Here is an alternate view. The IDEALS development at the B&M Baked Bean site isn’t the only option, or even the best option. There are other properties out there that would actually suit the size of the original proposed development much better.

Is this the best site for a 1.2 million square foot development? If it is only to succeed with a bar, restaurant, hotel, business incubator, business space for rent, retail business and a day care, are we really doing a service to anyone if it’s a nightmare to access the site? Will anyone actually want to go there? Will anyone want to hang out in their “green space” right next to I-295?

When we talk about a proposed development that would be larger than the Maine Mall, wouldn’t it make more sense to build all of that in a location with more than one two-lane road? There is no fixing the fact that there is only one small road in or out. Sure, the developers can choose to build a multimillion dollar off-ramp onto the development, but they probably won’t. Just as the majority of their students, professors and employees at the various businesses probably won’t bike to the site, or take a water taxi when, for half the cost, they could take a land taxi.

I’m all for the Roux Institute and I hope it succeeds, but why aren’t the developers looking for a site with better access? As a matter of fact, there’s a 69-acre site for sale in Saco.

Justin Litchfield

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