The Scarborough Planning Board approved an apartment project that will be located along Scarborough Downs Road and Hackamore Avenue on Aug. 24. Courtesy photo of Hayloft Apartments

SCARBOROUGH — The Scarborough Planning Board approved a 58-unit apartment project to be located in the Town Center Residential Neighborhood, a subdivision within The Downs, on Aug. 24.

The project consists of four 12-unit apartment buildings and one building with 10 apartment units in addition to 1,770 square feet of office space, five buildings in total. On July 13, Dan Bacon, representing Hayloft Apartments, developer of the project, presented a proposal of the project to the board.

The building will have good connections to sidewalks, trails, and other amenities within The Downs, and the design was deliberately made to blend in well with the surrounding housing units, Bacon said on Aug. 24.

“We’re really excited about this little apartment project,” he said.

Rachel Hendrickson, vice chair of the Planning Board, said that she thought the units would fit well in the area because they look more like houses than apartment buildings.

She added that she wanted The Downs to continue with projects that had buildings with multiple uses.

“I really wish there was an office or some other use on the other side of the building,” she said. “The amenities that have been built in The Downs thus far really are the natural amenities — the benches, the parks, the trails, but for people who are moving into apartments, as we get more and more apartments and condos, they are looking for amenities like coffee shops, places to gather once we can actually start gathering again.”

If people in The Downs don’t get those extra amenities, they will travel elsewhere in town, Hendrickson said.

“They’re going to be going to Holy Donut or Scarborough Grounds or heading the other way for Dunkin Donuts,” she said. “One of the things we had talked about in the beginning is having enough there at The Downs for it to become a little more self-contained — that people would find in the Downs all of those things that they needed without adding to the traffic on Route 1 or Payne Road.”

Coffee places and similar shops help create a sense of community, Hendrickson said.

“As you go further with additional condos or apartment buildings please consider what sort of additional commercial amenities that you might want to put there that would keep people in The Downs area, as Wex goes in, where they can stop and get some coffee and walk to work,” she said. “… I hope you continue in this thread of a mixture of commercial and residential.”

The project’s next step will include a pre-construction meeting with town staff.

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