Central & Midcoast Maine Industrial Market Update

Nick Lucas  /   August 31, 2021

Nick Lucas, Associate Broker

As we near the fourth quarter of 2021, we wanted to provide an update on Maine’s industrial market and to highlight the significant deals and projects we are seeing north of greater Portland. The industrial sector remains red hot throughout the entire state of Maine. Much like Southern Maine, the Midcoast and Central Maine areas have seen considerable demand for space with little inventory on the market. We are seeing all categories of transactions occur including sale deals, lease deals, and new construction projects. The greater Central Maine market in particular is establishing itself as a resilient industrial market, as companies require central locations to serve their customers more efficiently throughout the state. We anticipate that demand for this asset type will remain high heading into year-end and vacancy rates will remain low. Below are some notable projects and deals in the Brunswick, Lewiston/Auburn, Augusta, and Bangor industrial markets.

Bangor: In July, Coastal Auto Parts Inc. purchased 200 Sylvan Road in Bangor, a 45,000± SF industrial building. This will be used for warehousing and distribution of auto parts to service the greater Bangor market.

Augusta: There is a significant amount of demand for industrial space with limited quality inventory available. Companies such as O&P Glass are adding 5,000± SF of warehouse space to their existing 28,000± SF facility, and J.S. McCarthy Printers will build a 13,000± SF addition to their existing 124,000± SF facility at 15 Darin Drive. We anticipate announcements for several new ground-up construction projects to break ground in the 10,000-20,000± SF range by end of year.

Gardiner: Everett J Prescott Inc. recently constructed a significant addition to their existing location in the Libby Hill Business Park, including a 6-acre pad for material storage.

Lewiston: Recently, an undisclosed tenant leased 32,000± SF at 1 Gendron Drive and Sargent Electric leased 13,000± SF at 45 Alfred Plourde Parkway late last year. This leaves only 15 Gendron Drive available for comparable buildings in the 30,000-50,000± SF range. As a response to the tight industrial market, the owner of these buildings plans to build a 64,000± SF industrial building at 855 Lisbon Street and a 48,000± SF building on Gendron Drive.

Auburn: F.W. Webb Co. has proposed a new 66,675± SF warehouse and distribution facility in the Auburn Commerce Center. FutureGuard Building Products, Inc. is also in the process of constructing a 100,000± SF addition to their existing location.

Brunswick & Bath: Sims, LLC purchased 145 Allagash Drive, a 9.10-acre development site at Brunswick Landing. Due to the high demand for industrial product, the buyer plans on building a 50,000± SF industrial building. American Steel & Aluminum is in the process of building a 54,000± SF industrial building in Bath. The facility will house plate steel for BIW.

As indicated, industrial activity is occurring in every major market – But what has sparked the demand? Companies such as Sargent Electric have driven demand for those who simply need to be centrally located in the state, and the acceleration of the cannabis industry has also played a large role. Additionally, the pandemic has intensified the need for warehousing and distribution. Companies such as J.S. McCarthy Printers and Coastal Auto Parts Inc. have seen an increase in business due to COVID-19 resulting in the need for more space. The pandemic has also triggered more demand for the shipping and storage of PPE equipment and medical supplies. Considering all these moving pieces in the current industrial sector, we predict that the requirement for warehouse space will remain strong heading into 2022.