Central Maine Commercial Real Estate 2024 Market Update

Chris Romano  /   February 22, 2024

Central Maine Commercial Real Estate Market Update: 2024



By Chris Romano | Associate




If you follow nationwide trends, turmoil in the office sector should spell doom and gloom for the entirety of Central Maine property values—the region’s commercial real estate market has traditionally been heavily saturated by office space. Fortunately, this is far from the reality of the Augusta/Waterville market. This region is unique in that its major employers and office tenants are healthcare, education, and governmental companies and organizations. In fact, these occupants have cultivated a surprisingly robust office market.

The State of Maine, its related entities, and adjacent organizations (law firms, special interest groups, etc.) provide a strong backbone for the area’s workforce and office market. This caught the attention of a New Yorkbased investment group, who purchased the Central Maine Commerce Center in the region’s largest capital markets transaction in recent history. The 317,400± SF complex was purchased for $18.5 million in February, in a deal brokered by The Boulos Company. Upon closing, there was 20,000± SF of vacant office space, and as I write this article only 4,000± SF remain available, with the Department of Public Safety and the Public Utilities Commission now occupying the balance of the prior vacancy.

The strength of the Central Maine office market has even crossed over into the retail space. In July, WS Development announced an agreement to bring the University of Maine Augusta’s nursing and cybersecurity departments to the Augusta Marketplace in a 21,000± SF lease, with expected occupancy of Fall 2024.

Waterville continues to benefit from Colby College’s ongoing investment in its home city. Colby’s ambitious Dare Northward fundraising campaign—with a newly announced goal of $1 billion—includes money for catalyzing a “historic revitalization of our hometown, Waterville.”

In addition to the money flowing in from Colby, downtown Waterville is gearing up for two new major development projects in the pipeline. North River Company, owner of the adjacent Hathaway Creative Center, is preparing to commence construction on the former Lockwood Co. Cotton Mill, redeveloping the 225,000± SF property into a mixed-use center with a combination of workforce/market-rate housing and commercial space. Also scheduled to break ground in 2024 is the Head of Falls Village project off Temple and Front Streets. The $30± million project by Renewal Housing Associates, LLC and Northland Enterprises, Inc. is set to include 63 housing units situated above office and retail space across two buildings

Despite the turmoil in the national economy, expect Central Maine’s economy to keep churning for the foreseeable future.


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