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February 19, 2019

Two-thirds of Scarborough Downs homes already sold

Courtesy / Aceto Landscape Architects|Gorrill Palmer
Courtesy / Aceto Landscape Architects|Gorrill Palmer
Single-family one- and two-bedroom homes at the new Scarborough Downs development are selling quickly.

Twenty-three of 30 planned single-family houses have gone under contract in a matter of days at The Downs, the new mixed-use redevelopment of Scarborough Downs.

The real estate team expected the houses to go quickly, but not as quickly as they have sold, Rocco Risbara III told Mainebiz.

Risbara, of Risbara Bros. Construction in Scarborough, is one of the developers behind a plan to transform the 500-acre Scarborough Downs site into a walkable community with land for residential, commercial and light industrial use.

"We're pleasantly surprised by how quickly the residential units are going," he said.

Site preparation for the residential component began last October.

The one- and two-bedroom homes, ranging in size from 1,600 to 2,500 square feet, are priced in the mid-$300,000s, according to The Downs website.

The mid-$300,000 price point accommodates an under-served population in Scarborough, Risbara said.

"We recognized that $300,000 market was under-served in greater Portland in general, but especially in Scarborough," he said. "Generally, prices start well above that."

Buyers will be given a choice of several standard house plans, with not much customization, he said, adding that this helps keep the price point down.

Occupancy is expected by this spring and summer.

The residential component of the project is on 50 acres, some of which is wetlands. The area comprises the 30 single-family homes plus 48 condominium units and 48 apartment units.

Foundations for condominiums and apartments have been poured and wood framing has started on the first apartment building.

Nine of the condo units have been reserved; those are being sold in low- to mid-$200,000 range.

"The houses seem to appeal to families," said Ribara. "The condos, I think, will appeal more to empty-nesters and also maybe to younger folks just getting started. The price point is pretty attractive to first-time buyers as well as empty-nesters."

The residential plan follows on market research conducted to determine underserved markets, said Risbara. He attributed the fast sales to accessible price points and to the development's overall concept for a planned community with mixed uses, including commercial and light industrial use.

The commercial component is in the permitting stage, he said.

An 'under-served' market

Courtesy / Aceto Landscape Architects|Gorrill Palmer
Courtesy / Aceto Landscape Architects|Gorrill Palmer
The residential component for Crossroads Holdings LLC’s Scarborough Downs development covers 50 acres.

"We recognize that the greater Portland area has a low vacancy factor in light industrial space," he said. "We're seeking approval now on a 55-lot subdivision that will serve that need. We've had a lot of people inquiring about it already."

Construction of roads, infrastructure and buildings for the commercial part will begin after approvals are in hand, expected this summer, he said.

Two sets of brothers — William, Marc and Rocco Risbara III, of Risbara Bros., and Peter and Richard Michaud, formerly of Michaud Distributors — bought Scarborough Downs under the business name Crossroads Holdings LLC, in a deal that was announced in December 2017.

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