Inn proposal would give new life to old property in South Portland

SOUTH PORTLAND (WGME) -- Plans are in the works for a boutique inn on Cottage Road in South Portland.

"We look at this as a way to have a hosted, professionally managed inn to provide people that want to visit Willard Beach stay in Willard Beach," says CEO of Northland Enterprises, Josh Benthien.

Benthien says the property at 265 Cottage Road could be the answer. Originally built during the Civil War Era, it was most recently a convent. Benthien and the Migis Hotel Group would like to see it as an inn.

"It felt like a good project for our greater neighborhood that would bring back this building," says Benthien, "It is a beautiful building, it just needs some love."

Some of that love would include updating the exterior, historic replica windows, new siding and a new porch.

"But for the most part it's going to look like it does now," says Benthien, "Just more beautiful and updated, more landscaping and things like that."

Before that can happen, Benthien says they're waiting on new rules surrounding historic properties from the South Portland City Council. They also hope to get an official historic designation for the property.

"So they're tightening up that language and kind of agreeing upon that," Benthien says.

There won't be a restaurant or bar at the proposed inn, but Benthien says there will be breakfast featuring local businesses.

"It's just an opportunity to help integrate the inn into the neighborhood," he says.

A neighborhood that continues to grow in popularity.

"We've heard anecdotally from people that this would be great just to have a place that's this close that's an option," says Benthien.

If all goes as planned, they hope to start work late this fall.

Inn operators eye former convent on South Portland’s Meetinghouse Hill

By David Harry on March 15, 2019, Twitter: @DavidHarry8

SOUTH PORTLAND — A vintage Meetinghouse Hill home and former convent could be reborn as an inn.

Developer Josh Benthian and the Migis Hotel Group plan to convert the former convent at 265 Cottage Road in South Portland into a 13-room inn.

Developer Josh Benthian and the Migis Hotel Group plan to convert the former convent at 265 Cottage Road in South Portland into a 13-room inn.

Josh Benthien, chief executive of Northland Enterprises, Wednesday said he and the Migis Hotel Group hope to convert the 8,600-square-foot, Civil War-era home built by Capt. David Boyd at 265 Cottage Road into a 13-room inn.

“The idea is a professionally managed, higher-end inn with a minimal impact on neighbors,” Benthien said, adding the developers hope to open the business no later than spring 2021.

He said they see the approximately 1-acre property as an ideal location for a lodging business in a walkable neighborhood not far from Willard Beach, Mill Creek and Knightville.

The inn would not have a restaurant or bar, he said.

The deal may depend on the city deciding if it will allow the project in a designated historic building or property.

An initial workshop on proposals from the city Arts & Historic Preservation Committee was held last month. Any new rules would require Planning Board review before city councilors vote on it. Benthien said he hopes an inn would be among conditional uses allowed in a new historic zone.

Peter Twachtman, Migis chief operating officer and managing partner, said “our combined approach is, we see a wonderful building with a unique structure that needs to be something other than the single-family home it currently is.”

The developers have the property under contract for an undisclosed price, but have not closed on the purchase from 364 Broadway LLC, which bought the property last June. The building was formerly the Convent of the Diocesan Sisters of Mercy.

Migis leases and operates seven inns in Maine, including the Higgins Beach Inn and Black Point Inn, both in Scarborough. Twachtman said his company and Northland are a good match to make the project work for them and the neighborhood.

“They get it, they are here for the long haul. It mirrors what our company does well,” Twachtman said.

A site plan has not been filed with the city, but Benthien and Twachtman said they are keeping neighbors well informed about their plans.

“I live around the corner, I care about the neighborhood as much as anyone,” Twachtman said.

Benthien said they are also in the initial stages of certifying the historic nature of the home, which is not on the National Register of Historic Places. They are working with the Maine Historic Preservation Commission on a historic designation that would allow Benthien to use state and federal tax credits to fund renovations.

“It would allow us to do a historic rehab and put money into it that is needed to save it,” Benthien said.

The credits come with restrictions on how a building can be redeveloped, and Benthien said he sees installation of sprinklers and fire escapes as the biggest challenges in the plan.

Other elements are easier because the house is set back from Cottage Road.

“Without much work at all, you can put 12 cars in there,” Twachtman said. “It’s plenty of parking that still allows good buffer for neighbors and the inn.”

Benthien and Northland have renovated the historic Sanford Mill and Portland’s Baxter Library for residential use. Northland also built two office buildings at 1945 Congress St. in Portland, on former Elk’s Lodge property near the Portland Jetport.

Original story link on The Forecaster web site is HERE.

David Harry can be reached at 780-9092 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

Josh Benthian of Northland Enterprises said converting 265 Cottage Road in South Portland into an inn will have minimal impact on neighbors and fit well in the Meetinghouse Hill neighborhood.

Josh Benthian of Northland Enterprises said converting 265 Cottage Road in South Portland into an inn will have minimal impact on neighbors and fit well in the Meetinghouse Hill neighborhood.

BAYSIDE UPDATE: Century Plaza welcomes local tenant

(Portland, Maine) Earlier this year Northland Enterprises, LLC, a commercial real estate development company based in Portland, helped Coastal Pharmacy & Wellness complete its move to Century Plaza at 29 Marginal Way, at the opposite end of a building that also hosts a Chipotle restaurant.

The pharmacy has detailed its reason for the move, which was also an expansion, on its web site.

“We are very happy to have a locally-owned business in that space, and the three partners were great to collaborate with,” said Josh Benthien, a partner at Northland Enterprises. “This is more local flavor added to this revitalized neighborhood, which is what the neighbors have been telling us they want.”

Coastal Pharmacy and Wellness is joined at Century Plaza by Chipotle, Orange Theory Fitness and a T-Mobile retail store. Northland has been redeveloping the former Century Tire property for several years, after the local landmark closed in February 2014 after almost 90 years in business on Marginal Way.

Benthien said two more spaces are available for lease at Century Plaza.

Northland Enterprises has been managing and re-developing commercial real estate since 2001, in Maine communities and several others in the northeast Unites States. It is based in Portland, Maine.

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Northland Enterprises continues effort to bolster neighborhood

Leavitt & Sons Deli is helping to build a neighborhood feel in the Bayside section of Portland.

(Portland, Maine) Leavitt & Sons Deli (www.LeavittAndSons.com) recently opened in Portland’s burgeoning Bayside neighborhood, at 200 Kennebec Street, across the street from Century Plaza.

(VIDEO REPORT, CLICK HERE.)

Kennebec Street is the second location for Leavitt & Sons. In 2017 Northland Enterprises, LLC, a commercial real estate development company based in Portland, redeveloped the building and reached a lease agreement with owner Peter Leavitt, whose first location is just off U.S. Route 1 in Falmouth, at 37 Depot Road. Josh Benthien, a partner at Northland, said the addition of Leavitt & Sons advances Northland’s effort to help the neighborhood and the city revitalize Bayside.

“The deli is really doing well, and I’m glad to see it,” Benthien said. “The entire Bayside neighborhood is really coming along, and this is one more locally-owned enterprise. As we looked for the right tenant, we felt that was an important factor for the character of the area. Leavitt’s definitely adds some local charm.”

The deli joins other businesses that Northland has attracted to the neighborhood, including Chipotle, Orange Theory Fitness, and a T-Mobile retail store. Benthien said he has also recruited Coastal Pharmacy to the neighborhood, another locally-owned business that he expects to be open in late January or early February.

Northland Enterprises has been managing and re-developing commercial real estate since 2001, in Maine communities and several others in the northeast Unites States. It is based in Portland, Maine.

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Northland Enterprises Bayside development continues to grow

PORTLAND — Coastal Pharmacy and Wellness is the latest business to locate in Northland Enterprises' Bayside property that was once Century Tire. (Direct link to Mainebiz article.)

The compounding pharmacy, owned and operated by Joe Lorello, Cassi Brooks and Stephen Drapeau, has moved from 84 Marginal Way down the street to Century Plaza, at 29 Marginal Way. The group bought Apothecary By Design's retail pharmacy in 2016, establishing an independent pharmacy and wellness center.

Other businesses that have located at Century Plaza since Northland acquired and redeveloped the property in 2015, are Chipotle Mexican Grill, T-Mobile and Orangetheory Fitness.

Coastal Pharmacy has leased a 2,900-square-foot space on the site, which also is accessed from Kennebec Street.

There are two remaining leasable spaces in the complex — 1,375 square feet between Coastal and T-Mobile, and 1,900 square feet in the second building, off Kennebec Street next to Orange Theory Fitness, according to Josh Benthien, a partner with Northland.

Along with the Century Tire site, Northland acquired 1 Marginal Way, 200 Kennebec St. and 202 Kennebec St. for redevelopment.

The first of those to be developed is the 1,700 square feet at 200 Kennebec St. Leavitt & Sons Deli, of Falmouth, opened its second location there at the end of last year.

The brick building, across Kennebec Street from Century Plaza, had most recently been used as a Century Tire warehouse. A lease agreement with deli owner Peter Leavitt, whose first location is at 37 Depot Road in Falmouth, on the corner of U.S. Route 1, in early 2017.

"The deli is really doing well, and I'm glad to see it," Benthien said. He said the addition of Leavitt & Sons advances Northland's effort to help the neighborhood and the city revitalize Bayside.

"The entire Bayside neighborhood is really coming along, and this is one more locally owned enterprise" he said. "As we looked for the right tenant, we felt that was an important factor for the character of the area. Leavitt's definitely adds some local charm."

He said that 2,000 square feet above Enterprise Rent-A-Car at adjacent 1 Marginal Way is also available.

He said that of the 12 leasable spaces Northland has, the two at Century Plaza and the second-floor space at 1 Marginal Way are the only ones unoccupied.

The Northland developments are part of a larger investment effort into the West Bayside neighborhood in the past few years.

Please thank firefighters in your town, TODAY

As many of you know, there was a fire in Sanford on Friday that caught the attention of the entire New England region. In fact, “fire” is probably the wrong word. “Conflagration” is far more apt.

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As is being reported today, the blaze was the work of three arsonists. If you watch this drone footage of the blaze, you can see for yourself how mammoth the challenge of fighting this fire was. Just a few years ago, Northland re-developed the Sanford Mill. The project won a Phoenix Award for mill rehab, and today it is a beehive of activity in that City’s downtown. It is on Washington Street, just a stone’s throw from the mill fire that took place on River Street.

This fire very easily could have spread. But the professional career firefighters of the Sanford Fire Department made sure that it did not. They kept it in check, and thankfully nobody was injured. We would like to recognize the courage of every member of the Department, and express our heartfelt appreciation for all that you do on behalf of Sanford residents. Many properties and lives were at risk. This could have been much, much worse but it was not — and Northland would like to express its gratitude. We are quite sure that we are not alone in sharing these sentiments.

Commercial real estate pushing Portland’s West Bayside forward

Mainebiz magazine reporter Laurie Schreiber recently wrote a very thorough article about commercial real estate development that is helping to transorm Portland’s West Bayside neighborhood. “A growing number of retail and residential offerings are attracting visitors and prospective residents to the area between Congress Street and Marginal Way,” according to Schreiber.

The article reviews some of many new economic development projects that have been transforming that part of town, including Century Plaza, which Northland has been developing for several years now.

The solid forward momentum is likely continue, as the City of Portland moves forward with its plans to sell seven public works parcel. This property includes land and buildings and totals four acres. The city is in the process of putting these assets on the market, which could lead to further revitalization in the next several years, between Portland, Parris, Alder and Kennebec streets. The city says its goal is to stimulate private sector investment for 24/7 mixed-use development such as small retail or residential.

For the full Mainebiz article, CLICK HERE.

More commercial real estate development has also led to more residential units, like these 55 new apartments on Treble Street. The City has experienced a housing crunch for many years.

BAYSIDE UPDATE: Popular deli opening second location

Northland Enterprises continues effort to bolster neighborhood

(Portland, Maine) A busy, locally-owned eatery in Falmouth will be opening a second location in Portland’s burgeoning Bayside neighborhood, at 200 Kennebec Street, across the street from Century Plaza.

Peter Leavitt loves making great food.

Northland Enterprises, LLC, a commercial real estate development company based in Portland, announced that it has reached a lease agreement with Leavitt & Sons, a popular deli just off U.S. Route 1 in Falmouth, at 37 Depot Road. Josh Benthien, a partner at Northland, said the addition of Leavitt & Sons advances Northland’s effort to help community efforts to revitalize Bayside.

“This is a distinctive eatery, locally-owned by somebody with a great reputation, and who consistently puts out a quality product,” Benthien said. “We know our neighbors are encouraging a community feel in this area, and this will help.”

(Take a look at Levitt's menu HERE.)

Peter Leavitt owns and operates the Falmouth deli, and said he will personally direct the company’s expansion. “Leavitt’s and Bayside are a perfect match. I like the visibility there, and the positive energy that is very obvious in that area. Bayside is clearly on the upswing,” Leavitt said. Leavitt expects to open for business later in 2017. The deli will join other businesses that Northland has attracted to the neighborhood, including Chipotle and a T-Mobile retail store. Century Plaza is the former Century Tire property on Marginal Way. Century Tire closed in February 2014 after almost 90 years in business.

Northland Enterprises has been managing and re-developing commercial real estate since 2001, in Maine communities and several others in the northeast Unites States. It is based in Portland, Maine.

Leavitt & Sons Deli is opening a Portland location in 2017.

Commercial real estate update, West Bayside

A commercial real estate report to taxpayers in Portland, ME.

The West Bayside neighborhood in Portland, Maine continues to rebound. We always try to leave things better than we find them, and we also try to keep taxpayers informed in all the communities in which we do business. If you'd like a quick update, here's a video report from Josh Benthien, a partner at Northland Enterprises.

Portland firm wins national award for enviro clean-up & redevelopment

Northland Enterprises won a Phoenix Award, along with the City of Sanford, for excellence in brownfield redevelopment.

(Portland, Maine) The redevelopment of an abandoned mill building in Sanford, Maine won national recognition in September, with a Phoenix Award going to Northland Enterprises of Portland for outstanding execution in cleaning up a former brownfield site and transforming it into a significant community asset.

Standing in for Northland Enterprises in Chicago were Sanford city manager Steve Buck, city planner Jim Gulnac and Jim Nimon, executive director of the Sanford Regional Economic Growth Council. The awards ceremony was part of the National Brownfields Training Conference, sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and attracting government and business leaders throughout the nation. Northland’s work on the Sanford Mill was completed in August of 2013, and redevelopment from the beginning of the project was in close cooperation with city officials. Gulnac paid tribute to the public/private partnership with Northland.

“In the business of brownfield redevelopment, this is like winning the Oscar,” Gulnac said. “Northland’s participation far exceeded their huge financial contribution. They were patient and persistent, considering all the bureaucratic red tape, and they were ‘all in’ from the start of the project. This was a great partnership.”

The redevelopment of Sanford Mill took seven years from start to finish, according to Josh Benthien, a partner at Northland Enterprises. Located at 61 Washington Street, Sanford Mill is a mixed-use development that includes both residential units, as well as office and retail space. It’s part of the Sanford Mill Historic District, and is the nearest mill building to the center of the city’s downtown. Benthien said that of the $12 million invested in the project, nearly $11 million went to Maine-based contractors and companies. Benthien and business partner Rex Bell commented on the Sanford Mill project in a YouTube video published earlier this summer.

Northland Enterprises also contributed $10,000 earlier this year to help with infrastructure and landscaping needs at Gateway Park. The park is an approximately 1-acre parcel that allows citizens to enjoy an overlook and waterfall near Number One Pond and the Mousam River, at the corner of Riverside Avenue and Washington Street.

Public using Gateway Park, symbol of collaboration between developer & city

(Sanford, Maine) Developers Josh Benthien and Rex Bell issued a video news release yesterday, marking official completion of the Sanford Mill redevelopment project.

They also revealed that the downtown redevelopment project enabling the construction of newly-opened Gateway Park is contending for a national award, recognizing the significant environmental clean-up completed at a former industrial mill. (CLICK HERE for link to video press release from Josh Benthien and Rex Bell, partners at Northland Enterprises.)

CLICK IMAGE to view the video press release by Josh Benthien and Rex Bell.

The redevelopment of Sanford Mill took seven years from start to finish, according Benthien. Located at 61 Washington Street, Sanford Mill is a mixed use development that includes both residential units, as well as office and retail space. It’s part of the Sanford Mill Historic District, and is the nearest mill building to the center of the city’s downtown. Benthien said that of the $12 million invested in the project, nearly $11 million went to Maine-based contractors and companies.

As part of the redevelopment, Northland Enterprises also contributed $10,000 earlier this year to help with infrastructure and landscaping needs at Gateway Park, which the Sanford News recently described as “evidence of a revitalizing downtown Sanford.” The park is an approximately 1-acre parcel that allows citizens to enjoy an overlook and waterfall near Number One Pond and the Mousam River, at the corner of Riverside Avenue and Washington Street.

Bell gave high marks to Sanford’s economic development officials, calling them “innovative” and willing to explore “creative ways to make this project work.”

Northland Enterprises was founded in 2001. It is a commercial real estate development company that believes highest and best use of properties is good for communities, tenants and investors.

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