A package worth $16.3 million in low-interest financing has been approved for a shopping center and proposed multi-use complex in Westbrook.

Finance Authority of Maine board members voted Thursday in favor of conduit bond financing for Dirigo Center Developers LLC, the Maine affiliate of Massachusetts-based Waterstone Properties Group.

The FAME vote came less than 24 hours after the board of the Greater Portland Metro bus system agreed to lease the road network in the shopping complex in exchange for a $175,000 payment from Waterstone. That lease allows the developer to spend some bond money on infrastructure within the development.

FAME spokesman Bill Norbert said the timing of the two votes was purely coincidental and the bond item was already on the authority board’s monthly agenda.

The authority only acts as a pass-through for bonds and assumes no risk because of the borrowing, Norbert said.

“It is just a conduit bond. There is no liability on the part of the state or FAME,” he said. “It is giving the borrower access to favorable interest rates.”

Waterstone still needs to find a buyer for the bonds.

Some of the borrowed money will be spent on improvements to several traffic intersections and an Interstate 95 interchange near the development.

Waterstone is building a shopping center anchored by a Market Basket supermarket on a former quarry between Main Street and Larrabee Road.

The company plans to build a 66-acre campus that includes housing, shopping, dining and entertainment on the property. Last week it received city approval for an 8,200-seat amphitheater and 1,200-space parking garage on the southern end of the property.

Peter McGuire can be contacted at 791-6325 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @PeteL_McGuire

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