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Updated: October 16, 2023 Building Business

Building Business: From a hotel to coffee shops, projects are taking shape

RENDERING / COURTESY OF RADNOR PROPERTY GROUP Wright-Ryan Construction is coming down the home stretch on a conversion of two of UMaine’s oldest campus buildings into the Hotel Ursa.

Wright-Ryan Construction, of Portland, is coming down the home stretch with the conversion of two University of Maine campus buildings into the Hotel Ursa, an independent hotel that will have 95 rooms and suites. The hotel is set to open in spring 2024, UMaine said.

Hotel Ursa, a new independent hotel with 95 rooms and suites, is opening in the spring at the University of Maine. Development of the hotel is a joint venture of Wayne, Pa.-based Radnor Property Group and Chicago-based Harrison Street, an investment management firm. Working with Wright-Ryan, Portland-based Archetype Architects designed the facilities. The property will be operated by Portland-based Olympia Hotel Management. The Ursa will be in renovated space in two of UMaine’s oldest halls, Coburn and Holmes.

The property will also include MajorMinor, a cafe and bar that will have locally roasted coffees, baked goods, snacks, Maine craft beers and wines by-the-glass. Designated hotel parking will be located between Fogler Library and Holmes Hall. There also will be a small parking lot next to Coburn Hall. The hotel will provide much-needed on-campus housing for parents and visitors.

Aroma Joe's
An Aroma Joe's site in Kittery built by DeStefano & Associates.

DeStefano knows fast food

DeStefano & Associates Inc. handles a wide variety of construction projects, but lately it has shown its expertise in fast-food establishments.

Portsmouth, N.H.-based DeStefano completed ground-up construction of a 1,000-square-foot Aroma Joe’s at 523 U.S. Route 1 in Kittery. The design was by Theresa M. English of Kansas City-based TK Architects International.

The franchisee group is made up of Maryna Shuliakouskaya, Loren Goodridge (also the Aroma Joe’s CEO), Mark Carey and Kaitlyn Burnell. The group has a total of eight Aroma Joe’s locations.

Aroma Joe’s, which is based in South Portland, has 106 locations — in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Florida, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York. Sites are in development from Maine to Florida.

Back to DeStefano: It is building a Dunkin’ site in Limerick, York County. The 1,200-square-foot store was designed by Aharonian & Associates Inc. It is expected to open in December.

Finally, DeStefano has broken ground on an 11,500-square-foot Dollar General store in East Waterboro, also in York County. It is expected to be completed in December.

Photo / COURTESY of Woods Maine Treehouse
Woods Maine Treehouse in Norway, Oxford County, was named part of the Nelson Treehouse Experience, a portfolio of five luxury treehouses in the U.S.

A treehouse of distinction

The Woods Maine Treehouse, a Norway, Oxford County, destination that’s been popular with the glamping crowd, received a distinction that seems sure to amp up its popularity.

The retreat, which was designed by renown treehouse builder Pete Nelson, was designated one of only five U.S. “Nelson Treehouse Experiences” by the Fall City, Wash.-based Nelson Treehouse & Supply. Others are in Fall City, Wash.; Utopia, Texas; Ashford, Wash.; and Gatlinburg, Tenn. Nelson Treehouse has built more than 350 custom treehouses around the world.

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