Late last week, three prominent Brunswick commercial properties went up for sale, part of a larger statewide trend in Maine’s booming real-estate market.
One of the properties is 117 Maine St., home to Joshua’s Restaurant and Tavern as well as four apartments, with a price tag of $2.15 million.
The other two include 107 and 109 Bath Road (home to Dairy Frost), for $725,000, and the Brunswick Inn at 165 Park Row, listed at $3.59 million.
ReMax Riverside Broker Owner Don Spann, whose agency listed 117 Maine St. and 107-109 Bath Road, said he does not see the sale impacting the tenants, meaning both Dairy Frost and Joshua’s Tavern should continue to operate.
In January, the Portland Press Herald reported that, despite the pandemic, 2020 was a record-breaking year for Maine’s real-estate market with 19,921 single-family homes changing hands, the largest volume ever recorded by the Maine Association of Realtors.
According to the town’s records, the total assessed parcel value for the properties is $407,200 for the combined 107-109 Bath Road, $690,500 for 117 Maine Street and $1,016,000 for 165 Park Row.
These prices were determined in 2017, according to Town Assessor Taylor Burns, and do not factor in the price of the operating businesses or additions after 2017.
“I think what we’re experiencing is a market that’s based on the fact that there are low inventories, low-interest rates and there are a lot of buyers,” Spann said. “There are people that are looking to take advantage of the current market and that’s why they’re putting their properties up for sale.”
According to their listings, 117 Maine St. was built in 1864, and 165 Park Row was built in 1849.
Swan Agency’s Director of Lodging and Hospitality Broker Dana Moos, whose agency listed the Brunswick Inn, said throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, she has noticed an increase in buyer interest of inns and hotels.
“It’s the classic situation where they want to leave their corporate job and buy a lifestyle job, Moos said. “When you buy an inn, it buys you a house, buys your job, buys you an investment and a lifestyle.”
“I think COVID has made a lot of people sort of reevaluate their life and what’s important and they’re finally saying, ‘I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, I’m going to pull the trigger now’,” Moos added.
In December of 2020, The Times Record also reported that Brunswick’s historic Lemont Building, originally constructed in 1870, is under new ownership and the two new owners plan to renovate and build five luxury apartment units.
Additionally, in January of 2020, the owner of Brunswick’s Tontine Mall announced $2.75 million in renovations for the shopping and business center.
According to a press release from Maine Listings, a subsidiary of the Maine Association of Realtors, the state saw a sales increase of 9.82 percent last year. Additionally, the value of Maine homes jumped 13.78 percent in 2020, with a statewide median sale of price $256,000.
The trend seems to be continuing, as February of 2021 saw a sales increase of 22.77 percent compared to February of 2020 in Maine.
Nationwide, December 2020 sales of single-family existing homes jumped 22.8 percent over December 2019, according to the same release.