December 3, 2018

Old Port retail space a rare find for the buyer

Courtesy / Maine Realty Advisors
Courtesy / Maine Realty Advisors
Maine BodyWorks LLC sold its retail condo at 3 Gold St. in Portland to Larry Adlerstein, who used to own Artist & Craftsman Supply, which he founded in Portland. Exposed brick and stonework might have been part of the original foundation at 3 Gold St. in Portland.

The sale of a 924-square-foot retail condominium unit at 3 Gold St. was a rare opportunity to get space in the Old Port section of Portland for the buyer, who says he was looking for a new project to take on.

In addition to a location that's in demand, sitting just off Commercial Street, it has interior features like exposed stone and brick, wood beams and hardwood floors.

Gold Street Properties LLC purchased the unit from Maine BodyWorks LLC for $275,000. Josh Soley and John Golden of Maine Realty Advisors brokered both sides of the deal, which closed Oct. 24.

The building in which the unit is located is bounded by Gold, Pearl and Fore streets.The building has six condo units in all — two retail and four office.

The 3 Gold St. condo is on the basement level of the building but has a street-level entry. At some point, said Golden, who represented the buyer, that unit was built out as a retail suite with a reception area and three private rooms with exposed brick and stone walls. The space is also equipped with a kitchen and bath. It's in excellent shape, he said.

The unit was on the market for a couple of months, he said.

Demand for retail space in the Old Port is high, he noted.

"There are not many available condo or retail spaces, though, he said. "They go pretty quickly. I've been dealing with a national client who keeps on missing out because they're not fast enough."

Maine BodyWorks continues operations at 72 Ocean St., Suite 104, in South Portland, according to its website.

Exposed fieldstone

Soley, who represented the seller, said the building was built around the 1880s. "Williams Bros. Co." and "Machinists" is still visible in old paint on the exterior of the ground floor along Pearl Street.

The exposed stone in 3 Gold St. is the basement's original fieldstone and the exposed rafters are the original floor joists of the floor above, said Soley.

Gold Street Properties LLC is owned by Larry Adlerstein. Adlerstein founded Artist & Craftsman Supply in 1985 "as a small upstart art supply" in Portland, according to the company's website.

The company's early years included segues into wholesale distribution, light manufacturing, sign supplies, house paint and importation and distribution of a boutique European oil paint.

Artist & Craftsman Supply began adding stores in the mid-nineties. By the early 2000s, it grew into areas like children's art and school supplies, eclectic and novelty goods and other non-traditional fine art related materials.

In 2009, Adlerstein sold 48% of the company to employees. Expansion continued. In 2016, there were 34 locations and an online store.

On Dec. 30, 2016, Adlerstein sold his remaining shares to employees. The company continues to thrive.

Reached by phone, Adlerstein said that he's basically retired. He purchased 3 Gold St. to have a project. At first he thought of opening a European sandwich shop but he's also open to finding a great tenant who could make good use of the beautiful space. There are many possible uses for the unit, he said. Right now, he's looking for an alternative medicine-related tenant, like an acupuncturist or a chiropractor.

Golden said other possible uses include a cafe/coffee shop, clothing store, tasting room, florist or any other business venture.


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