February 6, 2018

Engineering firm to move to downtown Augusta

Photo / Maureen MIlliken
Photo / Maureen MIlliken
SGC Engineering will move from Hallowell into 211 Water St., Augusta, left, this spring.

SGC Engineering will move from its Hallowell office into 211 Water St. in downtown Augusta in early spring after finalizing a five-year lease for 7,500 square feet on the ground floor of the three-story building on the river side of the street.

The building is one of two that SVN The Urbanek Group is marketing in downtown Augusta for Commercial Properties Inc. of Portland.

Commercial Properties will complete some light reconfiguration and cosmetic updating before the engineering firm moves in, Urbanek said.

Westbrook-based SCG also has offices in Bangor and Presque Isle, as well as Bristol, Vt., Atlanta and Houston.

Urbanek said the firm outgrew its space on Water Street in Hallowell.

"We are very pleased that a deal was able to come together for who we think will be a great tenant for the property and for downtown Augusta as it goes through its revitalization process," he said.

The ground-floor space was most recently occupied by Dirigo Health, the state's insurance program, which closed at the end of 2013. The two upper floors are vacant and would require a lot of work before they could be occupied, Urbanek said.

He said he hopes to "attract someone as equally suitable," for neighboring 189 Water St, also owned by Commercial Properties, which has 10,000 square feet of primary floor office or retail space that can be subdivided into 5,000-square-foot units.

A deck on the back, overlooking the Kennebec River, goes the width of the one-story building.

Urbanek said Commercial Properties has owned the buildings since the early 2000s "when Angus King was governor." At the time, the city and state forged an agreement that the state, which was planning growth of its offices, would continue to maintain an office presence downtown, providing customers for businesses and restaurants.

"We're very encouraged by the activity we've seen (downtown) in the last one-and-half, two years, compared to the previous decade," he said.

He said that he took a client to see Water Street property recently and every parking space on Water Street was filled. "You never would have seen that before," he said.

The city changing the one-hour parking limit — another holdover from the agreement with the state — two years ago to two hours, has helped encourage growth downtown, too, Urbanek said.


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