SCARBOROUGH — The Downs first progress report was presented to the Scarborough Town Council on Aug. 19, with the biggest takeaway being that The Downs is exceeding all municipality-outlined requirements.

Roccy Risbara of Crossroads Holdings, which is the developer of The Downs, said in a presentation that as of March 30 of this year, the value of the project is at $46 million and by 2023, it is expected to create $235 million of taxable value.

According to information provided by Diana Nelson of Black Fly Media, The Downs will create 1.1 million square feet of non-residential development by 2023. The agreement with the town required The Downs to create 500,000 square feet by 2029.

According to the information presented, 81 percent of current and future residential development will be multi-family units, senior housing, or assisted living units.

“This mix of units is designed to meet current housing demands, while minimizing the impact to Scarborough public schools,” said information from Nelson.

Earlier in 2020, the Town Council approved a credit enhancement agreement with WEX, an international company founded in Maine, and according to the presentation, these plans remain in progress, with first permits expected in the fall of this year.

“The developers at The Downs have land reserved for Scarborough’s future downtown,” a summary Nelson provided said. “The Town created a committee to gather ideas and create community engagement. Meetings between the developer and the Town will commence in the near term.”

Because of COVID-19, demand for restaurant and hospitality businesses is lower but there is a strong demand for warehouse, grocery, and distribution space, the presentation said.

The Downs wants to offer users what they want, which may require zoning changes or additional work with the town, Risbara said.

As of August 2020, 15 students enrolled in Scarborough Public Schools from residential units developed in The Downs, according to Risbara’s presentation.

Risbara said that the Planning Board has been doing a great job of getting projects approved in a timely manner, but the pandemic did cause some disruption earlier this year.

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