January 6, 2017

The Plaza is coming to North Windham By Stephen Signor

For many years the Lippman name has been synonymous, among other things, with developing business opportunities in North Windham. That tradition continues with what began as an idea 3 years ago and will soon come to fruition. This past August an application was filed for developing property owned by Martin Lippman. Since then the process has been slow and not without the usual requirements as set forth by the town planning department, sometime this year a new 4,800 square foot retail/office building will be constructed at 881 Roosevelt Trail, more specifically on the lots located between the Audio 'D' & Finetone Hearing Aid Center and what was Sebago Gardens and now is Xtreme Performance. 
A micro-hotel was originally planned to occupy the space behind the former Sebago Gardens. “Before this project I wanted to put in a micro-hotel, but I couldn’t get anybody to go in on it with me,” Lippman said.  He still feels there is a need for a hotel. “I think in the future we may see another chain motel come in like a Holiday Express or Courtyard, who knows,” continued Lippman.

The Plaza, as the sign facing Route 302 will say, will be a 4,800 square foot one story building that will be the potential home for two business tenants yet to be determined. The project would share the existing entrance to the hearing aid center located at 885 Roosevelt, a property Lippman has owned for 15 years that includes three adjoining lots. In all, the Plaza will be comprised of five buildings with six businesses, which includes the hearing aid center, Xtreme Performance, a new daycare center to be located behind the hearing aid center and, last but not least, a Gritty McDuff’s that Lippman is hoping to build behind Xtreme Performance.  

When asked why the name The Plaza, he replied with a chuckle “oh, I don’t know, why not?” As to the motivation for pursuing the project, it had been something that was on the mind of Lippman and his late wife Donna Beth. “We had talked about this before Donna passed away. We had bought the property and discussed it. We had always done other things as far as putting in new businesses. My wife and I enjoy developing in Windham.” 

When Lippman and his wife came to Windham 25 years ago he owned a lot of different properties along the strip, as he refers to it. “We bought and sold and replaced those business with other businesses, all which have survived,” he said. 

The time line for completion is contingent on Maine’s winter season. “It’s too late to do anything now; you can build in the winter, but I choose not to. Come spring work will begin again putting in foundations. At that time we’ll move forward and get started again. I am anticipating by summer the new building will be completed and occupied. I have some other plans but nothing concrete we can talk about.  Right now I want to make the plaza look pretty and user friendly, just a nice addition to the town, a showcase with sidewalks, trees where people can get off the road, shop and relax,” Lippman concluded.

FMI visit the Town Planning Board website http://windhammaine.us/496/View-Applications

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