Meals and lodging sales post big increases in August

October 13, 2012 in Articles

Author: Whit Richardson
Publication: Bangor Daily News
AUGUSTA — After a worrying July, August’s taxable sales figures in tourism-related sectors beat projections and capped a strong summer tourism season, according to figures released Friday by Maine Revenue Services.
Lodging sales in August were $157 million, up 7.5 percent from the same month last year, while August restaurant sales equaled nearly $270 million, representing a 6.1-percent year-over-year increase. For the three-month period from June to August, lodging sales were up 7.4 percent and restaurant sales were up 5.3 percent compared to the same three-month period in 2011.

“Those are good solid numbers,” Michael Allen, associate commissioner for tax policy at Maine Revenue Services, told the Bangor Daily News.


$18M Old Port Project Stalled

October 10, 2012 in News

Author: Maine Biz
Publication: www.mainebizsimply.com

Delays around landing a large commercial tenant will likely hold up an $18 million Old Port development until next year.

The Portland Press Herald reported that New Hampshire-based Opechee Construction was slated to begin work on the project at 203 Fore St. this fall.

Designs for the 180,000-square-foot project at the site of the former Jordan's Meats include nine retail units, 18 condominiums, 640,000-square-feet of office space and a parking garage that can house over 100 cars.


Economists: Housing recovery finally here

October 3, 2012 in Articles

Author: Chris Isidore
Publication: CNN Money

NEW YORK -- It's been a long time coming, but economists surveyed by CNNMoney believe the nation's housing market has finally turned the corner.

Of the 14 economists who answered questions about home prices in the survey, nine believe that prices have already turned higher or will make that turn later this year. Only three months ago, half of the economists surveyed by CNNMoney believed a turnaround in prices would not take place until 2013 or later.

Economists have been encouraged by a variety of readings, including three straight months of increases in the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, a pick-up in sales of existing homes and home construction and a big jump in the price of new home sales.

Mortgage rates are also likely to remain near record lows thanks to the Federal Reserve's purchase of $40 billion in mortgages a month for the foreseeable future.


Pretty? Route 1? Yarmouth gets ideas

September 26, 2012 in Articles

Author: Kelley Bouchard
Publication: Portland Press Herald

Visions of a transformed commercial corridor are culled from a series of brainstorming sessions.

Yarmouth is considering ambitious zoning changes that would extend the quaint village character of the town's historic Main Street to its Route 1 commercial corridor.

Brainstorming sessions by Yarmouth residents led to a vision of Route 1 as a pleasant, tree-lined boulevard. The sessions sought input for new zoning in the commercial corridor.

Recent community brainstorming sessions produced a vision for development along the highway that includes the possibility of removing the Route 1 bridge over Main Street and the East Main Street bridge over Route 1. In the decades ahead, proponents say, Route 1 would evolve into a relaxed boulevard with a grassy, tree-lined median, inviting sidewalks and side streets, and a direct connection to Main Street.


Bayside project financing deal OK'd

September 20, 2012 in Articles

Author: Dennis Hoey
Publication: Portland Press Herald-Maine Today

Portland agrees to spend millions on a $38 million project that would include hundreds of apartments.

PORTLAND - The Portland City Council voted Wednesday night to help subsidize an out-of-state developer's plans to build a $38 million mixed-used project in the Bayside neighborhood.

The final vote on the Maritime Landing development financing plan was 8-1 with councilor Cheryl Leeman opposed.

Leeman said she supported the project because it would bring hundreds of new residents to Bayside, but said she had issues with the way the parking garage component would be paid for.

Under the agreement, the city would sell 3.25 acres of land off Somerset Street to the Federated Companies for $2.2 million.

The city would also provide Federated, which has offices in Miami and Boston, with a $9.07 million grant to help it pay for construction of a $15 million, 700-space parking garage.

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