WESTBROOK — Westbrook seems to be the happening place for turning distressed properties into attractive rentals for people who can't find affordable places to live in neighboring Portland.
Bernard Willimann, a Yarmouth resident who owns the management company Coastal Nest in Portland, purchased a 5,520-square-foot mixed retail/residential, two-story wood-framed building on 0.14 acre, with seven on-site parking spaces, at 650 Main St. with just that idea in mind.
In a deal that closed Feb. 17, the property sold for $532,500. Jessie Pinkham with Keller Williams Realty represented the buyer and Nate Stevens of CBRE|The Boulos Co. represented the seller, who went by the name Schoodic Capital LLC.
The building has two commercial units on the ground floor and five residential units on the second floor. The property is across from a park, with good walkability, said Pinkham.
A retail space formerly occupied by Rosen's Full Belly Deli is vacant and Williman is seeking a tenant. Pinkham is on a team with Keller Williams that's called Fishman Realty, and Fishman Realty is the group that handled the sale of the deli and is handling its leasing. Pinkham noted it's a turnkey operation with all the deli equipment still in place. Brazier's Barber Shop occupies the other retail space and plans to stay.
This is one of several similar properties Willimann has bought in Westbrook, said Pinkham, who has represented the buyer for several years.
"The demand is there, because people are moving out of Portland and looking at Westbrook right away," said Pinkham. "He's revamping Westbrook one building at a time. He probably buys two buildings per year through me. This is probably the fifth."
The buyer focuses on buildings of six, seven or more units, she said. They are generally distressed properties needing further investment to fix up for moderate-income rentals.
At 650 Main St., Williman expects to invest $125,000 in rehab that will be mainly focused on improvements of the units.
"A lot of these buildings, the previous owners stopped putting money into years ago, so there's a lot of deferred maintenance," she said. "He's finding that when he fixes them up he's able to rent them quickly to people moving out of Portland. He's held onto all the buildings he's bought in the past five years. And he fixes them and continues to cash-flow them. He's done well."
Westbrook's reputation as a great place to live is growing, she said.
"Main Street is doing well," she said. "Restaurants are popping up, the kind of thing you'd see in Portland, and now you're seeing it in Westbrook. So it's definitely up and coming."
Sign up now to get statewide business news each day with the Daily Report
|Today's Poll||What's more important to you as the GOP led Congress proceeds with replacing the ACA?<