Entertainment complex slated for spring at Five Points Shopping Center in Biddeford

Entertainment complex slated for spring at Five Points Shopping Center in Biddeford
An artistic rendering of the proposed Play 5 entertainment complex coming to Biddeford. COURTESY IMAGE
Ann C. Fisher, contributing writer

Maine developer Tim Harrington has pivoted from apartments to entertainment at Five Points Shopping Center in Biddeford, nixing plans for a mixed-use development and focusing instead on entertainment and sports.

Modeled on APEX in Marlborough, Mass., Play 5 is due to open in late spring. “Basically it’s a whole entertainment complex with sports stuff, pickleball … .,“ Harrington said in a phone interview on Nov. 29.

APEX offers food, an arcade, bowling, bumper cars, go-karts, sports simulators, a ropes course, pool tables and more, with packages available as well.

 “That’s a good idea of what we’re trying to replicate here,” Harrington said. Five Points “is such a great location.”

Harrington said while the Biddeford location may have some of the same activities, it won’t be part of the franchise.

Play 5 will have 140,000 square feet, Harrison stated in a press release, which according to city records, is about the size of the main shopping plaza building. In addition to pickleball, other tenants being considered for the facility include indoor golf, a bowling alley, arcade, laser tag and ropes course.


Unlike the previous proposal for Five Points, Play 5 can skip the line at the planning board because all the businesses being proposed are approved uses.

Harrington previously sought sketch plan approval from the Biddeford Planning Board in January 2021 for a project that would have added apartments and condominiums to the property at 420 Alfred St.

The original redevelopment plan would have maintained the anchor stores in the strip mall and added about 130 market-rate apartments, according to a story published by the Saco Bay News. The apartments would rise six or seven stories over one story of retail space in the center of the complex and would have been up to 90 feet high.

The proposed development would also have added up to 128 garden-style apartments in four buildings to the east of the shopping center, in an area of nearly 5 acres that is now undeveloped and wooded.

“I thought about it as an apartment site, and that could still happen with an extra 5 acres off to the right,” Harrington said.

“This is just in time for a reboot; retail is not (what it used to be) … things change and move and morph,” said Harrington. “Biddeford is changing, with younger residents, and this is in line with other entertainment venues.”

The shopping center has seen a marked decline in tenants in recent years. According to fivepointsshopping.com, in 2015, 11 shops, five restaurants, a Planet Fitness gym and Smitty's Cinema were located there. The strip mall property is now home to Goodwill, Maine Cleaners, Sherwin-Williams, H & R Block, a nail salon and a different fitness center.

The retailers will likely have to vacate because the space will be focused on entertainment venues. Tim Millet, the leasing director with Porta and Co. in Portland, was not available Thursday to discuss details and potential tenants.

Harrington is arguably best known locally for his role in redeveloping the former Lincoln Mill into The Lincoln Hotel in Biddeford. He is now concentrating on a project to develop 1 Diamond St. in Biddeford, according to Eric Freeman, assistant planner for the city of Biddeford.

Most recently, he and Kevin Lord, his partner in Batson River Brewing & Distillery, acquired The Dunes on the Waterfront in Ogunquit, according to a Nov. 10 story published by hotelonline.com. The property is scheduled to open for the summer 2024 season.

Ann Fisher is a freelance journalist based in Saco. She can be reached at 432-7483.