Developers propose convention center outside Portland
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The developers of a complex in Westbrook are proposing to build a large convention center there and are seeking funding from a proposed public bond issue.
Massachusetts-based Waterstone Properties is interested in amending a bill that currently would provide funding for a convention center in Portland and improvements to the Augusta Civic Center through a $115 million bond issue, the Portland Press Herald reported on Thursday.
The developer is already building a large multiuse development at Rock Row, the site of a former quarry located off Interstate 95 in Westbrook, which includes restaurant, retail, office and venue space.
In a release Thursday, the group detailed plans for a convention center and events space at the site that could accommodate 8,200 people and would be designed for corporate events, trade shows and live performances. They are forecasting the cost to be $75 million and say they could start construction as early as 2023.
“We think the area can’t support two similar venues that are close to one another,” said Greg John, a spokesperson for Waterstone Properties. “If there is going to be a facility anywhere, it has to be at Rock Row. We can plan for infrastructure, not plopping something in a downtown neighborhood that is congested and has parking problems.”
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