September 5, 2018

Waterville's Mitchell adds to his city property portfolio

Photo / Maureen Milliken
Photo / Maureen Milliken
Waterville developer Bill Mitchell bought 220, 222 and 224 Main St. in August, and plans to renovate them for retail, office and residential use.

Waterville real estate developer Bill Mitchell is banking on the downtown's resurgence creeping north up Main Street.

Mitchell has bought three adjacent Main Street properties on 1.1 acres a couple blocks north of downtown. He's renovating the buildings, which are just south of North Street, for residential, retail and office use.

Mitchell, who owns GHM Insurance, has also been scooping up city property for redevelopment over the past decade.

The three buildings at 220, 222 and 224 Main St., with more than 10,000 square feet of space, bring Mitchell's holdings in Waterville to 11 properties, 17 buildings and 130,000 square feet.

He told Mainebiz that 224 Main St. has been renovated and Paramount Behavioral Health will move in this month.

Renovations on 220 and 222 Main St., which had a different seller than 224, start this month. They are 2,400 and 2,500 square feet, respectively, Mitchell said.

The plan for 220 is office or retail space, and 222, which is residential, will remain so, he said.

"I plan to renovate and upgrade the existing apartments," he said.

According to MLS, the building at 220 Main St. was built in 1900 and sold for $167,000. The building at 222, built in 1890, sold for $172,000. The building at 224 Main St., built in 1890, sold for $207,000.

Mitchell also recently bought the 27,000-square-foot former American Legion building on Cottage Avenue, a block from his new property. One of the new tenants will be the Children's Discovery Museum of Maine, which is moving there from Capitol Street in Augusta.

"With all the exciting development taking place in downtown Waterville, the downtown footprint is expanding to include the stretch of Main Street, from [North Street] and the stretch of College Avenue from the Post Office to the old Post Office building," Mitchell told Mainebiz. "I'm glad to be a small part of the redevelopment of downtown with the recent purchase of these three buildings as well as the old American Legion building last fall."

He's also seen movement on his largest project to date, Penny Hill Park on Kennedy Memorial Drive, where he renovated 28,000 square feet and this year added another building with 13,500 square feet. Half of the new building is occupied by Waterville Pediatrics, which moved in two months ago.

Mitchell said he's negotiating a lease with another medical practice for the remaining 6,000 square feet. He hopes to have that lease finalized soon, with the buildout beginning around Jan. 1.


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