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May 18, 2020

In Portland, industrial building “ahead of its time” fetches $12.8M

Courtesy / The Boulos Co. This 249,370-square-foot warehouse/distribution facility in Portland sold for $12.8 million. The buyer is a t distributor of building materials in the Northeast.

A 249,370-square-foot warehouse/distribution facility in Portland was originally marketed as a leasing opportunity until a buyer stepped up to pay $12.8 million in order to relocate his existing business.

Rand Road Holdings LLC sold 7 Rand Road to Brockway-Smith Co. in a deal that closed April 1. Drew Sigfridson and Tony McDonald of the Boulos Co. and Tom Dunham and Greg Hastings from NAI The Dunham Group brokered the transaction. 

Built in 1972 and renovated in 1986, the building consists of a 212,753-square-foot single-story warehouse space and 36,617-square-foot two-story office space plus mezzanine storage levels. The warehouse has 33-foot clear ceiling height, skylights throughout and several loading docks. There are over 200 on-site parking spaces plus truck/trailer parking areas. The property is easily accessible from Maine Turnpike Exit 47.

The facility was originally built for the Emery-Waterhouse Co. 

“It was ahead of its time with the 33-foot clear height, which back then was almost unheard of,” McDonald said. “It shows the kind of investment an owner/user will make in a building. They built this at, I’m sure at the time, was enormous expense. It’s a solid building.”

Emery-Waterhouse, founded in 1842 in Portland, distributed hardware and building materials throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. It was acquired by Ace Hardware in 2014, according to ProSales Magazine.

At the time, it was announced that Emery-Waterhouse would remain a separate company and the long-time majority owner, Charlie Hildreth, would continue to have a presence in the organization.

Ace Hardware subsequently announced it would restructure its operation, which included closing the Portland site, according to AP News.

The seller of the property, Rand Road Holdings LLC, is a holding company owned by the Hildreth family, explained McDonald. 

Courtesy / The Boulos Co.
The 212,753-square-foot single-story warehouse includes 33-foot clear ceiling height and several loading docks.

However, Road Road Holdings wasn’t originally looking to sell the property. The original plan was to lease space there.

 “We had a number of prospective tenants who wanted pieces: 50,000 square feet, 70,000 square feet," said McDonald. "And along came BROSCO, looking to buy it.”

Brockway-Smith Co., or BROSCO, which is based in Wilmington, Mass. Founded in 1890, the fourth-generation family-owned business is the largest distributor of millwork products in the Northeast, according to its website.

BROSCO has regional distribution centers in Portland and Hatfield, Mass. The company opened its Portland location, at 203 Read St., in 1963. Substantial plant additions were made to the Portland plant in 1972 and 1984.

The purchase of 7 Rand Road will allow the company to relocate its warehouse and production operations from 203 Read St., said the company’s president, Charlie Smith. The two locations are three miles apart.

“The  new facility has more square footage, and more cube space as well,” he wrote in an email. “This will improve increase storage space and improve operating efficiency.  We will be selling our 203 Read St. warehouse.”

The Rand Road building is in great condition, noted McDonald.

Courtesy / The Boulos Co.
The 36,617-square-foot two-story office space includes mezzanine storage levels.

The per-square-foot price of $51.33 is low compared to what smaller buildings are selling for, he added.

“For a large building, it’s a good price,” he said.


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