A Rock Row mural, in the style of the Westbrook mural on Main Street, is part of an art exhibit behind Market Basket.

Construction of the medical campus at Rock Row in Westbrook has forced some scheduling changes for other new construction at the 110-acre multi-use development, the developer says.

Construction had been slated for this year on residences, a hotel, brew hall and food area. Those projects have been pushed back, according to Greg John of Waterstone Properties, because the New England Cancer Specialists project came about unexpectedly and took shape sooner than expected. Work on the cancer treatment and research center will begin in a few months, he said, with an opening planned for late 2023.

Lisa Peters and Brandon Ouellette, both of Windham, chat outside Starbucks at Rock Row in Westbrook. Starbucks was part of the first phase of the project, which has been completed.

The hotel and brew hall among other components are still very much a part of the plan for the 2-million-square-foot site, John said.

“We didn’t have plans for a large medical and research campus in our initial timeline. So when the medical campus came into play … it required us to move some buildings around. That takes time,” he said.

Construction on the brew hall likely will start in 2023 and the hotel is slated to open in 2024. Work will begin this year on some of the residential units, with further details about that coming soon, John said.

The outdoor concert venue, Maine Savings Pavilion, has been shut down so the nearby medical campus construction can begin.

Future plans call for a conference center that can serve as a music venue, a departure from earlier plans that included an outdoor amphitheater for concerts and other performances.

A Cinemark movie theater is still in the plans, John said, but “the great interest and success that Rock Row is generating out of the gate always keeps us open for ways to maximize the best use of every available space.”

The change in plans is not a concern to the city of Westbrook, which remains “very excited” about the development.

“We are very excited about this because this is consistent and fulfillment of the commitment Waterstone had to a true mixed use development on this site,” City Administrator Jerre Bryant told the American Journal Tuesday. “They lead with retail, but the medical campus is very exciting. It’s going to have a strong lasting impact on the community and region.”

The pandemic has had little impact on the Rock Row project overall, John said.

“Rock Row is extremely fortunate that we have not been significantly delayed by the pandemic. We are moving full speed ahead. Of course, we are part of the world. We all were impacted in some way or another by COVID. But any delays on our end were relatively minimal. We’re talking months, not years,” he said.

Phase one at Rock Row is nearly entirely occupied, John said, with Chik-fil-A soon joining Market Basket, Starbucks, Paper Store, U.S. Cellular and others.

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