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July 10, 2017 | last updated July 10, 2017 2:17 pm

Windham motel aiming for year-round clientele

Courtesy / Malone Commercial Brokers
Courtesy / Malone Commercial Brokers
The purchase and spruce-up of the Northeastern Motel in Windham will leverage its location on a highly trafficked corridor to the Sebago Lakes Region.

WINDHAM — The purchase and spruce-up of a Windham motel is aimed at leveraging its location on a highly trafficked corridor to the Sebago Lakes Region.

Scott Smith and his two business partners, brother Kurt Smith and Marc Cole, purchased the Northeastern Motel, at 322 Roosevelt Trail, from Saronis Corp., for $690,000.

The property comprises 7,600 square feet of motel and multi-family buildings on 3.42 acres. Mike Anderson of Malone Commercial Brokers represented the sellers and Smith, a broker with Maine Real Estate Network, represented himself in the deal, which closed May 31.

The original, 3,700-square-foot motel was built in 1966, and a larger, 3,900-square-foot apartment building was built in 1988. The apartment building is three stories, with eight one-bedroom suites that have longer-term tenants, said Anderson.

To date, the suites — equipped with kitchenette, living room, outside deck, queen-size bed, WiFi and cable TV — have been available for weekly or monthly rentals. The property has high visibility on Route 302, is minutes from the Sebago Lakes Region and a half-hour to Portland, and has woodlands in the rear.

The sellers purchased the property in 2004, and felt it was time for new endeavors, said Anderson.

"They bought it as a pretty rundown property," he said. The sellers "got it off the ground to be the motel that it is today."

Smith said the purchase is a natural progression for his property portfolio. With partners, he's purchased seven distressed properties requiring extensive rehab in Westbrook, aiming to boost that city's residential market for those of moderate income.

"This is just up the road from Westbrook, so it's a natural progression toward the Lakes Region," he said. "We also manage property up the street — a similar, old-style motel converted into residential units, and this seemed like a natural addition."

Conversion to year-round motel

The property is in fair condition, Smith said. Rehab will begin this winter in order to avoid disturbing guests during the summer high season. It will include updating the units in the motel building, with new flooring, bathroom fixtures and furniture. Old-style TVs will be replaced with wall-mounted flat-screens. The paneling will be replaced with sheetrock and the bathroom will be retiled. Smith estimated the job will cost around $100,000. Further investment on the apartment building is expected a couple of years down the road.

Courtesy / Malone Commercial Brokers
Courtesy / Malone Commercial Brokers
The Northeastern Motel in Windham is located on the highly trafficked corridor to the Sebago Lakes Region.

It's a great location, said Smith.

"Very high traffic," he said. "With so much traffic and a ton of visibility along that route, with out-of-staters coming to Lakes Region in the summer, I saw a huge amount of potential. It looked like a winner."

In the past few years, the seller ran the motel through spring, summer and fall. Smith has plans to go year-round.

"After renovations this winter, our plan is to be running year-round," Smith said. "We hope to capture the ski crowd heading to Shawnee Peak, and maybe people heading to the snowmobile trails and need a stopover. There's some more potential here: I think the previous owner was missing out on those winter recreational guests."

The property drew considerable interest from prospective buyers, said Anderson.

"This particular property definitely created a lot of interest," he said. "And Scott had looked at this in the past and came back around and paid a good price for it."

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