Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

May 1, 2019

Rock Row music venue will be ready for May 26 opening

Courtesy / Waterstone Properties Group A rendering of the Maine Savings Pavilion at Rock Row in Westbrook, which opens later this month.

WESTBROOK Developers, city and construction company officials and representatives from Waterfront Concerts and Maine Savings Federal Credit Union braved rain Tuesday to celebrate the summer concert venue at the site of the Rock Row mixed-use development.

Maine Savings Pavilion at Rock Row, an 8,200-seat amphitheater, on May 26 will host the first of up to 16 concerts this year. The concert featuring hip-hop artist Anderson Paak will be the first commercial venture at the 120-acre former quarry site on the Portland line, where a 1 million-square foot commercial, residential and office village is planned by Waterstone Properties Group, of Needham, Mass.

Tuesday's event focused on just a small aspect of the project the outdoor concert venue that has been built on a man-made hill in the center of the site. The venue includes a 108-foot-by-60-foot covered stage, lawn seating, parking and concessions. The stage will be the largest in southern Maine, with a 175,000-pound load capacity.

The concerts will run through September, and will result in as many as 100 new full-time equivalent jobs in venue operations, parking, security and concessions, Waterstone has said.

Hampden-based Maine Savings Federal Credit Union recently expanded into the Portland market, opening a Forest Avenue branch in December. The credit union is sponsoring the concert venue, including the name of the concert venue.

CEO and President John Reed noted that the Bangor-area credit union wanted to introduce itself to the Portland market. "I can't think of a better way," he told the gathering.

Waterfront Concerts, which is producing the series, began in Bangor more than two decades ago. Chris Rudolph, senior director of corporate partnerships, said it began with a couple people sitting around in Old Town trying to figure out a career path that could keep them in Maine. Now Waterfront Concerts has 25 full-time year-round employees and hundreds of seasonal ones.

The Bangor series the company puts on this summer will cross the $200 million mark in economic impact in the region. Rudolph said that a goal of the company has always been to help the economy of their community. "And we have the same opportunity here," he said.

Waterfront Concerts has sponsored a Bangor concert series since 2010 at a venue that seats 16,000. Its Portland series has been held on the Maine State Pier, and is moving to the Westbrook site, more than doubling the audience capacity.

At the gathering Tuesday, the progress of the development and the cooperation between developers, city and the contractor, Shaw Brothers, and others involved was also noted.

Daniel Stevenson, Westbrook economic development director, said it was important the project had "connectivity with the city." He said the developers worked closely with city officials throughout the process, and continue to.

"The benefit is, we're going to see all of Westbrook rise," because of the project, he said.

Josh Levy, founding principal of Waterstone Properties Group, said the partnership with the city is key, as well as the effort of Gorham-based Shaw Brothers.

Neal Shalom, also a Waterstone founding principal, added, that there were "hundreds of reasons" the project shouldn't have come together as quickly and as well as it did. "I've never in 40 years in the business seen it come together like this."

Aside from the concert venue, the first phase of the project, a retail complex with a Market Basket supermarket near the intersection of Larrabee Road and Brighton Avenue, is underway and due to open next year. The rest of the project is expected to take several years.

Sign up for Enews


Order a PDF