This rendering shows the design of Maine’s first Costco store, to be built at the corner of Payne and Scarborough Downs roads in Scarborough. Contributed / Costco Wholesale

The Scarborough Planning Board on Monday unanimously approved plans for a Costco Wholesale store at The Downs development.

The Scarborough store would likely open late next year or in early 2024, according to the town.  A spokesperson for Costco has said the company does not comment on any new store until it is three months away from opening.

The project at Payne and Scarborough roads is awaiting the go-ahead from the state Department of Environmental Protection. Pending that approval, which Costco representatives said is expected in mid-September, Costco is working on local building permits.

The 5-0 vote for the project came after Costco convinced the Planning Board of the need for its oversized parking spaces, demonstrated how taller light poles are more effective and provided a right-turn-only lane into its gas station, issues that the board had challenged.

“I know Costco is a very successful business,” said board member Roger Beeley. “I think you know what you want, what your customers want and need … as far as I can see (you’ve done) most of the things we’ve asked you to do, and I’m ready to move forward because I don’t see anything dramatic that’s holding this all up.”

Waivers granted include permitting driving aisles between rows of parking spaces to be 24 feet wide, rather than 25 feet required by the town’s ordinances. Another waiver allows 36.5-foot-tall light posts as opposed to the town’s standard of 20 feet. Two more pertain to commercial design standards on the building being separated from the street by the parking lot, and the building’s façade.


The approval also comes with a list of conditions, including working with staff on parking lot light intensity and paying traffic impact fees.

Costco also added a pedestrian path from the back of the parking lot on Payne Road to the main entrance, creating a route for customers navigating the parking lot.

The Scarborough store would be the first in Maine for Costco Wholesale, which operates 828 big-box, membership-only stores worldwide, 572 of which are in the United States and Puerto Rico, 16 of which are in New England. As of December 2021, the store had over 113 million members, according to Forbes. It sells a wide variety of goods, from groceries and furniture to electronics and clothing.

“Congratulations,” said Planning Board Chairperson Rachel Hendrickson following the vote. “I look forward to becoming a member.”

This story was updated Aug. 31 to include a potential opening date.


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