WESTBROOK — City officials and leaders say Maine Medical Center’s recent purchase of One Riverfront Plaza will be beneficial for Westbrook’s downtown.
The medical center announced last week that it has purchased One Riverfront Plaza for $10.75 million. The sale is expected to bring 400-500 workers to the downtown, according to an MMC spokeswoman.
Mayor Mike Sanphy said he’s pleased that there will be an influx of people spending time in Westbrook.
“I’m very happy,” he said. “With that many people it’ll be a boost to the downtown.”
Abigail Cioffi, the executive director of the Downtown Westbrook Coalition, agreed.
“To have 500 workers coming into Westbrook every day, that’s huge,” she said. “It does a lot of good for the community.”
The office building, vacant since November 2015, will house the medical center’s integrated Information Services employees along with other administrative functions currently spread across eight office locations throughout Greater Portland, according to the June 8 announcement.
MMC expects to have all the employees in place in Westbrook by the end of the year.
The 134,000-square-foot building was purchased from One Riverfront Plaza Holdings, LLC. It was last occupied by insurer Disability RMS, which moved to South Portland in November 2015. Disability RMS had occupied a large portion of the building, built in 2004. The move was an economic blow to the city.
The city has valued the building, on 0.85 acres, with some Presumpscot River frontage, at $20.55 million, according to city tax records. Those records also show Pendleton Westbrook bought One Riverfront Plaza for $23.5 million in 2005.
Earlier this year the building went to auction after the bank filed a foreclosure notice. The building was bought back at auction Feb. 17 by The U.S. National Bank Association for $9.2 million.
The bank then accepted private bids for the purchase of the building, which were expected to be opened at the end of April.
The sale of the building to MMC also resulted in the medical center leasing the city-owned parking garage attached to the building.
Cioffi and Sanphy both said they hope the MMC workers frequent the downtown and shop at stores and restaurants. Cioffi said she thinks this may encourage more businesses to move to Westbrook.
Additionally, Cioffi said she hopes the downtown becomes more developed over time.
“One thing we want to see is building up on one-story stores as businesses like Maine Med come in,” she said.
Both Cioffi and Sanphy agreed that Maine Med’s purchase is a positive step forward for Westbrook.
“They’re good to work with and I think they’ll be a good fit,” Sanphy said.
Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.
Maine Medical Center is the new owner of One Riverfront Plaza.