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January 10, 2012

Brunswick Station developer, Barber president buy Portland warehouse

A Massachusetts-based developer and a Barber sibling have purchased a warehouse at 56 Milliken St. that houses two large manufacturers, AdvancePierre Foods, formerly Barber Foods, and Paradigm Windows, but they have no immediate plans to make any changes to the building or occupants.

JHR Development LLC, the developer of Brunswick Station, and David Barber bought the building last month for $6.5 million from KDJS Partners LLC, a company held by the four Barber siblings of Barber Foods. "The family decided not to own the building," Barber said, a decision that follows their sale last year of the family-owned company that was founded by their father.

Barber, who remains with AdvancePierre as Barber Foods' president, said the change in ownership will have zero change in operations. "We are committed to Maine and keeping our jobs here," he said. "The facility on Milliken Street provides necessary support for the St. John Street manufacturing plant."

Barber Foods, which produces frozen chicken products, uses 200,665 square feet in the building as a warehouse and offices for its food-processing plant on St. John Street. When the company was sold to AdvancePierre Foods last June, the new owner continued to lease the space. At the end of the year, AdvancePierre will vacate the offices but retain the warehouse space, Barber said. (AdvancePierre also plans to invest $10 million to automate and modernize the St. John Street plant, a move that has led to layoffs.)

City records from April show assessors had valued the Milliken Street property and 25.75-acre land at a little under $7.9 million, with an annual tax of $144,341.

Barber said the building occupies five acres of the large parcel, and while no concrete plans have been made, he said, "There's a lot more space to develop definitely."

JHR owner Hilary Rockett reiterates that he has no current plans to renovate the buildings or move the occupants. "It's a great building, a great location, with great tenants," Rockett said. "I'm trying to purchase more similar properties like that in Maine."

The Milliken Street building is JHR's second Maine property. Its Brunswick development consists of a mixed-use building downtown, next to the train tracks, and the $14 million, 52-room Inn at Brunswick Station on Maine Street, which opened in June. JHR is based in Marblehead, Mass.

CBRE|The Boulos Co.'s Drew Sigfridson and Tony McDonald marketed the property for KDJS Partners. Sigfridson wrote in a press release that the facility was completely renovated in 2005.

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