One of the world’s largest retailers wants to build its first big-box retail store in Maine at the site of the former Scarborough Downs horse track.

The Scarborough Planning Board will conduct a sketch plan review Monday night of Costco Wholesale’s proposed 161,000-square foot retail/wholesale building and gas station, according to plans filed with the town’s planning department.

The virtual meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.

The retail building would be at the intersection of Payne Road and Scarborough Downs Road and be part of the Scarborough Downs Innovation District, according to Costco’s application. Costco is also proposing a paved parking area with space for 794 vehicles, loading areas, landscaping, sidewalks and stormwater and utility improvements.

The Innovation District will be within walking distance of a new town center, which is still being designed. Both districts will occupy land adjacent to or on the former Scarborough Downs harness racing track, which hosted its last live race in 2020. Crossroads Holdings LLC, which purchased the racetrack in 2018, is redeveloping the 525-acre site.

The project will also include hundreds of housing options, from single-family homes to apartments and condominiums; restaurants and other services, according to the master plan posted on The Downs website.

Costco’s media relations department could not be reached Tuesday evening for additional details about the proposed Scarborough store and there was no indication on the Costco website that the company plans to open a store in Maine. Costco said it recently opened stores in Suzhou, China; Bilbao, Spain; and Melbourne, Florida. A new store is scheduled to open next month in Kelowna, British Columbia.

Currently, the closest Costco stores to Maine are in Nashua, New Hampshire, and Danvers, Massachusetts.

Costco Wholesale Corp. of Issaquah, Washington, operates over 800 big-box stores globally with more than 99 million membership card holders, making it the fifth largest retailer in the world, according to Fortune magazine. It sells a range of products from groceries and health and beauty products to electronics and furniture.


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