SCARBOROUGH — Developers of The Downs reported that the project is still exceeding municipal requirements laid out in a credit enhancement agreement, but Scarborough’s new growth management ordinance is a concern.

In its annual report to the Town Council on Sept. 1, representatives from Crossroads Holdings, the developers of The Downs, said that the project has been exceeding municipal requirements it has with the town of Scarborough, creating $75 million in taxable value for the town, with the expectation of exceeding $194 million in value by 2023.

In 2018, The Downs and the town of Scarborough entered a Credit Enhancement Agreement worth as much as $81 million over 30 years, reported the Press Herald. The project is located on about 500 acres.

Part of the project includes a downtown or town center, currently under discussion through the Downtown Development Committee, which is planning to report a recommendation in the coming weeks.

Peter Michaud, a developer from Crossroads Holdings, said that the downtown will need approximately 1,000 additional units to bring in business, supporting and properly mixing the development. The units are expected to be completed within five to seven years.

Scarborough Town Council recently passed a new growth management ordinance, which is not fitting well with the The Downs, Dan Bacon, of Crossroads Holdings, said. The new ordinance caps allocated growth permits at 144 per year and removed fractionalization, something that had allowed for multiple units under a single growth permit.

“The growth management ordinance doesn’t fit well currently without the exemption process for a project like Crossroads and The Downs and doesn’t fit well with the type and pace of housing necessary to proceed further with the project,” he said. “We’re in very good shape with the council’s support in the spring around what’s already planned and approved, the town center residential area, and that was a great solution to proceed in the short term with that area of the project. Where we need to work with the council moving forward is to continue the project, to activate the downtown, to proceed beyond what’s currently in the permitting pipeline.”

The downtown is going to be a $25 million investment for developers in order to get started, Michaud said.

“We’re certainly concerned with the risks associated with that, the way the current GMO is written,” he said.

Council Chair Paul Johnson said that The Downs developers at this time have not applied formally for any growth permitting exemptions.

Currently, in Johnson’s opinion, there does not seem to be a legal need for the town to give The Downs exemptions for the downtown development, he said.

“I think you need an exemption to execute the downtown, and I think that’s fair, but I don’t think you need an exemption legally,” he said. “I think at this point we need to figure that out because that’s an important nuance, right?”

Councilor John Cloutier said the new growth management ordinance was in part designed to help developers and provide a pathway forward for The Downs. He added that the next step developers should take is to communicate with the town about the future of the project.

The Downtown Development Committee will be sharing its report with the Town Council soon, said Councilor Jon Anderson. He said he hopes that the alleged need for 1,000 dwelling units doesn’t overshadow the work of the committee.

According to the report, The Downs has created $62.5 million in direct revenue, with a total economic impact of $105 million. By 2023, there will be 1.3 million square feet of non-residential development in The Downs, tripling the municipal requirement within a 10-year period.

Phases one and two of residential units are sold out, reported The Downs, consisting of over 200 units, 39 affordable senior units and a 12-bed memory care home.

The Downs also reported that within the next five years, over 50 businesses should open in the project’s Innovation District.

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