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Updated: November 2, 2023

Northern Light Health partners with developer on Bangor housing for visiting doctors, nurses

Courtesy / High Tide Capital Northern Light Health, which cites the housing shortage as an issue in recruiting, partnered with High Tide Capital on the historic renovation of a downtown Bangor building that will have 20 apartments.

In an effort to ease the housing crunch for employees, Northern Light Health has partnered with a developer to create apartments dedicated to the health care system's workers. 

The 20-unit building is a historic renovation of 27 State St. in Bangor.

The developer is High Tide Capital, which has done other historic renovations in Bangor and is also tackling the conversion of Skowhegan’s vacant Spinning Mill into apartments, a boutique hotel and brew pub. In all, High Tide Capital has done more than 20 historic renovations, from Maine to North Carolina. 

Dash Davidson, one of the partners at High Tide Capital, said the partnership was an attempt to help Northern Light tackle the workforce housing shortage.

The building will be used to house visiting doctors and nurses, or doctors who are relocating. It will serve as a selling point in recruiting health care professionals who might have the option of several places — but could be swayed by a nice place to stay. 

The building has a fitness center, roof deck suitable for events and a Nest Cafe on the ground floor. 

'Good project'

The project came together over the past two years. In a phone call with Mainebiz, Davidson described it as "one of those good projects where a lot of threads come together."
“The building will be finished this month and the first hospital employee tenants will be moving in in the first week of November. It is a project and a partnership that we at High Tide Capital, our partners at Northern Light, and the Economic Development team and City Council in Bangor are all very excited about,” Davidson told Mainebiz.

To ensure the apartments will have consistent occupancy, High Tide Capital and Northern Light Health entered into a “first option to rent” agreement.

“This project is particularly exciting in that it improves the downtown through major investment and provides a solution to some of the workforce housing shortages that we have been experiencing,” said Paul Bolin, Northern Light Health senior vice president and chief people officer. “Additionally, it does so in a way that preserves Bangor’s historic architecture for future generations to enjoy.”

Vibrant downtown

Davidson gave tours of the building to City Council members early last week.

"This is a great addition," said Dan Tremble, a Bangor native and City Council member. "In the past 10 years, we've seen a lot of downtown renovations of this kind, with upper-floor apartments."

Tremble cited similar work by developers Telford Allen III, who renovated what's known as the Circular Block, among others, and Abe and Heather Furth, who managed such a project on Franklin Street in the downtown. 

"It's helped raise the rents — to a reasonable, market level," Tremble said. "I think Bangor apartments were undervalued for a long time." 

When High Tide Capital acquired the six-story downtown building, the goal was to preserve its historic nature while creating apartments that would contribute to a vibrant neighborhood. 

"When you can turn a mostly vacant office building like 27 State Street into 20 apartments filled with new downtown residents, it fuels the growth cycle downtown and it bolsters our downtown businesses and the entire community," Davidson said. 

“It’s not enough to have these beautiful, historic buildings, you also have to make use of them, whether that’s restaurants, breweries, barbershops and beyond," he added.

The first residents are expected to move in by mid-November.


Permanent financing was provided by First National Bank, led by loan officer Ben Sprague out of the Bangor branch.

Financing for the project was helped by a credit enhancement from the city, which Davidson characterized as a version of a Tax Increment Financing incentive. Financing was also helped by a historic tax credit facilitated by Brunswick-based Coastal Enterprises Inc. 

CEI started investing through the Maine State Historic Tax Credit Program in 2009 and has continued to invest through a subsidiary, 30 Federal St. Investments LLC, since 2016, said Ryan Green, CEI's director of lending. 

"Since we first began investing, we financed over 60 projects that have revitalized historic properties throughout Maine with a focus on bringing mixed-use redevelopment, affordable and workforce housing, and traditional commercial space to Maine’s downtowns," Green said. "We are proud to partner in this project with High Tide Capital to revitalize the 27 State Street Project and help address the shortage of workforce housing in the Bangor area."

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