Five-story building needs customers for spring construction
Rockland — Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding owner Cabot Lyman said his goal is to continue construction of a planned five-story building in Rockland by spring 2014, but the project needs customers signed on to occupy the building before the project goes forward.
"Now that the economy is getting better, we're reassessing the entire project and deciding exactly how we want to handle it," he said Oct. 7. "It is not on the back burner. We're ready to roll."
In 2010, Rockland's Planning Board approved construction of the building at 250 Main St. on the site of the former Hollydachs Pet Center. Since then, some work has been done on the foundation for the building and pillars were erected around the first floor area. Lyman-Morse received an extension on the permit in November 2012 from the Rockland Planning Board.
Throughout the interview Oct. 7, Lyman expressed enthusiasm for the project and optimism about the economic climate in Rockland.
Lyman said he thought construction would begin this past spring, but the company will now shoot for spring 2014.
"We need some customers," he said.
Lyman acknowledges the economy has played a roll in delaying the project, and adds that he is optimistic about the economic recovery in Rockland.
"As soon as everything is ready, we'll get all our permits in place, but we're looking forward to an improved economy and Rockland's doing well," he said.
He said he has heard that office space, which is part of the planned use of the building, is now in demand in Rockland.
Rockland Code Enforcement Officer John Root said previously the building permit is set to expire Dec. 7.
Lyman said that rather than going to the planning board for another extension before the present permit expires, the company will likely let it expire and come back for a new permit in January or February.
Asked how the building project may change from the original vision, Lyman said the company is looking for ways to increase the square footage to bring the per-square-foot construction cost down. In addition, larger units are easier to sell, he said.
Asked if the building will still be a five stories, he said yes, because that is what makes sense in terms of square footage.
He said the construction work will be done by a combination of Lyman-Morse employees and outside people. He stressed, however, that he hires local. He specified that Lyman-Morse cabinet shop employees would be involved in the construction.
The original plans are for a 65-foot building at the intersection of Pleasant and Main streets. The first floor of the building is to serve as a retail space for a store or restaurant, and the second floor as office space. The top floors of the building are planned as residential space.
Lyman describes it as a classy, spectacular building and acknowledged the top floors will have a commanding view of the harbor.
Courier-Gazette Editor Daniel Dunkle can be reached at courierpublicationsllc.com or 594-4401 ext. 122.
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Daniel Dunkle is editor of The Courier-Gazette and news director for Courier Publications. He lives in Rockland with his wife, Christine, who also works for Courier Publications, and two children.
Dunkle has previously served as editor of The Republican Journal in Belfast. He has worked as a reporter and photographer in the Midcoast for 15 years.
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