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September 12, 2016

Krispy Kreme and Firehouse Subs anchor planned Auburn retail center

Courtesy / Bob Raymond
Courtesy / Bob Raymond
An exterior rendering of the new retail strip center at 410 Center St. in Auburn. The retail center will be anchored by Krispy Kreme and Firehouse Subs, two national franchises.
Google Street View
A before photograph of 410 Center St. in Auburn, where a new retail center will be located.

AUBURN — A Krispy Kreme franchise is slated to anchor a new retail center at 410 Center St., owned by Massachusetts-based R&D Research LLC, which purchased the site from PFO Properties LLC.

Bob Raymond, a partner at R&D Research, said the partnership is investing $3 million in a four-tenant retail strip that will be anchored by two national franchises — Krispy Kreme and Firehouse Subs. Cricket Wireless is also expected to lease space at the plaza, Raymond said, and he's exploring options for the fourth space.

It will be the first Maine location for Krispy Kreme (NYSE: KKD), which is based in Winston-Salem, N.C., and has 1,000 stores. Firehouse Subs, which is based in Jacksonville, Fla., has sites in Biddeford and Topsham among its 1,050 locations. Firehouse also plans a store for Waterville Commons in Waterville, according to its website.

Raymond has a retail plaza in Nashua, N.H. There, he became acquainted with a businessman named Cort Mendez, the Krispy Kreme franchisee for New Hampshire and Maine. Mendez also became a partner in R&D Research LLC, said Raymond. NH Glazed LLC signed an agreement with Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. in February to open four Krispy Kreme stores in New Hampshire and three in Maine.

Raymond and his team scouted potential sites and settled on the Auburn property. Sylas Hatch from NAI The Dunham Group brokered the sale, which closed Aug. 9.

The 1.22-acre parcel, which had been on the market six years, had been a site of a Paris Farmers Union store which operated from 1979-2010, before the company moved to larger quarters in Lewiston and nine other locations.

The site also included two single-family homes. The buildings have been razed, said Raymond. Construction of the new 8,400-square-foot, single-story building, with drive-through, is expected to be complete by late fall.

The site is advantageous because it's on one of the busiest retail corridors in the Lewiston/Auburn area, according to Raymond.

"There's 24,000 cars per day going by there," said Raymond. The road provides access to Interstate 95 and has already proven to be a popular location for other franchises, such as Pizza Hut and Tim Hortons.

Raymond has seen great success in a similar project, rebuilding an economically distressed retail plaza in Nashua that was a nice building, he said, but just needed to be better managed.

"In three years," he said, "we added 200 original jobs and turned the plaza around, from generating $3 million per year to over $12 million per year. We brought real jobs and real dollars to that community."

Read more

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Retail strip seen benefiting from Falmouth, Portland markets

Developer with an eye for 'fixer-uppers' finds a Skowhegan plaza

First Krispy Kreme opening planned for Auburn

Local doughnut makers weigh in on Krispy Kreme plans

Donut tell us you're bluffing: Maine could soon have Krispy Kreme

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