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October 12, 2016

Rinck crosses the Androscoggin to historic W.T. Grant building

Courtesy / Rinck The Rinck team on the roof of the W.T. Grant Co. building in Lewiston. The agency plans to move into 13,000 square feet of the building by January 2017.

The former home of a W.T Grant Co. department store in downtown Lewiston will soon get a new lease on life, as Auburn-based advertising agency Rinck announced that it will be moving its headquarters to two floors of the historic storefront.

The agency, which also has offices in Annapolis, Md., has 35 full-time employees and 20 part-time events staff at its Maine offices. Rinck provides its clients full-service advertising, marketing and public relations services, including brand building, logo and identity packages, web strategy, market research and web development.

It’s worked with well-known brands, including Amtrak’s Downeaster, the Portland International Jetport, Bangor Savings Bank, Unilever International and Colman’s Mustard.

“Talented professionals came to us and clients have stayed with us,” said Rinck CEO Peter Rinck, a 2014 Mainebiz Business Leader of the Year. “This new space allows us to work in new and innovative ways to serve our clients’ business needs and meet the goals we have for the next 10 years.”

The new digs

The W.T Grant Co. department store, which Rinck will occupy 13,000 square feet of, was built around 1930 by Dan Wellehan, father of Lamey-Wellehan shoe store chain President Jim Wellehan. The downtown store was the second location for W.T Grant Co., which grew to more than 1,100 stores in 40 states by the mid-1900s.

The first-floor reception area of the new Rinck headquarters will have stadium seating facing a small stage for Rinck presentations or entertainment during Art Walk Lewiston Auburn events. The original department store’s wooden stairs from the first floor to the basement will be refurbished along with the original wood flooring on the second floor.

The downtown building headquarters will have a full creative suite, a commercial test kitchen for food and beverage clients, a sound room for audio recording and a second floor meeting space made to look like a shipping container. In addition, the new space will accommodate a fully staffed Content Studio.

The building is owned by 113 Lisbon St. LLC. Rinck has agreed to a long-term lease with Jim Wellehan.

"I have loved downtown Lewiston all my life, and it is very exciting to have Rinck – an exciting and growing company — step in and add its strength and personality to the great and growing mix of downtown businesses,” Wellehan said in a prepared statement. “My dad would be delighted, and so would Willy Grant.”

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