This is a conceptual drawing by developer Lord & Harrington, LLC, which is proposing 340 housing units on Diamond Street in Biddeford. Part of the property is city-owned land, which the company hopes to acquire. Courtesy image

BIDDEFORD — A Kennebunkport-based property development company is looking to obtain a piece of city-owned land, to be combined with private parcels, to develop as many as 340 housing units on Diamond Street, in exchange for RiverWalk and park construction on the riverside properties.

Lord & Harrington, LLC, a partnership between Tim Harrington and Kevin Lord, proposes to build rental and owned housing units at the property at 1 Diamond St. Currently owned by Gloves Etc. Inc., information on file at City Hall shows the property sports a pre-engineered warehouse building on just under 4 acres. It is assessed by the city at $555,000.

The vacant, adjacent city-owned parcel is roughly 8 acres and is assessed at $220,000.

The Biddeford City Council voted to enter a closed-door session to discuss the proposal with attorney Keith Jacques at their April 20 meeting, and after emerging to public session, voted to table the matter.

“Conceptually, it is an intriguing and interesting plan,” said Mayor Alan Casavant in a Thursday, April 22 email. “The council and I need greater clarity on the details, as some aspects of the proposal were vague.”

He said once that information is complete, the proposal will be back before the council.

Concept plans show four structures across three zoning districts: MSRD 3, the General Business (B-1) district and the General Development 1 and 2 districts, which are the existing downtown commercial shoreland zoning districts.

The plan includes a parking structure set back from the river, next to the railroad tracks to handle residential parking, according to a memo to the council by Planning and Development Director Mathew Eddy.

Eddy said sewer line improvements associated with infiltration and storm water separation are planned, and noted connection of a road system and rear entrance and exit to Main Street may be required.

The proposed agreement between the city and Lord & Harrington, LLC calls for the developer to construct, at its expense, a river walk along the entire shore of the Saco River on both the Diamond property and the lot that is currently owned by the city.

A memo from attorney Ralph Austin, who is representing the developers, notes that the company would create the Diamond Match Park.

The proposal calls for Lord & Harrington to use its best efforts to acquire another, unnamed property in the city for a portion of the project, and if unable to reach an agreement, would pay Biddeford $1 million as additional consideration for the city-owned property.

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