AUGUSTA — Three bidders submitted proposals to build a big office building within 1 mile of the State House to provide leased space for multiple state agencies.

In October, the state issued a request for proposals to develop and lease to the state a 225,000-square-foot building. Bid requirements include that the building be within a mile of the State House and have at least 1,300 parking spaces and office space for some 1,400 state employees expected to be relocated into the consolidated office space from multiple agencies now at other sites.

Three companies submitted proposals by Friday’s deadline for submissions. They were KNG Holdings LLC, of Gardiner, which is owned by members of the family that also owns Pine State Trading in Augusta, Hallowell and Gardiner; Opechee Construction Corp., a New Hampshire-based firm that has built at least one other building leased to the state in Augusta previously; and Eastern Impact, LLC of Portland.

Nick Alberding, managing partner of Pine State Trading, said KNG Holdings is owned by him and his cousins Keith and Gena Canning.

He said they are “excited about the opportunity” provided by the request for proposals but declined to reveal details, or the location, of what is in their proposal to the state. He said they wished to respect the state’s sealed bid process.

Pine State Trading has a large property, where it now has offices and warehouse space, on the Augusta-Hallowell line. That property appears to be within a mile of the State House. The Augusta portion of the property totals 8.3 acres, assessed at $3.9 million, according to the city assessor’s office. Hallowell officials could not be reached late Friday for information on the portion of Pine State property in that city.

David Heidrich, a spokesman for the state Department of Administrative and Financial Services, said the contents of the three proposals won’t be released to the public until a bid is awarded, if one of the three proposals is selected. He noted the state can reject all the proposals, and they need to meet the requirements of the request for proposals and be of economic benefit to the state to be awarded.

Opechee Construction’s past projects have included a $10 million office building it built in 2012 and leased to the state in the Central Maine Commerce Center.

Mark Googin, a Portland attorney listed as the registered agent for Eastern Impact LLC, said he could not comment on who owns the LLC. Apparent company website describes Eastern Impact as “… a sustainable impact investment management company developing impactful businesses in the Downeast corridor of New England.”

Peter Anastos, owner of Maine Course Hospitality Group, told the Portland Press Herald in October he planned to submit a proposal. He could not be reached late Friday to confirm whether he is involved with the Eastern Impact LLC proposal, or either of the other proposals submitted Friday.

Anastos secured a purchase option in April on a 9-acre state-owned property on Capitol Street formerly used by the Maine Department of Transportation for vehicle maintenance. The site, because of its large size and proximity to the State House, appeared potentially to meet the criteria of the state’s request for proposals. Anastos has ties to Gov. Paul LePage, having been appointed by him to the Maine State Housing Authority.

City officials in Augusta speculated previously, when the request for proposals first went out, that it seemed to be drawn up almost exclusively so that the former transportation site was the only location that could meet the bid requirements.

“We never really know how many responses we will receive in response to (a request for proposals),” Heidrich said Friday. “Even when an individual publicly states that they will be submitting a bid, they don’t always follow through.”

Heidrich said the state’s intent in limiting the location to within a mile of the State House was not to favor any one bidder but, rather, to gain efficiencies.

“The state would gain the most efficiency — both economically and operationally — by consolidating agencies close to the core of state government,” Heidrich said. “There are a number of sites within the 1-mile radius that could be identified and utilized by professional real estate developers.”

He noted leasing space was not the state’s preference. The original plan was to build a state-owned office building in Augusta, but state legislators did not include LePage’s proposal to borrow $112 million to renovate state-owned properties and build a building to consolidate state agencies. Instead, he said, legislators reduced that amount to $23 million, so the administration put out the request for proposals for leased space.

The request for proposals does not specify which state agencies would move to the facility. Heidrich said a number of agencies now in leased space and state-owned space could occupy the proposed consolidated offices. He said the exact occupants will depend upon the lease agreements the department negotiates with the owners of properties where those agencies are located now.

Possibilities mentioned in a list of properties leased by the state, provided to Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta, last year after he inquired about LePage’s proposal to build a new consolidated state office building, included multiple agencies now located at the Central Maine Commerce Center and the Department of Health and Human Services in Key Plaza in downtown Augusta.

Heidrich said consolidating agencies within one building or campus could gain efficiencies in services such as plowing, mowing, postal deliveries, reduced travel time for state employees and improved communications among agencies.

He said there is not yet a firm timeline for the state to pick which, if any, of the proposals it will pursue. He said the next step in the process is the evaluation and ranking of the proposals, with the firm behind the top-ranked proposal, or proposals if the scoring is close, to be invited to negotiate with the state.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.