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August 8, 2018

Central Maine Healthcare's new Topsham Care Center is up and running

Photo / Maureen Milliken Topsham Care Center, the former Best Buy, Sun Tan City and Dollar Store at 105 Tospsham Fair Mall Road, has opened. New England Cancer Specialists, at right, is the first provider to open at the site, with the others to follow in the coming weeks.

TOPSHAM -- Central Maine Healthcare’s 44,000-square-foot Topsham Care Center has started offering services at the building that once housed Best Buy and The Dollar Store at 105 Topsham Fair Mall Road.

New England Cancer Specialists has opened and all the care center’s services, including an urgent care clinic, will be up and running by September, said Chip Neilson, director of business development for Lewiston-based CMHC.

The project was developed by Bateman Partners LLC. AlliedCook Construction of Scarborough is the general contractor. Property owner is 105 Topsham Fair Mall Road LLC, and CMHC has a 20-year lease on the space.

While the use for the building is new, Neilson stresses that CMHC is a longtime presence in the area.

“I get a lot of questions about Topsham and [CMHC] being new here, but we’re not,” he said Tuesday. CMHC-affiliated Topsham Family Practice, at 4 Horton Place, has been in the area for several years.

The Topsham Care Center includes New England Cancer Specialists, which moved to just under 16,000 square feet in the building from its Brunswick location, and Shields Health Care Group, which offers medical imaging and diagnostic treatment.

Central Maine Specialty Care will provide medical services that include the ability of patients to connect with with Massachusetts General Hospital. Services at the site will also include visits from CMHC’s mobile MRI. The final piece is Central Maine Urgent Care.

The owners bought the building for $5.14 million in December.

When CMHC first announced the plan for the site in March, officials said it’s the first of a series across the state for the health care organization.

No longer a box store

Courtesy / Whipple Callender
A rendering of Topsham Care Center, which is in three former retail spaces at 105 Topsham Fair Mall Road.

Neilson said the location is a good one, including the amount of traffic into the Topsham Fair Mall retail neighborhood, which includes Hannaford supermarket, Renys, Target, Home Depot, restaurants and a movie theater, among other businesses.

The proximity to Interstate 295 and the location makes the building “basically a billboard in itself,” he said.

Neilson said reuse of the former box store space is also exciting.

The Best Buy at the site closed two years ago. It had occupied 33,000 square feet of the space. There had also been a Sun Tan City and Dollar Tree store. Dollar Tree moved to 131 Topsham Fair Mall Road to accommodate the CMCH project.

“It really offers the perfect space,” Neilson said.

The exterior of the building has muted horizontal beige and brown stripes, no longer recognizable as a box store. The interior also underwent extensive renovations to house the different health care uses. New England Cancer Specialists is at the north end of the building.

Sharing an entrance will be Central Maine Specialty Care, which is due to open shortly in 5,500 square feet and Shields, which will be up and running by the end of the month is 6,100 square feet.

The urgent care center, which is still being renovated, will have a separate entrance. It will open in September in the remaining space.

Also at the site is a Buffalo Wild Rings restaurant.

Neilson said the restaurant is “a great neighbor,” as well as bringing traffic to the site that may not normally go there.

Multiple collaborative efforts

Photo / Maureen Milliken
CMHC's Topsham Care Center at 105 Topsham Fair Mall Road includes a variety of health care providers.

Aside from its affiliated Topsham Family Practice, CMHC in 2012 attempted to partner with 55-bed Parkview Medical Center in Brunswick under a change of control request, but withdrew in October 2013. Parkview ultimately merged with Brunswick's Mid Coast Hospital.

The new mid-coast project reflects recent changes across the country in the approach to health care.

“We went into this project with the future in mind,” Neilson said.

The center also increases access to the type of health care they would have had to travel to get before.

“We’re meeting the patients where they are,” he said.

Neilson said Lewiston-based CMHC is open to new locations anywhere in the state. “We’re ready to go wherever we need to,” he said.

Neilson said that the developer, Bateman Partners, is “doing good work” and CMHC expects to contract with the developer on future projects.

“Part of the reason it’s so exciting is that it’s a culmination of multiple collaborative efforts,” he said of the project as a whole.

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