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January 13, 2016

Patriot Insurance finds a permanent home

Peter Van Allen
Peter Van Allen
Patriot Insurance has purchased the historic Down-East Village motel complex on Route 1 in Yarmouth and plans to develop it as its permanent home.

Patriot Insurance's purchase and planned development of a historic motel complex on Route 1 in Yarmouth will give the company a permanent home and further community connections.

In a deal brokered by Powers Real Estate, Patriot is under contract with the owners of the Down-East Village motel property, a seven-acre complex that comprises four motel buildings, a restaurant, office and pool. Powers listed the property at $2.2 million. Patriot president Lincoln Merrill declined to cite the final purchase price. It hopes to move in by summer 2017.

Patriot Insurance has 69 employees, 64 of whom are in Maine. Its annual payroll is $4.5 million. Patriot expects its workforce to top 100 employees in the next 5 to 10 years. The space will be designed to accommodate that expected growth.

"This will be our permanent home," said Merrill. "So as our growth continues, we'll be able to continue to add onto the site."

The company has grown from $28 million in revenue in 2002 to $81 million in 2015. It has contracts with over 100 independent agents.

Patriot has leased space in Yarmouth since 2008, most recently at the Tyler Technologies Inc., about two miles south on Route 1. (Tyler also has expansion plans in the works.)

The plan is to tear down the existing buildings and build a new corporate headquarters. Specifics on the new building haven't yet been worked out.The property is situated on the Royal River in a mixed commercial development and residential neighborhood. Frontage and property are in the town's new Route 1 Character-Based Codes.

"It's a great project for Yarmouth," said Economic Development Director Denise Clavette.

Clavette became Yarmouth's new economic development director in January 2015. She said she's been working with Patriot Insurance on its expansion, and other businesses considering expansion in Yarmouth.

"Patriot Insurance met with town staff early in their process," Clavette said.

Patriot is eager to be one of Yarmouth's first projects to be considered and approved under the town's new Route 1 Character-Based Codes, said Clavette.

Herbert and Barbara Ferrell opened the Down-East Village motel and a Gulf gas station in 1950. Their son Ed and his wife Sue eventually took over. According to Barbara Ferrell's obituary, from 2010 the motel was the second opened in Maine and became the oldest operating motel in the state.

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