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December 18, 2019

Insider Notebook: Benchmark Real Estate opens Washington Avenue office

Courtesy / Benchmark Realty A rendering of the planning nine-unit Solaris condominium complex at 130 Morning St. in Portland.

Benchmark Real Estate is opening a new office on Washington Avenue in Portland this weekend,  as well as unveiling the new "eco-lux" Solaris condominium complex nearby.

Benchmark is opening an office at 104 Washington Ave., the long-time home of Dale Rand Printing. Benchmark also has offices at 72 Pine St., in Portland, and locations in Portland and in Yarmouth. Like those, the new office "will be located in a community center — an area that is walkable, accessible, visible and at the heart of a neighborhood," said a news release announcing the opening.

Landry in March told Mainebiz the Washington Avenue location is a desirable area with a lot of possibilities. A news release about the opening Tuesday called the area "clearly one of Portland's trendiest locations."

"With its award-winning restaurants, distilleries, breweries, shops, galleries and boutiques, Inner Wash Ave is an area that attracts locals and visitors," the release said.

Landry added, "This strategic location will ensure our team can carry on the tradition of being one with the community. At the same time, we couldn't be more excited to unveil Solaris. These homes promise to be some of the greenest, most energy efficient and healthiest to live in anywhere."

Benchmark is holding a grand opening weekend for its new office, and is also offering tour of the showroom for Solaris, which will be built at 130 Morning St. on the Eastern Promenade. The nine-unit condo development will be "eco-lux," featuring energy efficient and environment friendly features, as well as high-end amenities. The four-story building will have a roof-top solar farm, electric vehicle charging stations, super-efficient triple-pane windows, decks, organic garden plots and other low-carrbon and healthy living environment features, the release said. "At the same time, the condos will include the high-end fit and finish that we all want and expect, from chef-inspired kitchens to spa-worthy baths," it said.

Landry is the developer on the project, with Benchmark's Cornerstone Building & Restoration the builder and Benchmark as the broker. It's expected to open next fall.

The weekend-long kick-off party beginning from 4-7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20, with an additional showing from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, and Sunday, Dec. 22. The event will feature the work of local artist Annie Darling, snacks and beverages from local businesses, and a charity component; Benchmark will accept donations for The Root Cellar, a Munjoy Hill nonprofit.

Dale Rand Printing moved from 104 Washington Ave. across the city to 508 Riverside Ave. in July, after 29 years at the location.

Maine Source has new Auburn headquarters

Also making a move recently was Maine Source Homes & Realty recently moved from its Center Street location in Auburn to 259 Minot Ave. in the city. 

The brokerage, which also sells and builds custom manufactured homes, has been in business in the Lewiston-Auburn area for more than 27 years, first at Hardscrabble Road, in Poland. It moved to Center Street in Auburn in 2012.

The new space is about 1,400 square feet and the location has a lot of positives, said Jon Mercier, designated broker.

“Customers will benefit from greater ease of access, easier parking and an easier location to find, which should particularly help those traveling, and those not as familiar with Auburn,” he said in a news release. The new location has easy access to both Interstate 95 and U.S. Route 202.

He told Mainebiz that the company will also have a 28-by-56-foot model home on display at the site, beginning this weekend. The company designs, plans and builds manufactured homes for customers, contracting with companies that construct the home, including, in Maine, KBS of South Paris.

Poland Family Practice adds space

In other Lewiston-Auburn area news, Poland Family Practice, part of Lewiston's St. Mary's Health System, has completed a 2,200-square-foot addition at its 1230 Maine St., Poland, location.

The addition adds four new exam rooms, enhanced space for clinical staff, improvements to restrooms and a redesign of the entryway.

Rockport, Gray RFQs

In Rockport, the town may reopen the the search for proposals to redevelop 7.6 acres of town land. The RES Redevelopment Committee got one proposal for the former Rockport Elementary School site at the intersection of U.S. Route 1 and Route 90, the Pilot reported.

The committee will recommend to the select board at its Jan. 13 meeting that the request for qualifications be reopened, with a Feb. 28 deadline. The one proposal received, by Douglas Clayton, is for a mixed-use residential, commercial and recreation site that would include senior housing. 

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has issued a request for qualifications for architects and engineers to design the renovation of the Nature Store and construction of a 2,000-square-foot addition for a new Game Farm Museum at the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray. The state hopes to open the new museum in 2021. RFQs are due Jan. 24. 

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