Processing Your Payment

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

January 25, 2021

Historic Old Port block of buildings sells for $11.7M

Courtesy / Boulos Co. The Italianate structure on the left of the three-building portfolio dates to 1867.

For the developer of Portland’s Canal Plaza, the acquisition of a neighboring block of three buildings was natural fit.

East Brown Cow Management Inc. bought the Boyd Block and Four Canal Plaza, at 178-188 Middle St. and 4 Canal St.,  from Middle Street Holdings LLC for $11.7 million.

Dan Greenstein of the Boulos Co. and Jennifer Small and Joseph Malone of Malone Commercial Brokers brokered the deal, which closed Jan. 19.

East Brown Cow owns neighboring One, Two and Three Canal Plaza and Fore Street Garage. The company’s president is Tim Soley.

“He was the natural buyer,” said Malone’s Jennifer Small, who represented Soley. “This particular asset made sense to Tim,” she said. “He essentially controls the entire block.”

The interior calls for a bit of updating but, overall, it’s a solid structure, she said.

Courtesy / Boulos Co.
Outlined in yellow are the three buildings that make up the Boyd Block, sold recently for $11.7 million to Canal Plaza abutter East Brown Cow.

“He’ll go through and do energy-efficient upgrades,” she added. “We can expect to see upgrades to the entire asset over a period of time.”

The buildings are located in Portland’s Old Port, at the corner of Middle and Exchange streets on nearly a half-acre. Together, the three adjacent, interconnected retail/office buildings comprise 68,705 square feet.

The brick four- and five-story buildings are home to national retailers Urban Outfitters, Bangor Savings, Starbucks and Stonewall Kitchen, plus upper-floor office tenants. The block is 95% occupied by 17 tenants ranging in size from 1,000 square feet to 9,720 square feet, according to the Boulos marketing brochure.

The building at 178 Middle St. dates back to 1867.

Solid tenants

The seller is a New York City developer and investor who bought the block for $8 million in 2014 as part of a 1031 tax exchange, said Greenstein, who represented the seller.

“Even though he hadn’t spent any time in  Maine, he had heard, like a lot of people, that this was a great small market to be in,” he said. “He started making inquiries and he and I got together.”

The seller decided to sell the block in order to focus on properties he’s developing in Pittsburgh and Brooklyn, N.Y., Greenstein added.


Courtesy / Boulos Co.
Classic molding and trim are seen in the lobby of the 4 Canal St. building.

“He felt he could deploy the profit from this sale and make a better return by developing his other properties,” he said.

The property was on the market about four months and drew a lot of interest. 

“We probably had 15 showings,” said Greenstein. “We had strong interest from out-of-state.”

The value was enhanced by the ground-floor retail tenants who have continued to do business and pay their rents through the pandemic, he added.

For a historic class B office building, the $11.7 million might be among the highest prices paid in the area, he said. But at $200 per square foot, the value was less than other smaller historic buildings in the Old Port, which are now selling for as much as $300 per square foot, he said.


Sign up for Enews


February 3, 2021

Glade to know about millions of dollar housing
<a href=""></a&gt;

Order a PDF