A rendering of what the proposed residential units at the Enterprise Business Park would look like. Contributed

Developers of Enterprise Business Park, hoping to add 336 residential units in 14 three-story buildings, asked the Scarborough Town Council Wednesday if they should seek an exemption from the town’s building permit cap.

Business park owner David Miley said he realized the request comes at a time when there “may be a little bit of an anti-growth sentiment in town for development.”

But the workforce housing project, which began in 2017, has conceptual designs and financial partners in place, Miley said.

“We’re coming here to ask you, can we complete the project that we’ve started, which is half-finished,” he said.

Enterprise Business Park, located on Route 1 between Haigis Parkway and Scarborough Downs Road, has about 300,000 square-feet of office, medical, research, and service industry space. While originally intended to be exclusively commercial, plans changed in 2017 to a mixed-use format. A master plan for the park, including both commercial and residential use, was endorsed by the town council at a workshop in January 2017.

The town currently allows 144 residential unit permits per year, with the allotment to developers capped at 20%. However, because Enterprise Business Park is located in a designated growth area, its developers are eligible to apply for 30% of the 144 pool, equating to 43 units per year.


Miley said the lag time between receiving preliminary approval for the project and getting the necessary permits has cost him two financial partners. He now has a third.

“Other people in town are getting permits, so maybe you can see if I do feel a little bit like, yeah, it’s not quite fair,” he said.

Enterprise Business Park now generates over $1 million annually in tax revenue for the town, Miley said. He estimates that $750,000 more will be added when the remaining commercial space is built, and an additional $750,000 from the proposed residential project will add $1.5 million for a total of $2.5 million.

The residential component of the project, developers said, could take up to three years to complete.

Councilors at the workshop Wednesday said it was up to developers whether they pursue a special zoning contract, which could result in more permits, or apply for an exemption from the permit cap stipulated by the town’s growth management ordinance.

Applying for a contract zone has its own hurdles, they said, and they are still trying to get a handle on how GMO exemptions work.


“We are literally in the midst of our first request,” said Councilor April Sither.

The Downs is currently seeking a limited exemption from the town’s GMO for a 90-acre portion of their 525-acre downtown development. They have requested the right to build 430 units over five years, equating to 86 per year.

The residential part of the business park development is planned as workforce housing. North Carolina-based developing firm LMC largely replicates the layout of its residential units across the country, said Dan Lee, a divisional president at LMC.

“That limited design cost enables us to keep the overall soft cost down,” he said. “We’re trying to target that workforce because we don’t have to charge top dollar.”

While still set on pacing the number of permits made available for the developers, the council will give consideration to whatever application process the developers eventually choose.

A conceptual design of the proposed residential expansion of the Enterprise Business Park in Scarborough is highlighted at the top of the image, with existing and proposed trails marked with dotted lines. Contributed / Town of Scarborough

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