Damariscotta-based bank The First was the highest bidder Monday in two auctions for properties formerly owned by Village NetMedia, which ran midcoast and Down East-based weekly newspapers under the name VillageSoup.
The bank submitted winning bids of $550,000 and $150,000 for two properties in Camden and Rockland used as collateral for Village NetMedia's purchase of the community newspapers in 2008, according to the Bangor Daily News. Three bidders angled for the former printing plant on Gordon Drive in Rockland, while four bid on the property on Elm Street in Camden. James Folsom of The First said the bank plans to sell the properties. The Camden parcel, which has office space and some residential units, is assessed at $775,900. The 1.6-acre Rockland property is assessed at $401,200, according to the paper.
Village NetMedia CEO Richard Anderson bought Courier Publications' six weekly newspapers, discontinuing some and merging them with VillageSoup products. The company closed the printing facility last year and then shut down everything in March. Free Press President Reade Brower previously bought other VillageSoup assets, including trade names, computers and other equipment, and has relaunched three midcoast publications.