Farmer's Fare future still up in the air
Rockport — An interested party is looking to purchase the former Farmer's Fare building, but no buyer has been announced as of Aug. 27.
The equipment inside the building at the corner of West Street and Cross Street that formerly housed Farmer's Fare was sold piecemeal Aug. 22 by a South Portland auction company.
Before the start of the 10 a.m. bid sale, Keenan Auction Company announced negotiations already were in progress for the real estate via telephone and the auction moved directly to the equipment portion. The auction also was available online live and in real time.
"It provides a major convenience for people across New England," said auctioneer Stef Keenan of the online auction. "People can be from 400 miles away or as close as 2 miles away."
The property was subject to a $20,000 deposit, non-refundable to the highest bidder, in cash or certified U.S. funds made payable to Keenan Auction Company, increased 10 percent of the purchase price day of sale in cash or personal check, with the balance due and payable within 45 days from the date of the auction, according to information provided by the auction company. A 10 percent buyer's premium will be added to the final bid price, according to the information.
Those bidding on equipment were required to pay for the item the same day and had until Aug. 23 at 2 p.m. to remove it from the site. Bidders were also required to pay a 10 percent premium on top of the auction price.
The building had previously been listed with Camden Real Estate for slightly less than $1.5 million. The building is assessed by the town at $997,500 and the land is valued at $169,400, according to town records.
The 8,784-square-foot building was built in 2009 by Maine craftsmen and with all Maine building material and vendors, according to previously published reports. The facility includes 16-foot cathedral ceilings in the retail area, an elevator, commercial kitchen space, office space, exterior decks and a covered porch, daylight basement, paved lighted parking, public water and sewer in addition to a spring-fed water supply, according to information provided by Keenan Auction Company.
Building owners Peter Christie and Teri Thompson-Christie opened Farmer's Fare, a market, food production facility, meeting place, restaurant and coffee bar, in September 2009. The business closed its doors 16 months later on Jan. 1, 2011, according to previously published reports.
Nov. 3, 2009, Rockport voters, by a vote of 1,127 to 561, approved a Community Development Block Grant application for an economic development program grant, on behalf of Farmers Fare, in the amount of $100,000, according to previously published reports. The money, derived from federal sources and funneled through the state, was to be used for working capital to advance the company's private label and specialty foods production at the Route 90 facility. Conditions of the grant required that Farmers Fare create the equivalent of five full-time non-retail positions for workers involved in producing value-added local products.
In November 2011, Rockport and state officials deemed the conditions of the grant complete, although only three workers were hired at Farmer's Fare, according to previously published reports. State officials said at that time five jobs was a target and considered the three jobs created as a minimum.
The Camden Herald reporter Kim Lincoln can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.