SKOWHEGAN — There is an appliance store, a clothing store, a jeweler, a computer shop, law offices, art galleries, a bakery and a flower shop already doing business in downtown Skowhegan.

On Tuesday, the former majority partner of Northern Mattress & Furniture Galleries in Fairfield added a furniture store and showroom to the mix.

Peter Redman, 53, whose family operated Northern Mattress for more than 50 years, finalized the purchase Tuesday of the closed Blueberry Cupboard on Water Street.

He plans to open the home furnishings outlet Aug. 6 and another outlet by the end of this year in the former CVS building on Main Street in Waterville.

Shannon Haines, executive director of Waterville Main Street, said Tuesday that a lease was signed by Redman for the former CVS building earlier that day. Contacted by phone Tuesday afternoon, Redman said the lease is for 20 years.

“It’s going to be very similar to the Northern Mattress & Furniture lines that we carried,” Redman said. “It’s going to be Priceless Northern Mattress and Furniture.”

Jennifer Olsen, executive director of Main Street Skowhegan, said the sale to Redman is important for the town.

“That represents a great, big space in our downtown — knowing now that we have a tenant for that space is fantastic,” Olsen said. “Historically, furniture stores do well in a downtown; home furnishings are a welcome addition to our downtown mix. The stuff that people need on a daily basis, that’s the bread and butter of a thriving downtown; it’s great to have retail attractions for our tourists because we see a lot of seasonal business, but most important to me in my work is to make sure that the people who live here can get their needs met locally — essential services, the stuff that people need to get done everyday. It keeps our downtown alive.”

Redman and his wife, Karen, already own a Priceless store on Western Avenue in Augusta. That store opened in October 2007.

Redman, formerly of Winslow, now of Old Orchard Beach, said he plans to hire two to four employees at the Skowhegan store to start with. He said the store will carry name brands, including Sealy, Lane, Amesbury and others.

Neither Redman nor Blueberry Cupboard owner Becky Richardson would say how much the sale price was.

Redman said Richardson established her store in the former F.W. Woolworth Co. building in 1998, making the location already an anchor of the downtown business district.

“To follow in her footsteps is really a wonderful opportunity for us,” he said.

The 8,700-square-foot store has a full basement for storage and Redman said he will install a new entrance for deliveries in the back of the building. Richardson said she will be moved out of the building by Friday and Redman will start moving in Saturday.

Chris Perkins, a member of the Skowhegan Economic Development Corp. and co-owner of Whittemore’s realtors, which brokered the sale, said the established location of the store downtown will be a real plus for Redman.

“I think that’s going to be an important anchor store for downtown Skowhegan,” Perkins said. “I think this is going to work out for everybody.”

Richardson said the established name of her store and the Northern Mattress name also is a positive point for Skowhegan.

“I’m really glad, because Peter’s well known and well respected — I bought my first living room set from him in Fairfield,” she said.

Northern Mattress first opened in Waterville in 1950. The family later moved the business to what would become the company’s signature location in the former Gerald Hotel on Main Street in Fairfield. By 2004, the company operated six stores statewide in Maine, with 120 employees and $18 million in annual sales, according to a published report.

The stores closed in 2006, Redman said.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

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