FREEPORT, Maine — We're getting our first look at LL Bean's plans for its remodel. The flagship store wrote in a press release that it wants to build the "Freeport Experience."
"The L.L. Bean retail store opened in 1917 on Main Street. It's been more or less in the same place ever since," Eric C. Smith from the Freeport Historical Society said. Smith previously has worked at L.L. Bean.
Smith said a lot of the town's history has changed, but he hopes L.L. Bean doesn't change too much.
"L.L. Bean hasn't really involved the community in their design process, so it is just one photo. It's nice to see the highlights," he added.
A representative from L.L. Bean declined to comment on Friday but wrote in a press release.
“We appreciate our customers’ patience as the Freeport Experience goes from imagination to reality,” Greg Elder, chief retail officer at L.L. Bean, said. “But as you can see from what we’ve got planned, it will be so worth it. Inside and out, the new L.L. Bean experience will keep you coming back for more.”
The release goes on to explain there will be a new Main Street look, the removal of the Boat, Bike, and Ski store, and an expansion of Discovery Park.
This comes on the heels of LL Bean's office space expansion. Smith added that this is all good for Freeport from an economic standpoint, but he hopes the history of Freeport stays intact.
"It's interesting that in their press release, the very last point is that their goal in this project is to reaffirm their commitment to Freeport and supporting neighboring businesses. I think I'd like to see that moved up in their priorities," Smith said.
L.L. Bean has already started this project so you cannot enter through the main entrance right now. The "reimagination" of Discovery Park is already underway.