Riverfront Plaza goes to auction next week

One Riverfront Plaza in Westbrook is now in foreclosure and will be auctioned Feb. 17. The building has been vacant for more than a year.

WESTBROOK — One Riverfront Plaza is heading to auction on Feb. 17.

The building, which has been vacant for over a year, was supposed to be auctioned Feb. 1, but the date was pushed back. The U.S. National Bank Association is overseeing the auction, according to a foreclose notice filed Jan. 4 at the Cumberland County Registry of Deeds

Mayor Mike Sanphy said he’s ready to see the building with a new tenant.

“I’m anxious to see it occupied and with people in it,” he said.

Sanphy said having a new business in the building will be very positive for the Westbrook community.

“It’s a great building and great location,” he said. “We’re interested in getting it occupied because that’ll be a great boost to the downtown.”

The 134,000-square-foot, six-story brick building has been vacant since insurers Disability RMS moved to South Portland in November 2015. Disability RMS had occupied a large portion of the building, built in 2004.

The foreclosure of the building came a day after the expiration of a receivership order allowing Portland-based CBRE/The Boulos Co. to commercially market the Bridge Street building now primarily owned by Pendleton Westbrook LLC.

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.

One Riverfront Plaza was sold by builder Tim Flannery to its present owners about a year after it opened. At the time, Flannery said he had not sought to sell the building, but received an offer that made sense to accept.

As One Riverfront Plaza was built, the city also built an adjacent parking garage which remains municipally owned. The city also established a tax increment finance zone that returned all property taxes up to $300,000 to the building’s owners.

The building at the foot of Saccarappa Falls is seen as an important factor in downtown Westbrook’s economy. Before Disability RMS exited, the company’s 350 employees could be spotted daily on the riverwalk and at downtown restaurants.

The auction will take place on site at 11 a.m. on Feb. 17. Sanphy said he’s unaware of who may be interested in buying the building, but said whatever business ends up occupying the space will “hopefully complement the downtown Westbrook area.”

David Harry contributed to this report. Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or kgardner@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

One Riverfront Plaza in Westbrook is now in foreclosure and will be auctioned Feb. 17. The building has been vacant for more than a year.