Renovation planned for 'The Store' building on Main Street

Developer plans local food market
By Daniel Dunkle | Feb 18, 2014
Photo by: Daniel Dunkle Rick Rockwell is renovating the former "Store" building downtown and turning it into a locally sourced food market.

Rockland — The new owner of the former "Store" building at 435 Main St. plans to open a market for locally produced artisan and organic foods.

Businessman Rick Rockwell of St. George has purchased the building and is seeking a change-of-use from the city planning board. The building was sold by Sara Foltz in November.

Rockwell said the new business will be called MainStreetMarkets.com. The idea is to create an indoor market where a number of local food producers, vendors and farms can sell their products. The plan for the market includes spaces that can be set aside for specific vendors. Rockwell said he hopes to use a consignment model for the business.

In addition, all of the food sold in the market will also be available for order online. So far, he said he has identified 270 Maine brands and food producers for the market.

Rockwell said the market will appeal to the lunch crowd, allowing customers to create elaborate salads.

The plans include fully renovating the present basement of the building to allow for storefronts opening onto the parking lot behind the Thorndike. Rockwell said customers will be able to park in the back and enter the market from that side, avoiding the hassle of parking on Main Street.

Bryan Austin of 2A Architects has been hired to draw the plans for the project.

Rockwell hopes to have the market open by the summer.

Eventually, he said he will add apartments on the upper floors.

Rockwell's other projects include 3Crow Restaurant & Bar on Main Street and Granite Street Apartments.

Courier-Gazette Editor Daniel Dunkle can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 122 or ddunkle@courierpublicationsllc.com.

Comments (6)
Posted by: PJ Walter | Feb 19, 2014 10:07

POSTED BY FRANK ISGANITIS.  Jim Brannan:  While I appreciate a certain amount of sarcasm in your comment, I fear that some people might not truly understand the circumstance in a way that you, as an attorney, can.  What I mean to say is that is there a way for the City of Rockland to draft and pass an ordinance restricting the sale of private property to non-profits?  I can’t imagine there is.  It’s not something the City can control. And by the numbers, I know it looks askew that almost 20% of the total real estate value in the City is tax-exempt.  But closer analysis reveals that The Rockland Breakwater and Fish Pier, just two properties, account for almost half of the total amount of tax-exempt properties reducing the overall percentage to around 11%.  I would defer to the Maine Municipal Association to determine if that’s in line with similar sized communities.



Posted by: ALBERT E COLSON | Feb 18, 2014 21:46

This is such goooood news for us in Rockland. I wish you all the best. James Brannan put it so well in his statement .       Joan Colson



Posted by: Sumner Kinney | Feb 18, 2014 16:44

Thanks Rick Rockwell for your investment in the City of Rockland.  Experience has shown us that you will do an exceptional job.  You will notice that we are having new windows and doors installed RIGHT NOW in the rear of the Thorndike building. It is our hope to attract some new interest to match Rockwell and 3 Crow on the other end of the block.

 



Posted by: James Brannan | Feb 18, 2014 13:17

This is a strange story.  An entity buying property in downtown Rockland which will actually  pay taxes !  I hope the folks at City Hall and the Fire Department are as excited to help Mr. Rockwell  expedite the process of City approvals as they have been with the all of the non-profits.    James W. Brannan



Posted by: Kathryn Fogg | Feb 18, 2014 12:21

Merchants opening entrances from the back parking lot is long overdue.  Good luck with the project.

 



Posted by: PJ Walter | Feb 18, 2014 10:37

Thank you Mr. Rockwell for yet another awesome investment and contribution to Rockland's Main Street!

 



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Dan Dunkle
Editor
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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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