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October 12, 2018

Portland's Time & Temperature building sells for $9.3M

Courtesy / RealINSIGHT Marketplace
Courtesy / RealINSIGHT Marketplace
Portland's historic 14-story Time and Temperature Building sold in Thursday's auction to an unnamed buyer for $9.3 million, with a starting bid of $2.75 million.

The winning bid in the auction of the 14-story Time & Temperature Building was $9.3 million.

The auction of the historic property, at 477 Congress St. in downtown Portland, began Oct. 9 at noon with a starting bid of $2.75 million. It closed Oct. 11 at 12:50 p.m. The buyer's name was not disclosed.

"Since we started marketing the property, it's been very exciting in the sense that there was a significant amount of interest from well-known local developers and from a lot of people from out-of-state as well, so it was a healthy mix," Matthew Cardente, president of Cardente Real Estate in Portland, told Mainebiz.

The building is named after a large display screen on the roof that flashes the time and temperature. Its development potential could include commercial, residential or even a hotel — though the buyer's intentions aren't known at this point.

Cardente was the local broker handling the building's showings before the auction.

Cardente could not yet divulge who the top bidder was, but did say the bidder pool represented that same mix of interest as the pool that initially looked at the property. "It was what we had hoped for — to draw local interest from Mainers," he said. "It's always exciting to see that there's a good mix of people involved."

"I thought the pricing was a very good, fair market price on both sides," he added. "I think the seller's happy. I'd be thrilled if I were the buyer. The property's got a lot of upside."

According to the Portland assessor's office, the property is assessed at $8.5 million, he said.

"To see the assessed value is in line with the price is a positive development," he said. "I think it was a win-win-win. It's a win for the city, it's a win for the sellers and it's a win for the buyers. It's a very healthy, strong market right now in general. It was a very healthy sale and it reinforces the strength of the market in Portland."

Before the auction, Cardente said, he conducted numerous showings, with some parties returning after their initial visits.

"It was a revolving door of showings," he said.

The Time & Temperature Building was built in 1924 on Monument Square in downtown Portland. According to the offering notice on the RealINSIGHT Marketplace page of property owner CWCapital Asset Management, the property comprises the Time and Temperature Building and Monument Square Parking Garage, at 477-481 Congress St., 22 Preble St. and 45 Brown St.

The property was branded as a "prime conversion opportunity" — with multifamily, office and hotel uses are allowed under current zoning. The asset snapshot said the property size is 157,492 square feet on 1.86 acres. The parking count in the garage is 340 and the property is 38% occupied.

According to a January 2016 blog called What's Up Downtown on the Portland Downtown website, the Time & Temperature Building at that time housed more than 100 businesses, ranging from law firms, nonprofits, tech companies and retailers. Originally known as The Chapman Building, it's one of Portland's tallest buildings, just behind the 16-floor Franklin Towers and the 15-floor Back Bay Tower. The rooftop sign flashes the time and temperature.

According to its website, CWCapital is headquartered in Bethesda, Md. It provides acquisition and valuation services, asset management and real estate services.

The building's period details include a vintage bank clock that still works and, in various areas, hand-painted ceilings, stained-glass windows, ornate woodwork and a brass mailbox.

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