed-use village center.

“It’s moving faster than we thought it would,” Assistant Town Planner Jamel Torres said. “It’s great to see it being developed.”

According to Torres, about 30 families moved into the four 12-unit apartment buildings at Scarborough Downs on Friday, July 26.

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Occupancy of the 16 single-level duplexes and four 8-unit condominiums will begin later this summer.

Construction of The Downs residential zone began in the fall of 2019, Torres said.

Eighty of The Downs residential units will be market rate, and four will be priced to be affordable for a family of four, an income that’s 80 percent of the median household income in Greater Portland, which was $68,570 in 2017, according to the U.S. Census.

At the July 22 Scarborough Planning Board meeting, Crossroads Holding LLC received unanimous approval for its request for zoning approval for an industrial park. from the board for the next phase of

The Downs development: the construction of The Downs Phase II, the Innovation District at 90 Payne Road, an 154-acre business park that will include 57 lots consisting of a mix of light industrial, commercial and general retail, manufacturing, research, and technology.

Restaurants, breweries, food-processing facilities, and bio-technology firms will all be allowed under zoning.

“It looks like they’re slated to start cutting trees and prepping the site next week,” Torres said. “They’re still finalizing their plans with other staff, but I imagine they’ll start utility work by the end of the month, pending final state and local approval.”

The subdivision also includes a public trailhead and open space. 200 acres of open space will be preserved, and 10 miles of recreational trails and sidewalks will be developed.

Evelyn Waugh can be reached at [email protected] or 780- 9026.

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