Four Communities Receive $15.2M for Wastewater

April 25, 2016 in News

Author: MaineBiz
Publication: MaineBiz

Four communities receive $15.2M for wastewater infrastructure upgrades

As part of the Friday's Earth Day festivities, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that four Maine communities will receive $15.2 million for upgrades to their wastewater infrastructure, thanks to the USDA's Rural Development Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program.

The wastewater treatment facility in the town of East Millinocket was awarded $7.14 million in the form of a $3.5 million grant and a $3.65 million loan, will be awarded to the town's sewer district. It will be used to support improvements to the treatment facility by recycling infrastructure from the former East Millinocket paper mill and making significant upgrades to treatment equipment and processing capacity.

"This project is an important step forward in securing core community assets, enhancing the local economy, and protecting our natural resources," U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King said in a joint statement on Friday. "As we work together to address the significant challenges facing East Millinocket and the region, these investments from USDA Rural Development, coupled with local and state funding, strengthen the community and set the foundation for future economic development."

According to the release, the other Maine communities that were awarded funding for upgrades and improvements to their wastewater infrastructure are:

  • The Freeport Sewer District, which has been selected to receive a water and waste disposal direct loan in the amount of $2.1 million and grant in the amount of $1.1 million. Funds will be used to rehabilitate 11,000 linear feet of sewer lines, replacing key components of the Mast Landing and Porter Landing Pump Stations and the construction of a new pump station.

 

  • The Lincolnville Sewer District, which has been selected to receive a water and waste disposal direct loan of $1.6 million and grant of $1 million. Funds will be used to construct a new wastewater collection system and a new wastewater treatment facility in the beach area of Lincolnville.

 

  • The City of Old Town, which has been selected to receive a water and waste direct loan of $1.65 million and a grant of $550,000. Funds will be used to replace three of the city's aged wastewater pump stations. The city's wastewater system plays an important role in preserving the Penobscot River.

New 500,000 Square Foot Shopping Center Proposed for Westbrook

April 8, 2016 in News

Author: Mainebiz
Publication: Mainebiz

New 500,000-square-foot shopping center proposed for Westbrook

The Westbrook planning board is reviewing submitted plans for a new 500,000-square-foot shopping center that would be anchored by a 155,000-square-foot Wal-Mart.

Developer Jeffrey Gove plans to accent the retail experience by converting a quarry on the site into a lake that would be stocked with fish, open for wintertime ice skating and would link to the Portland area's trail system.

The proposed shopping center would be located on Westbrook's Main Street, across from Westbrook Crossing — another shopping center that is anchored by a Kohl's department store, according to the Portland Press Herald.

Other possible tenants for the Wal-Mart anchored shopping center include the supermarket chain Market Basket, outdoor retailer REI and the popular warehouse retailer Costco. Gove told the Press Herald that he expects other national retailers to make their official announcements in the next three months.

In addition to the retail locations, Gove added that there will be more than one restaurant as a tenant in the shopping plaza, and that he has been talking to a number of regional chains about locating within the shopping center.

Groundbreaking for the project is slated to begin this fall, with stores in the shopping center likely opening in 2017.

Currently, Maine is home to 25 Wal-Mart locations in addition to three Sam's Clubs. The big-box retailer employs 7,000 people across the state.


Multi-Use Five-Story Building Proposed for Gorham Center

April 4, 2016 in News

Author: Mainebiz
Publication: Mainebiz

Mixed-use five-story building proposed for Gorham’s town center

The skyline of Gorham could be in for a big change, as a local developer envisions a five-story, retail-and-residential site in Gorham Village, the town center.

The multi-story building being proposed by Gorham-based Great Falls Construction definitely falls into the "mixed-use" category — in addition to 30 market-rate apartments, the building would also house a bowling alley on the first floor and a wine bar on the top floor, according to the Portland Press Herald.

Though the addition of a bowling alley into downtown Gorham is sure to be welcome by students living in the dorms at the nearby University of Southern Maine campus, the idea of a five-story building being introduced into the mostly residential area is expected to gain a few detractors from neighbors.

"It's probably going to block somebody's view. It's probably going to cast a shadow over somebody's house," Tom Ellsworth, director of the Gorham Economic Development Corp., told the Press Herald. "The public can be very persuasive."

Ellsworth added that the positive reputation Great Falls Construction has within the town will likely quell some complaints, saying "the community is ecstatic" about a prior project in the heart of the town that replaced a vacant gas station with a Subway sandwich shop and Aroma Joe's Coffee shop.

"If there's anybody who is going to be able to make it work," Ellsworth told the Press Herald, it's Great Falls Construction.

If Great Falls Construction gets the green light for the project, the company said it hopes to be finished with construction by fall 2017.


Possible Propane Depot Move a Big Step for Thompson's Point

March 30, 2016 in News

Author: Mainebiz
Publication: Mainebiz

Possible propane depot move a big step for Thompson’s Point

Suburban Propane has filed plans to move from its Thompson's Point location in Portland to a city-owned parcel on Riverside Street — a move that has been deemed a key goal for developers of the peninsula.

Suburban Propane's move would ultimately free up a valuable rail-side parcel that developers are hopeful will be redeveloped into a new events center and an expanded transportation center meant to replace the Portland Transportation Center just north of the parcel, according to the Portland Press Herald.

In addition to the transportation center and events center, developers also hope to convert the land into a mixed-use neighborhood with residential housing, a hotel, restaurants and office buildings — a recent price tag for the ambitious project sets it at $100 million.

Suburban Propane's move, which has been discussed for several years, still must be approved by Portland's city Planning Board, but developer Chris Thompson told the Press Herald that the potential move could very well kick the development of Thompson's Point into high gear.

"We're pretty excited to have arrived at this point in the project overall," Thompson said. "We're probably still a few months out before we're able to see plans go forward for the event and athletic facility, but we're still planning on moving forward with it."


Recent Sales Heat up Lewiston-Auburn Retail Market

March 29, 2016 in News

Author: LAURIE SCHREIBER
Publication: Mainebiz

Recent sales heat up Lewiston-Auburn retail market

LEWISTON-AUBURN — As rising stars among Maine's metropolitan areas, twin cities Lewiston and Auburn are a great place to invest.

That's the outlook of Dan Boutin, a commercial real estate investor who, under the name 675 Main Street LLC, bought two shopping centers — the 32,000-square-foot Marketplace Mall located at 675 Main St. in Lewiston, and the 12,000-square-foot Taylor Brook Mall, at 14 Millett Drive in Auburn.

Malone Commercial Brokers said the Marketplace Mall sold for $2 million, while the Taylor Brook Mall sold for $800,000. Both deals closed March 9.

Malone Commercial Brokers' Kevin Fletcher represented the seller, Marketplace Investment Group LLC, of which Fletcher is a partner. Frank O'Connor of NAI/The Dunham Group represented Boutin, the buyer.

Boutin, who has been in real estate investment for 35 years, owns other properties in the area. These include shopping centers at 120 Center St. in Auburn and 1567 Lisbon St. in Lewiston, as well as a 114-unit mobile home park in Sabbatus. One of his companies, Oak Hill Management, manages the properties.

"I like retail and income-producing properties. And I like Lewiston-Auburn because there's a lot of growth," said Boutin, who was born and raised in the area and so also feels a personal attachment to his investments. "Portland is difficult — the vacancy rate is so low and the price of land has reached such an unrealistic amount. But Lewiston-Auburn has a lot of upside. Everything is up and coming in Lewiston-Auburn, and you want to be part of it."

The two one-story strip centers were never actually on the market. Kevin Fletcher, one of the four partners who owned the properties, said he was aware that Boutin was on the lookout for this type of commercial property, and the partners felt the timing was right to sell, so he simply called Boutin's broker. The selling partners had owned the Marketplace Mall for eight years, and the Taylor Brook Mall for seven years.

Both shopping centers date to the mid-1980s and are deemed by both seller and buyer to be in good shape. Both centers are in well-traveled areas.

The Marketplace Mall is on Main Street and has proven to be "a great neighborhood center," Fletcher said. There are currently 16 tenants, including a mix of hair salons, a Chinese restaurant, chiropractor and offices, all anchored by a Sam's Italian Restaurant, one of a chain in Maine. There is currently a 600-square-foot vacant space.

The Taylor Brook Mall has nine tenants and about 1,600 square feet of vacant space.

Boutin said he'll clean up the properties, make sure the signs and landscaping look nice, check out the systems to ensure they're all operational, and the like.

"I'm there to help out the tenants," he said. "The buck stops here."

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