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September 14, 2020

Scarborough contractor finds plenty of room to grow at Downs’ Innovation District

Courtesy / Ryan Senatore Architecture Ducas Construction plans construction of a 12,000-square-foot headquarters, with part of it to be leased out.

The fifth of 54 lots has sold at the Innovation District, a mixed-use industrial park located at The Downs in Scarborough.

DC at the Downs LLC bought the 1.1-acre Lot 53 from Crossroad Holdings LLC for $275,000. 

Drew Sigfridson and Jon Rizzo of the Boulos Co. and Sam LeGeyt of NAI The Dunham Group brokered the deal, which closed April 13.

DC at the Downs LLC is owned by Patrick Ducas, president of Ducas Construction Inc., which plans to build its new headquarters in the Innovation District.

The total cost of acquisition and construction is expected to be $1.9 million. Ducas bought the land in cash and obtained a construction loan from Gorham Savings Bank.

Ducas retained Portland’s Ryan Senatore Architecture and Portland civil engineering firm Acorn Engineering Inc. for design and engineering. His firm will handle construction.

Ducas founded the construction management and general contracting firm in 2015 to serve the commercial market in Maine and southern New England. 

The firm is currently located in a 2,000-square-foot unit, serving as both office and warehouse, at 3 Southgate Road, just about across the street from the Innovation District.

The plan is to build a 12,000-square-foot building on Lot 53. Ducas plans to move his company into half of that space, using 2,000 square feet for offices and 4,000 square feet at a shop and warehouse.

The remaining space will be divided into two units and leased out to generate income, he said.

Ducas grew up in Massachusetts and has been in construction since high school, working for Metric Construction for many years in both the commercial and high-end residential markets in the Boston area. Married to a Mainer, the couple decided to move to Maine when they started their family.

He had more than 20 years in the business when he started his own company.

That first year, 2015, he had two employees and completed a couple of hundred thousand dollars worth of projects. The company immediately took off, reaching about $2 million in revenue in 2016 and is expected to do $15 to $20 million worth of work this year. He now has 13 employees.

“We’ve been lucky with the timing,” he said. “Since I've been in Maine, the market has exploded. There’s been no shortage of work. We’ve been lucky to work with good developers and architects and consultants. And we’ve had successful projects — it’s a small town, so word spreads.”

The company now has quite a few projects going. That includes renovation of the 10-story People’s United Bank building at 465 Congress St., Portland; as well as home and office construction. 

Courtesy / Ducas Construction Inc.
Ducas Construction several years ago renovated an Old Port building for national retailer West Elm.

He’s run out of room to grow at his current location. He looked for a while elsewhere in Scarborough for a potential expansion site.

“As The Downs started to develop, it was really the answer we were looking for,” he said.

Features of the new headquarters will include large loading bays in the rear and a dimensional-relief front façade accented with nice cladding material and a lot of windows.

Courtesy / Ryan Senatore Architecture
Features of the new headquarters will include large loading bays in the rear.

“It should look fantastic when people are driving down the street,” he said. “And we’ve done a nice landscaping package around the parking lot, so it won’t look like a metal warehouse.”

He said he’ll break ground when a first tenant is signed up; that could be later this month. A September groundbreaking would mean completion by next July.

LeGeyt, who represented Ducas on the transaction, is handling the leasing.

The 154-acre Innovation District is designed for light industrial, manufacturing, tech, commercial, medical and retail users. Abutting Payne Road, it comprises 54 flexible lots that will accommodate 5,000- to 100,000-square-foot end users and three commercial gateway sites, plus 55 acres of open space. According to its website, 13 lots are under contract and 26 lots are under consideration.

Courtesy / The Boulos Co.
A Scarborough contractor will build a new, expanded headquarters at Innovation District’s Lot 53, seen at center-bottom.

The park is a section of Crossroad Holdings LLC’s 510-acre mixed-use development featuring residential, retail and commercial neighborhoods at the former Scarborough Downs. 

AV Technik and Scorebuilders bought the first two lots in the district last December.

Scarce industrial space and short development timelines are among the factors driving interest in the district.


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