April 08, 2020

Planners delay presentation on project

ELLSWORTH – Before Wednesday night’s planning board meeting even started, members decided that no matter what happened, they would adjourn by 11 p.m.

Unfortunately, that decision didn’t give W/S Development Associates, which is planning a large-scale shopping center in Ellsworth, much time to present its updated plans.

Another agenda item took up a majority of the planning board’s time, leaving the developers with no choice but to come back next month and try again.

City planner Michele Gagnon said Thursday W/S’s representatives took the decision well. A special meeting has been set for Wednesday, Nov. 8.

W/S Development Associates of Chestnut Hill, Mass., has plans for nearly 500,000 square feet of retail development in Ellsworth’s Myrick triangle area, between Route 3 and Route 1.

The 200,000-square foot anchor store for that development is widely considered to be a Wal-Mart Supercenter, but another 25 additional tenants are being courted for the Acadia Crossing shopping center.

The first phase of the project was construction of The Home Depot in 2001. The second phase has been stalled because of needed road improvements and a debate over who should pay for those improvements.

A deal was struck between the city, the Maine Department of Transportation and W/S, paving the way for the new development.

Robert Frazier, W/S vice president, and Mike Waugh, the project’s traffic engineer, addressed on Wednesday some road improvements and traffic concerns related to the development, but didn’t get far.

Many members of the public attended the meeting with hopes of voicing their concerns, but they didn’t get much of a chance either.

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