WATERVILLE — The city’s western gateway on Kennedy Memorial Drive should start seeing some action as the former Lucien’s Car Wash is razed in the near future and tenants are sought for both that property and the former Weathervane restaurant next door.

Marden’s Surplus & Salvage now owns both properties, is seeking a tenant for the former Weathervane and hopes to find someone who would help develop a business or two on the former car wash lot, according to Marden’s co-owner John Marden.

The sites abut the Marden’s store property at the northwest corner of the parking lot. They are some of the first buildings motorists see as they exit Interstate 95 to enter Waterville.

City business leaders say they are looking forward to what might come to the site, which is right off exit 127 of Interstate 95.

“There’s no hard plan right now,” Marden said.

Marden and his brother, Ham, Marden’s president, bought the former car wash several years ago and most recently leased it for about two years to a business that cut wood and trees and sold Christmas trees on the lot. The building and the area around it are in disrepair.

John Marden said the old car wash building was supposed to have been torn down two or three weeks ago, but the contractor got tied up on another job. He said he expects the building will be razed in the next few days.

Marden’s bought the Weathervane property at 470 Kennedy Memorial Drive after the restaurant closed in January, laying off 25 people. It had opened in 1986 and was one of four Weathervanes that closed because of economic conditions, officials from Kittery-based Weathervane Seafoods said at the time.

The Silent Woman restaurant was at the site before it became the Weathervane.

Garvan Donegan, economic development specialist for the Central Maine Growth Council, said Friday that his organization is ready to help a business or businesses open at the site. He said it clearly is an important location that in some ways is a gateway to the city.

“The Growth Council will certainly provide any sort of assistance that helps realize a project there,” Donegan said.

The support may include planning assistance, helping to create an environment where it is is cost-effective for a business to locate there, or helping identify local or regional economic development incentives, according to Donegan, who has been in his position since June 1 and whose background is in business policy analysis, planning and economic development.

Kimberly Lindlof, executive director of the Growth Council, said she is pleased the former car wash will be razed and glad Marden’s is interested in developing the properties.

“We’re looking forward to working with them to help them realize their plan, or figure it out,” she said.

Lindlof also is president and chief executive officer of the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce.

Marden’s also owns its former store site on College Avenue and property surrounding it.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17


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