Maine Outlook- Office

February 4, 2007 in Articles

Author: Matthew Cardente
Publication: RE Journal Online
Submitted by Matthew Cardente, broker and owner of Portland, Maine-based Cardente Real Estate. Posted 02-04-07.

What area is your expertise?
• Southern Maine office market.

What trends do you see presently in office development in your area?
• We are currently seeing a mix of new development in the downtown Portland and suburban markets, as well as the redevelopment of commercial buildings into Class B office space.

Please name one or two significant office developments in your area. What impact will these projects have on the market?
• Several new projects to note for the downtown Portland market include:
• Custom House Square: Located in the Old Port area of downtown Portland, this approximately 60,816-square-foot, six-story office condominium tower is currently under construction and offers office condos on the upper levels and retail on the first level.
• Bayside Redevelopment Land: Bayside is located off of Franklin Arterial, Somerset Street and Marginal Way in Portland. The City of Portland recently put several lots in this district on the market for redevelopment of office and mixed-use. Lots range from approximately 0.28 to 1.3 acres and are available for sale for $125,580 to $583,052 per acre.
Another recent development in Downtown Portland was 280 Fore Street which is an approximately 110,000-square-foot office building constructed in 2005. This building's anchor tenant is Baker, Newman, & Noyes.

As for the suburban Greater Portland market, new developments include Stonewood Crossing, which is located on Route 1 in Freeport, Maine. This approximately 22,000-square-foot office building was completed in 2005 and only has approximately 3,000 square feet remaining for lease. Current tenants include MiddleOak and Power Engineers. Another significant suburban office project is Pineland Farms, which is located in New Gloucester. Pineland was originally established in 1908 and was used to facilitate Maine's mentally challenged. Now fully redeveloped into an approximately 258,000-square-foot office campus, Pineland is home to tenants including Energy East and Mountain LTD and offers an onsite cafeteria, a YMCA with a full fitness center and area trails used for running and cross-country skiing.

Where is the majority of development taking place? Why is this area doing well?
• We are continuing to see the majority of the office development and redevelopment in the Greater Portland area of Southern Maine. As noted before, there are several large office buildings that have been built in the financial district of Portland, and there are plans in the Bayside area to build more. The suburban markets are holding strong in areas where there is easy access to Interstate 295 and the Maine Turnpike. The suburban markets can now compete with the financial district of Portland because the suburban markets offer free parking, reasonable lease rates and state-of-the-art telecommunications. Parking in downtown Portland can cost $85 to $110 per parking space per month.

What area do you expect to be the next big development market? Why?
• We anticipate that the next areas of big development in Southern Maine will be on the Route 1 corridor between Falmouth and Freeport, the Haigis Parkway area of Scarborough and the Bayside District of Portland. All of these areas offer mainstream exposure, easy accessibility and fully developable land.




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