BANGOR, Maine — Residential development in and around downtown Bangor is booming. Portland Pie Company opened for business a couple of months ago, and locals gladly welcomed the eatery. So far, the pizza parlor has been a success.
Gerard Murphy is the general manager of Portland Pie Company in downtown Bangor.
"There is a lot of things moving into the downtown, and it's been great so far," says Murphy.
More businesses are choosing to open in the city's center. Peirce Block Apartments will open by the end of the year at 29 Franklin Street, in a building originally constructed about 100 years ago. Abe and Heather Furth are developing ten units there. They have been working on redevelopment projects for seven years now.
"We believe in Bangor and we love these old buildings, there is so much building stock in Bangor that has great character," said Abe Furth.
Right next door is Tower 99, in what used to be the former Bangor Saving Bank building. It is now being converted into 18 apartment units.
According to Boisvert, no other building downtown has the amenities that will be offered at Tower 99.
According to Phillip Drew, the City of Bangor assessor, all of the renovations and openings are positive for the City of Bangor. Drew says downtown Bangor real estate is worth $22 million more this year than last.
Tanya Emery, director of community and economic development for the city of Bangor, says for Bangor to be a relatively small city, a few new projects make a big difference.
"These buildings are part of the identity of our community; they tell our story, those are just the kind of things you can't just get everywhere," said Emery.
Louie Morrison has been a downtown investor for 10 years. He says downtown Bangor is the place to be. Whether they're older folks looking to retire or millennials entering the workforce, many want to live in downtown.
"Five years ago, ten years ago, it was really a small city ... now it's a good-sized city ... becoming possibly just behind Portland," said Morrison.
Morrison says there are worthwhile businesses, retails spaces, restaurants, bars and historic buildings that are bringing people into the downtown.
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