WATERVILLE — A strip mall proposed for the site of the former Weathervane restaurant and Lucien’s Car Wash at 470 Kennedy Memorial Drive could include retail and restaurant businesses and may in the future include a professional office.

That was the word Monday night from representatives of Marden’s Surplus & Salvage, which seeks to build the 28,654-square-foot strip mall.

Steve Govoni, an engineer for Wentworth Partners & Associates Inc. of Skowhegan and Marden’s facility manager, Nathan Mangin, presented the mall plans to the Planning Board Monday, saying they hope to return to the board within the next month or so. At that time, planners would review the proposal under the city’s site plan review and subdivision review ordinance.

Govoni said the plan is to eliminate existing road entrances along Kennedy Memorial Drive to the site and all access to the property will be through Marden’s entryway and off-road.

All utilities including those related to domestic water, fire, electrical and communications exist on site and the only thing that would be needed is natural gas, which would come down Airport Road to Kennedy Memorial Drive and the mall site, according to Govoni. The sewerage also needs to be updated and a 10-inch main would be added to run parallel to Kennedy Memorial Drive with an 8-inch main to the building, he said.

Planning Board member Scott Fortin asked how many tenants are proposed for the mall and Mangin said it depends on how much space the tenants need. He and Govoni said retail sales and restaurant businesses are proposed for the site but they also would like to have a professional office there in the future.


“Right now we’re talking to one specific tenant — we have nothing in writing,” Mangin said.

If an anchor tenant is confirmed, construction would start as soon as possible, they said.

Marden’s co-owner John Marden said in a phone interview Friday that a couple of different businesses are interested in being in the mall, but nothing has been signed yet, so he can not reveal their identities.

“Right now it’s just sitting there vacant,” he said of the lots, adding that he’d like to draw businesses to the city and help expand the tax base.

Marden’s owns both the former Weathervane and Lucien’s lots, which are near the northwest corner of the Marden’s store parking lot, right off exit 127 of Interstate 95.

Marden and his brother, Ham, bought the former car wash several years ago, then leased it for about two years to a business that cut wood and trees and sold Christmas trees on the lot.


The Weathervane closed in January 2015, laying off 25 people. It had opened in 1986 and was one of four Weathervanes that closed because of economic conditions, officials from Kittery-based Weathervane Seafoods said at the time. The Silent Woman restaurant was at the site before it became the Weathervane.

In other matters Monday, the board voted 6-0 to approve a final plan by Spectrum Generations Muskie Center to expand its parking lot at 38 Gold St. Michael Harcek, Spectrum’s director of facilities, said the organization is in the process of buying an adjacent property to be used for the expansion.

Planning Board member Tom Nale noted that City Engineer Greg Brown discussed fencing or buffers in a letter about the project.

“What would you like to see?” Nale asked Brown. “What do you think is appropriate here?”

Brown said he wanted to hear from Spectrum officials about how they plan to use the lot, with Harcek saying evening use would be limited but in the future, it could be used more during that time. Harcek cited a chain link fence with slats as a buffer or shield. Planning Board Chairman Paul Lussier said that is a superior product; Board member Bruce White agreed.

“I like the idea,” he said. “I think it will look nice for them and it’s easy to maintain.”


The board voted 6-0 to approve the project with several conditions, including that a 6-foot chain link, slatted fence be installed.

The board voted 6-0 to issue Merici Woods LP a 1-year extension on a plan to convert the former Mount Merici convent at 172 Western Ave. to 28 apartments for low-income elderly residents.

The board also voted 6-0 to recommend to the City Council that 2 Cottage St. be rezoned from Commercial C to Residential C so Jodi Heath can meet the building setback requirements for building a residential garage. The Planning Board may make only a recommendation on the request, and the decision is up to the City Council.

Board member Lauren LePage was absent from Monday’s meeting.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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