The developer of the Rock Row project in Westbrook announced Tuesday that it has acquired 17 acres adjacent to the 110 acres it already owns, saying the investment was driven by strong interest in the retail-residential project at the former quarry on the border with Portland.

Waterstone Properties has acquired control of two additional parcels, a 2.5-acre former chemical processing facility at 50 Larrabee Road and a 14.6-acre parcel on Rand Road, the company said in a news release.

The company said the acquisitions stem from the popularity and success of its $600 million development, which is expected to have more than 2 million square feet of mixed-use conference, event, hotel, healthcare, medical, office, retail and residential space. The project is being built around a 400-foot-wide quarry that is 300 feet deep and filled with water.

Phase 1 of the development, which the company said is 98 percent occupied, includes several well known commercial tenants including an 80,000-square-foot Market Basket supermarket, sporting goods chain REI, The Paper Store, Chick-fil-A, Cowbell Burger & Bar, Starbucks, Firehouse Subs, Big Fin Poke, US Cellular, and a 112-room boutique Element Hotel by Westin.

The next phase to be developed will feature a downtown “Urban Village” behind Market Basket, and the Rock Row Medical & Research Campus, which will be anchored by the New England Cancer Specialists and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. It is scheduled to open in late 2023, Waterstone said in its release.

“The national and international interest in Rock Row has exceeded our most aggressive projections,” Josh Levy, a partner in Waterstone Properties, said in a statement. “As Rock Row is filling up, we know we will need the additional space soon, either as an overflow to Rock Row or as a place for complementary attractions. The parcels will undoubtedly be put to good use and support the success and economic impact of Rock Row to the region.”


Maine’s International Trade Center also has introduced several international prospects to Rock Row. Dana Eidsness of the International Trade Center said Rock Row has gotten the attention of companies around the world. Its combination of retail and restaurant uses along with housing is attracting interest from outside Maine, he said.

“It’s really something Maine and the region has not seen before. It is proving to be a tremendous draw,” Eidsness said of Rock Row.

Levy said Waterstone, which does not have any signed commitments for developing the 17 acres, is exploring potential partnerships that could include graduate student and workforce housing. Other possibilities include a lab for life science companies, biotech incubator labs and a large sports complex that could host schools and athletes from along the East Coast.

The company expects that Rock Row, once completed, will attract more than six million visitors a year.

Waterstone Properties Group, Inc. is a privately owned and self-funded real estate development company with a portfolio of properties across the United States.

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