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Updated: March 14, 2024

Real Estate Insider Notebook: Northeast Bank plans new Auburn branch; Evernorth invests in Belfast

Courtesy / Northeast Bank Northeast Bank plans to open a banking center at 836 Center Street in Auburn, pending regulatory approval.

Auburn-based H.E. Callahan Construction Co. will lead construction on a new banking center for Northeast Bank.

The new site still needs regulatory approval, but plans call for at site at 836 Center St. in Auburn.

Northeast Bank plans to close its existing Auburn branch at 232 Center St., 1.4 miles from the new office.

The larger branch will include tech upgrades as well as a larger service area and better customer parking. At 836 Center St., Northeast Bank will take over what had been a branch for Central Maine Credit Union. 

“Northeast Bank is proud to continue our commitment to the Lewiston-Auburn region with a strong investment in our new Auburn location,” said Robert T. Banaski, chief retail banking officer. “We are committed to creating an environment that is both welcoming and technologically advanced.”

Courtesy / Northeast Bank
An interior view of a refurbished bank branch to be taken over by Northeast Bank.

The building is undergoing an interior and exterior remodel, managed by NES Group of Mansfield, Mass. H.E. Callahan, as mentioned, is leading the construction effort. 

If all goes as planned, move-in will be in June. 

Portland-based Northeast Bank (Nasdaq: NBN) ranks No. 4 among the largest Maine-based banks, with $2.87 billion in assets, according to the Mainebiz Book of Lists. The bank has nine Maine offices. 

Evernorth investment in Belfast

Evernorth Rural Ventures, a subsidiary of Evernorth, said it closed on $8.9 million New Markets Tax Credit investment for the expansion of Penobscot Community Health Care’s Seaport Community Health Center in Belfast.

The New Markets Tax Credit financing is Evernorth Rural Ventures' first investment in Maine and will allow Seaport Community Health Center to respond to a growing medically underserved population.

The financing will pay for Penobscot Community Health Care’s renovation and fit up of Building 5 within the former MBNA Bank of America complex in Belfast. It paves the way for Seaport Community Health Center to expand and attract new providers to serve patients in the Belfast community.

The address is 21 Schoodic Drive in Belfast.

Dunbar & Brawn Construction, of Bangor, will serve as general contractor.

Capital One will serve as the equity investor. Other partners are Primary Care Development Corp. and the Federal Health Resources and Services Administration.

“This is a perfect example of how New Markets Tax Credits can help communities in need. We are proud to be supporting the critically necessary Penobscot Community Health Care grow its busy local clinic and meet the medically underserved low income community and resident needs,” said Beth Boutin, vice president of Evernorth Rural Ventures.

Evernorth Rural Ventures’ NMTC financing closes a nearly $3 million gap in project funding, which stalled the expansion project for two years.

The expanded facility will allow the Seaport Community Health Center to add 11 new full-time positions to its current staff of 41. The center’s service capacity will grow by approximately 17%, to over 32,200 medical and behavioral health visits a year and 8,445 people, more than half of whom are considered low-income.

Lori Dwyer, president and CEO of Penobscot Community Health Care, added: “The increased space will allow us to significantly increase our integrated primary care services, inclusive of family medicine, mental health, recovery and pharmacy services, expanding the impact we are able to have in our community. We are fortunate to have so many dedicated partners and greatly appreciate the Evernorth Rural Ventures investment that allows us to expand access to integrated primary health care in rural Waldo County.”

Penobscot Community Health Care is the largest federally qualified health center in Maine, employing over 850 full-time employees in Maine.

The new facility is expected to open in April 2024.   

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