The Portland Phoenix

MaineHealth buys historic shopping center plaza

Maine Medical Center is one of MaineHealth's hospitals specially designated to care for COVID-19 inpatients. With virus cases rising statewide, hospitals are preparing for another surge. (Portland Phoenix/Elizabeth Clemente)

MaineHealth has purchases Union Station Plaza in Portland’s St. Johns neighborhood. The nonprofit parent company of the state’s largest hospital bought the property for $16.8 million, according to a press release.

A press release issued from MaineHealth officials on Friday stated that it has no current plans to develop the property, but believe the purchase will benefit them and Maine Medical Center. The plaza borders the hospital’s new employee garage and office building at 222 St. John Street.

“We understand and respect the significance the property and tenant businesses have to the neighborhood and city, and we intend to honor the business leases currently in place,” said Jeff Sanders, president of MaineHealth’s southern region.

The plaza is adjacent to an existing institutional overlay zone for Maine Medical Center, a zoning tool that guides future development. The cost of the plaza will be “offset by the revenue generated from these commercial leases,” according to the press release.

Bob Connor, former owner of the plaza for 30 years, said in a statement they had a number of offers on the property before putting it up for sale.

“In MaineHealth, we had a local buyer with a positive impact on our community and a vision for the future that benefits all Mainers,” he said.

Union Station Plaza was built in 1888, servicing trains running between Portland and Boston.

The Union Station Plaza adds to a list of MaineHealth’s recently purchased properties near the Maine Medical Center hospital. The nonprofit bought the buildings that include Pizza Villa and the D’Angelo sandwich shop, which continue to operate as businesses, and the Greyhound Station, which is being redeveloped into a food pantry. MaineHealth is also nearing the end of a multi-year project to expand its Bramhall campus, a project headed by construction on the Malone Family Tower on Congress Street. The tower replaces the hospital’s old employee parking garage, which moved to St. John Street.


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