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January 10, 2018

Camden’s Knox Mill sold to former owner

Camden businessman Matt Orne has reacquired buildings 3, 4 and 5 of Camden's historic Knox Mill complex. With Chad Cloutier of Rockland, he's also acquired Camden's Knowlton Street mill.

The PenBay Pilot reported that Orne owned the Knox Mill complex, which had been outfitted with office spaces, from 2011-15, then sold the buildings to Bangor businessman Joe Goudreau, who converted the office spaces to residential apartments.

Orne became owner again in lieu of foreclosure. He told the paper that he is first tending to maintenance and will focus on marketing the residential and commercial spaces. Fifteen of the 30 apartments are vacant. Orne's company, Knox Mill Holdings LLC, which also owns nearby parking lots, has approached the town about possibly purchasing another lot and has talked with developers about building a hotel or creating a residential development.

The Knowlton Street mill was previously converted to an elderly housing complex called Camden Villa and has been renamed Bella Pointe Camden, which is mostly full.

Orne originally bought the Knox Mill buildings, which are on Mechanic Street in Camden, out of bank receivership in 2011 for $595,000 — half the asking price of $1.2 million. The Knox Mill properties were once owned by MBNA and were put into receivership in April 2009 after Pittsburgh-based PNC Bank claimed Maine Investment Properties of Baltimore owed it nearly $20 million in unpaid mortgage bills.

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