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November 3, 2016

Camden National donates city block to Gardiner Main Street

File Photo / Tim Greenway
File Photo / Tim Greenway
Gregory Dufour, president and CEO of Camden National Bank. The financial institution donated a five-building block in Gardiner to the Gardiner Main Street organization.

Camden National Bank said Wednesday it has donated five buildings at 149-167 Water St. in downtown Gardiner to Gardiner Main Street for redevelopment.

According to the Kennebec Journal, Camden National acquired the 23,000 square feet of space in 2015, as part of its acquisition of the Bank of Maine. Greg Dufour, president and CEO of Camden National Bank, told the newspaper that among the reasons for the block donation was to have the property in the hands of an organization that has the capabilities and vision for redevelopment that would benefit the city.

The five buildings, which are on the Dingley Block and abut Gardiner Landing, are valued at $350,000, according to Camden National. The gift also includes a vacant lot at 129 Water St., according to a news release.

"It's really exciting, from my perspective," Dufour told the newspaper. "You can see just the huge potential that is here. I am not a construction person, but it's got good bones."

For the past four years, Gardiner Main Street has operated a business incubator space, Co-Lab, on the third floor of a neighboring building. The organization plans to expand this space. Other redevelopment plans include a $2.5 million historic rehabilitation, using a mix of historic preservation tax credits, grant support, private equity investment and traditional financing, according to a press release from Camden National.

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