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NFL’s top man building in Scarborough

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Posted: Thursday, December 27, 2012 3:42 pm

SCARBOROUGH – The gated community at Prouts Neck in Scarborough has a long history of housing the rich and famous. Now, it appears Roger Goodell, commissioner of the National Football League since 2006, is moving to the neighborhood.

A $4.6 million, 6,110-square-foot home designed by New York City firm Miller & Wright Architects, now under construction at 4 Bohemia Way, officially belongs to Thomas Rice LLC. Records at the Cumberland County Registry of Deeds, the Scarborough Town Hall and the Maine Secretary of State website show Thomas Rice LLC purchased the building’s 1.15-acre lot, which has an expansive, unobstructed view of the Atlantic Ocean, for $5.87 million on Nov. 14, 2011 – a little more than one month after the limited liability company was created on Oct. 3.

Thomas Rice LLC is also the owner of record on an Aug. 27 building permit to tear down an existing structure and build the new home, as well as on permits issued in 2011 to renovate a second building on site as a guesthouse. However, Goodell is listed as the property owner on an Oct. 3 plumbing permit for William C. Lewis Jr. of Portland.

As commissioner, Goodell serves as the chief executive of NFL, a position that makes him one of the most powerful people in sports. He earns a reported $10 million per year, a number that is expected to increase as he works through a recently signed five-year contract extension.

Multiple sources working for subcontractors on site, as well as within the Scarborough Town Office, all say the Roger Goodell listed on the plumbing permit is the NFL commissioner, although none wanted to be cited as the one to say so.

“That’s what I hear,” said Code Enforcement Administrator Dave Grysk, the only one willing to speak on the record. “The contractors couldn’t say anything at first who they were working for, but I guess people do now know it’s him. It is as far as I know.”

Whoever is talking, the general contractor, Eider Investments of Scarborough, is still trying to keep a lid on things.

A woman who answered the phone as “Ashley” there on Friday refused to give her surname or position with the company. After asking how The Current came by its information, she said, “We can’t say anything about that. We have absolutely no comment.”

Apart from the plumbing permit, the only other direct connection to Goodall appears, oddly enough, on Scarborough’s Wikipedia page. On Sept. 20, an unregistered Wikipedia user, “Rgtheofficial,” added Goodell’s name to the list of “notable people” who have called Scarborough home.

What connection “Rgtheofficial” may have to Goodell is unclear, as the user’s only other edit to Wikipedia occurred on July 31, when he or she added information to the “early life and background” section of an entry for Joseph Lauzon Jr, a mixed martial artist from Brockton, Mass.

The agent for Thomas Rice LLC is Tom S. Hanson, an attorney with the real estate practice group of Portland firm Bernstein Shur. He did not return a request for comment  before deadline for this week’s issue of The Current.

The address listed on building permits for Thomas Rice LLC is the 18th floor of 1177 Avenue of the Americas in New York City, while the contact person is given as Dan DaPaoli. The address belongs to WTAS, a tax consulting and financial advisory firm, for which DaPaoli is the managing director. He also did not return a request for comment.

Attempts to contact Goodell directly were diverted to the NFL’s public relations office. Voice mail messages left with three different PR representatives were not returned by deadline.

According to Scarborough Assessor Paul Lesperance, the Bohemia Way property is assessed at $5.38 million. That includes $4.75 million for the land and captures recent renovations to the guesthouse, but not the new home. Whether that work will be complete by the April 1 cutoff to be included on next year’s tax rolls is an open question, he said.

Because the Prouts Neck Association has a rule banning construction during the summer, Grysk says contractors are racing to get the work done in time.

“I know he wants to be in there this summer,” he said. “But to look at where they’re at – the foundation is in and the sticks are starting to go up, I don’t think myself that it’s going to happen.”

Some plans for the site already have been altered to speed the project along. On July 12, attorney John C. Bannon of Murray Plumb & Murray noted that an external staircase and a swimming pool had been cut from the plans, both of which Grysk said contributed to “building coverage area,” putting the lot over the town-allowed maximums in the Prouts Neck zone.

“Although we disagree about the swimming pool, my client and I believe that it is not worth holding up the project any longer while seeking an answer from the ZBA [Zoning Board of Appeals] or the courts,” wrote Bannon.

In December 2011, the Verrill Dana law firm filed an administrative appeal on behalf of the Phineas Sprague Trust to stop work on the guesthouse, citing the minimum number of dwellings allowed on the lot, but withdrew when it was noted the accessory building would not have a kitchen.

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