Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

February 27, 2019

As Washington Avenue heats up, Dale Rand Printing moves across Portland

Photo / Maureen Milliken Some of the employees of Dale Rand Printing, from left, Mike Galli, Joe Rand and Mike Rand, in front of the building the company has owned since 1990. Established in 1980 on Elm Street, it will be moving across the city to Riverside Street in early summer.

PORTLAND  The evolving landscape of Washington Avenue will bring a big change later this year, when longtime neighborhood business Dale Rand Printing moves across the city to Riverside Street.

The printing firm has been on the peninsula since it was established by owner Dale Rand in 1980 on Elm Street, off Cumberland Avenue, and has been at 104 Washington Ave. since 1990. Before that, it was a few blocks away, at the corner of Forest Avenue and Portland Street, where it had been since 1984.

The move to 508 Riverside St., in an area of light industrial properties, was prompted by a need for more space, particularly parking, said Mike Rand, an employee of the business, and son of the owner.

Rand, his brother Joe, and Mike Galli, gathered at the front counter of the business this week to talk about the move. The three are among the business’s six employees.

The new space, “has more space, more efficient parking, better delivery capabilities, it’s more suited to what we’re doing,” Galli said.

The current space, at 104 Washington Ave., is about 2,000 square feet, with only street parking.

Washington Avenue, which skirts the foot of Munjoy Hill, has become a hot development area.

New restaurants open weekly, condominiums are going up on Munjoy Hill, and down below in East Bayside, adding more foot traffic and prompting more retail openings.

One recent addition, at 93 Washington Ave., across the street from the print shop, is the Black Box, a start-up commercial space made from shipping containers, which opened last fall.

The former Nissen bakery building that dominates the street has become commercial and office space since the bakery closed in 1999, and its garage bays are now home to Maine Mead Works, Hardshore Distilling Co. and Oxbow Blending and Bottling.

'This is where we all grew up'

The print shop employees have seen the neighborhood change over the decades.

“This is where we all grew up,” Joe Rand said.

Galli and the Rand brothers are all Munjoy Hill natives, and have worked at the print shop all their adult lives. They’ve seen the neighborhood change from tightly packed residential and hardscrabble industrial. The building the print shop is in, constructed as a grocery store in 1936, had long been the site of local bars, including Cookie’s, before it was Dale Rand Printing.

When the print shop moved to 104 Washington Ave. in 1990, the Nissen bakery was still operating, Galli pointed out.

“There weren’t a lot of restaurants,” Joe Rand said. There also wasn’t as much traffic, he said.

“The delivery trucks would double-park out front,” Rand said. “Our customers could pull up right out front.”

The three said, though, that many of the new businesses on Washington Avenue are among their customers.

“A lot of businesses like having us here,” Galli said.

While digital technology has hurt many businesses that do what Dale Rand Printing does, they said business is still good.

“We do a lot of business-related work,” Mike Rand said. “But we also have artists who come in.”

Election years are particularly good for the business, Joe Rand said, which was once the only union print shop in Portland. Employees are members of the Communications Workers of America.

A prime site

Photo / Maureen Milliken
Dale Rand Printing, at 104 Washington St., the one-story building in the center, and 108-112 Washington St., to its right, have been sold in the past year. There's no word yet on the future of either property.

The move is scheduled for sometime in early summer, they said. They have to vacate the building by the end of July.

The 2,275 square feet of industrial space Dale Rand Printing is leasing at 508 Riverside St., is in the front unit that was most recently occupied by Boots Bounty Redemption Center. The print shop will be sharing space with ABC Service Center and Atlantic Auto Body.

Galli said the new space requires some slight renovation work before the move.

Dale Rand owned the building at 104 Washington St., which was sold by Benchmark Residential and Investment Real Estate, of Portland, in November for $550,000, according to the Multiple Listing Service.

Broker Tom Landry couldn’t be reached for details about plans for the one-story building or who the new owner is. Benchmark also brokered the sale of 108-112 Washington Ave. in May, a 6,000-square-foot triple decker apartment building next door. The owner listed in the city’s tax rolls is 104-112 Wash LLC, with a 72 Pine St. address, the same address as Benchmark.

The building was touted in the listing as “an excellent redevelopment opportunity in Portland’s hot East End location” with “multiple permitted uses with skyline views.”

The site, which is on a little less than half an acre, has a rear view of the Portland skyline and Back Cove and is between the developing residential Munjoy Hill neighborhood and the also-evolving-and-developing East Bayside area.

Sign up for Enews


Order a PDF