By Nick McCrea, BDN Staff, Posted July 29, 2016, at 6:41 a.m.
.BANGOR, Maine — For $1.95 million, most of a downtown city block can be yours.
The out-of-state owner of a group of six largely vacant buildings lining Exchange Street has put them up for sale.
The block includes structures on Exchange Street between its intersections with State and York streets. The most prominent building is the former Bangor Hydro Electric Co. headquarters at the corner of State and Exchange street. There’s even a grand ballroom on the top floor of the building at the corner of Exchange and York streets. Technically, it’s all one 53,000-square-foot property, as all the buildings are interconnected.
Tanya Emery, Bangor’s economic development director, called the buildings “an incredible opportunity.”“It has been largely underutilized for at least a decade,” she said. “It’s a beautiful [property], including many historic and architecturally significant features, and has been quite well preserved.”
The property is owned by an LLC launched by Eaton W. Tarbell Jr. — who is the son of a well-known, bow tie-clad Bangor architect by the same name. Eaton Tarbell Sr. designed about 2,500 buildings during his lengthy career, notably the former Bangor Auditorium, the Vine Street School in Bangor, Bangor High School, Waterville Junior High School and the Maine Center for the Arts at the University of Maine. He died in 1992.
The properties are managed by Keystone Management, a New Hampshire firm that manages properties in Maine, New Hampshire and North Carolina.The buildings have been largely empty for more than a decade, and there’s a convoluted history behind that. In 2004, Bangor Hydro sold three of the buildings to PROTEA Behavioral Health Services, which was then a rapidly expanding organization that already owned the other properties on the block. Two years later, PROTEA was acquired by Sweetser, the state’s largest private nonprofit mental health organization. Around the same time, the entire block was purchased by Eaton Tarbell Jr.’s New Hampshire-based LLC, according to Keystone. In 2007, Sweetser shuttered