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August 10, 2017

Historic Bangor building, long vacant, gathers steam

Photo / Laurie Schreiber
Photo / Laurie Schreiber
The six-building Nichols Block in downtown Bangor that Adam Moskovitz of ANM Properties purchased in a deal that closed on Oct. 26 for an undisclosed sum. Moscovitz announced recently landing the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and Thompson-Hamel LLC, a financial planning and payroll-processing firm, have signed on as tenants.

A second tenant has signed onto Bangor's historic Nichols Block building and owner-developer Adam Moskovitz says he has other prospects interested in the site.

Moskovitz — who heads ANM Properties LLC, a Bangor-based property management firm specializing in luxury apartment rentals, design-build and commercial development — leased the 1,600-square-foot ground floor for a 10-year term to Thompson-Hamel LLC, a financial planning and payroll-processing firm.

Earlier this month, the Bangor Symphony Orchestra signed a lease for the building's second floor, the third-floor ballroom and gallery and the fourth-floor kitchen and storage. While the orchestra will continue to perform at the Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine, Orono, its four-member executive staff will move to the Nichols Block, and the BSO will host small concerts there. The BSO will share the space with Launchpad and the Bangor Ballet — joining forces to create a new artistic hub called the Bangor Arts Exchange. The BSO's moving day is Sept. 5.

The Nichols Block, on the corner of Exchange and York streets, was part of a package of six Exchange Street buildings purchased by Moskovitz in October 2016. The buildings date to the 19th and early 20th century. The Nichols Block was the only building on the block to survive Bangor's Great Fire of 1911.

Thompson-Hamel expands

The move represents an expansion for Thompson-Hamel, said the firm's managing partner, Brian Hamel.

Thompson-Hamel was founded in 1962 in Presque Isle. In November 2016, the firm purchased Farrington Financial Group, on the second floor of 27 State St. in downtown Bangor.

"But we were looking for a more visible ground-floor location since we moved in there in November," said Hamel.

Moskovitz has renovations underway for his new tenants.

"We're going through and patching and repairing any defects," Moskovitz said. Code review tasks include installing new fire doors and fire walls and fixing penetrations between buildings. Additional renovations include a new bathroom for Thompson-Hamel, and new fans and LED lighting throughout the building. Also in the planning stage are restorations of the storefront windows.

"That will give the exterior a nice lift," said Moskovitz.

The window project alone is expected to cost $100,000. Investment to date for Nichols Block renovations are about $300,000, and is expected to be upward of $1 million by the time everything is complete, he said.

Thompson-Hamel's renovations of its new space include installation of a new engineered-hardwood floor and new paint, said Hamel.

"We hope to have renovations done in September and, toward the end of September, we hope to move in," Hamel said.

The space is double the current State Street space. The firm employs 17 people; two of those employees are at the Bangor office, with Hamel and his partner, Bryan Thompson, traveling between Bangor and Presque Isle.

"Our intention is to add a couple more employees to our Bangor base," he said, adding that the firm expects to expand its payroll processing division due to considerable interest from potential clients. In addition to its primary client base in Maine, where the firm has had a client base in Bangor for years, the company also has clients across the nation.

Moskovitz said he has a couple of additional prospective clients on tap, which would fill the Nichols Block and part of another building.

"We're marketing spaces in the other buildings, too, looking for the right fit for the right space," he said.

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