Bangor is being eyed as the potential site of a mixed-use development similar to Rock Row, the Westbrook project’s creator said Friday.
Waterstone Properties, the Massachusetts company behind Rock Row, would like to do a thoughtful, mixed-use project in the Queen City, the company’s co-founder told the Bangor Daily News.
“Bangor is such an untapped, incredible market, and it serves such a large area,” Waterstone co-founder Josh Levy said. “We would love to do a version of Rock Row there.”
Developments in both cities are important as more than shopping and entertainment centers. The Westbrook project plans to add hundreds of housing units, some for potential employees. Businesses across the state have had difficulty hiring because of housing shortages. Some 750 residences are planned at the Westbrook site from studios to three bedrooms to help relieve commuting and traffic issues.
Bangor officials have not yet heard from Levy, but want more specifics, said Anne Krieg, director of community and economic development for the city.
“I would love that here,” she said. “I will definitely reach out to him.”
Levy is still trying to find the right site for such a project. He declined to discuss further details. Krieg said there are large properties available near the airport and the Bangor Mall.
Levy said he would tie any potential project to the community, as Waterstone did with Rock Row. There, he worked with local transportation authorities and others to try to get as many workers as possible to take public transportation to avoid traffic jams.
Rock Row initially received complaints about noise from concerts that could be heard in Portland, but those are temporarily on hold as the developers build out other parts of the location.
Located off the Maine Turnpike between exits 47 and 48, the 110-acre Rock Row has retailers including Market Basket and REI, some restaurants and the concert venue. It soon will have a craft brewer, Lone Pine Brewery. Levy said he wants a mix of local and national retailers.
When it is fully built out between 2025 and 2026 it will include a state-of-the-art cancer center, a cross-laminated timber office building, a convention center, a cinema, walking paths and other attractions.
All will revolve around a unique feature, a former quarry that will be turned into a 400-foot-deep lake that is almost a mile around.
Levy expects Rock Row, when completed, will create up to 8,000 jobs and have an economic output of almost $1.7 billion, making it one of the largest economic development projects in the state.