Friday, April 2, 2021

Real Estate: Commercial Real Estate business picking up in Windham

By Larry Eliason

The Quarry Ridge Business Park, at Enterprise Drive and Bedrock Terrace, has come back to life with a substantial amount of new commercial real estate activity this year. Three commercial lots have sold this winter and there are three more commercial lots with sales pending. These are in addition to a large parcel that has been under contract with Copart for at least the past two years and is finally coming to fruition.

The intent of the Enterprise Development District is to provide a unique area within the Town of Windham to allow manufacturing, processing, treatment, warehousing, storage, research, and distribution with safe, well-regulated vehicle access located off a major street which can conform to the performance standards set forth in this section and in all other applicable ordinances of the Town of Windham. 

The following uses are currently allowed in the Enterprise Development District:

Auction House, Automobile Auction Facility, Automobile Repair Services, Building, Accessory, Business and Professional Office, Contractor Services, Contractor Storage Yard, Construction Services, Heavy, Major Construction Services, Heavy, Minor, Convention Center, Distribution Facility, Forestry, Hotel, Industry, Heavy, Industry, Light, Marijuana Cultivation Facility, Marijuana Manufacturing Facility, Marijuana Testing Facility, Mineral Extraction, Motel, Public Utility Facility, Retail Sales, Accessory, Small Engine Repair, Use, Accessory Warehousing, Private Warehousing, Public, Wireless Telecommunications Tower and Facility 

One of the biggest changes and a big factor in new development at this business park is the addition of Marijuana Operations being permitted in this zone by the Town of Windham. The Planning Office specifically chose this zone as one of two zones for Marijuana Operations going forward. The other zone chosen was the Industrial Zone.

One of the biggest challenges that I see in this zone is that it is accessed from Route 302 via Enterprise Drive, a non-signalized intersection. We could certainly use help from stakeholders such as our town leaders and staff, legislators, business and real estate owners, residents, and others to seek a partnership with the MDOT to make a signalized light at Enterprise Drive a reality.

From a Commercial Broker’s perspective, there could be tens of millions in investment in this massive business park site with sound planning and infrastructure. A signalized light at Enterprise Drive and Route 302 is in my opinion, a piece of infrastructure that could dramatically improve ingress and egress, make that intersection a lot safer and of course attract new businesses and development.

Larry Eliason, a Commercial Broker with Butts Commercial Brokers, is the President of the Windham Economic Development Corporation.


** Quarry Ridge Business Park off Enterprise Drive is located on about 1,000 acres of land. Phase 1A was built in 2004 and was anchored by Genest Concrete products and LaValley Lumber Building Supply. The LaValley property was acquired by Tube Hollows International in 2012.

Phase 1B was approved by the town of Windham in 2006 and since then mining of the gravel pit and quarry has progressed enough to leave behind flat buildable lots available for industrial use. The entire development is served by public water, electric and natural gas. Phase 2 planning is now under way and will be available later this season.

There is an existing MDOT traffic movement plan in place that will eventually include a much-needed traffic signal at the intersection of Enterprise Drive and Rt. 302. Many hours of the day it is exceedingly difficult to make a left-hand turn onto Rt. 302 due to oncoming traffic, especially in the summer months.

There is a “trips per day” generated threshold to trigger the signal installation which is still relatively far away per MDOT standards. “Every town has its strengths and weaknesses that help or hinder economic development. This is a large part of why towns or cities located near the I-95 corridor and these types of developments with signalized intersections and efficient ingress and egress, are generally built out sooner.”

Grondin and Town officials met with MDOT several years ago to discuss obtaining approval sooner than later for this signal but were unsuccessful. Grondin and the town plan to seek approvals from MDOT as part of upcoming Phase 2 approvals.

Ken Grondin, Landowner and Developer Quarry Ridge Business Park

** “Windham Economic Development Corporation supports smart economic development in North Windham– specifically companies and businesses with innovative ideas and good-paying careers for Maine people with families. Enterprise Drive offers great space for manufacturers, entrepreneurs, value-added food processors, and other businesses that can attract talented workforce to our town. New businesses also support our existing businesses and retailers, which helps everyone.”

Charlotte Mace, Vice President of Windham Economic Development Corporation and Director of the Office of Business Development at the Maine Department of Economic & Community Development

** “Currently, when we think of business activity in Windham, we think of the busy North Windham Commercial District along Route 302. And, while the town is working to make improvements to this business district through the “21st Century Downtown” and the ongoing wastewater management initiatives, there is another commercially zoned district just north of the “Strip” that the Windham Economic Development Corporation believes will be Windham’s future for commercially oriented development, and that is the Quarry Ridge Business Park from Enterprise Drive” stated Tom Bartell, WEDC Executive Director. “With hundreds of acres of developable land available, and the Enterprise Development District Zoning in place, the Quarry Ridge Business Park is poised to become the next commercial center in Windham and the Sebago Lakes Region” Bartell added.

Tom Bartell, Executive Director

Windham Economic Development Corporation

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