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Updated: August 29, 2022

Rock Row development helps drive $14.9M retail center investment

aerial of shopping center Courtesy / F.O. Bailey Real Estate A retail center at 100 Larrabee Road in Westbrook sold off-market for $14.9 million.

Before development started on Rock Row, a 110-acre, mixed-use complex in Westbrook, it was tough to find tenants for the Larrabee Complex, a neighboring retail center at 100 Larrabee Road.

“We had a lot of vacancy in there and it was tough to get it leased up,” said Frank O’Connor of the Dunham Group. “But as soon as Rock Row was announced, it started filling up.”

Now nearly fully occupied, Larrabee Complex attracted an off-market investment sale that recently closed for $14.9 million.

O’Connor represented the seller, W/B Larrabee LLC, and Thomas Gadbois of F.O. Bailey Real Estate represented the buyer, 100 Larrabee LLC.

The price is the biggest commercial transaction of its kind in Westbrook, said Gadbois. 

“It’s a big deal in Maine,” he said.

The 102,000-square-foot multi-tenanted mixed-use retail center, built in 1970, is on 21.76 acres located less than one mile from Exits 47 and 48 of the Maine Turnpike/I-95. The site is easily accessible and offers excellent visibility. 

The seller

O’Connor said the seller owned the property for about four years. An investor who lives in California and has a summer home in Camden, the seller has started selling off his portfolio and was willing to sell 100 Larrabee Road if he could get the right price, O’Connor said.

The building is in good shape. It started out as a tire factory and has changed hands four times, including the recent sale.

A mix of tenants includes Spa Tech Institute, Drouin Dance Center, Namco Pools, Sherwin-Williams and Sim-City Indoor Golf.

Maine Community Bank has an operations center on a separate pad site.

“Rock Row is driving everything around there,” said O’Connor.

The buyer

The buyer is a local real estate investor who had a 1031 exchange to fulfill, said Gadbois.

“It s a good deal on a price-per-square-foot basis, especially with everything going on at Rock Row,” Gadbois said. 

Also making it a good deal is the Larrabee Complex’s under-market rents, he said.

“There’s a lot of upside,” he said.

The building has 3,500 square feet of vacancy remaining. 

“Even after we put it under contract, other buyers were interested,” he continued.

Gadbois attributed that interest to the scarcity of deals of similar size, with national and local tenants, in a neighborhood where major development is underway.

“Keeping and getting tenants won’t be an issue,” he predicted.

The buyer will improve the property as needed, he added.

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