RICHMOND — The decision by Hodgdon to relocate one of its divisions from Richmond to East Boothbay is leaving nearly 37,000 square feet of industrial space open in Richmond.

It’s not clear yet what might happen to the space.

The building, at 150 Main St., is owned by Shucks Maine Lobster, which occupies about 26,000 square feet; 20,000 square feet of that space is considered food-grade space.

“We’ll have to see what the market will do,” said John Hathaway, CEO of Shucks.

The building, the former Etonic shoe factory, is listed by the Dunham Group for sale or lease. The sale price is $1.9 million and the lease cost is $3.50 per square foot.

Hodgdon, which is celebrating its 200th year in business this year, is credited with being the oldest boat building company in the United States. It moved its interiors division from Richmond to East Boothbay earlier this summer.


Hodgdon has facilities in Lincoln County, including headquarters in East Boothbay; Newport, Rhode Island; and Monte Carlo. The company has five divisions: Hodgdon Yachts, Hodgdon Custom Tenders, Hodgdon Interiors, Hodgdon Yacht Services and Hodgdon Defense Composites.

Audrey Hodgdon, marketing manager for the company, said company officials have decided to consolidate operations in Boothbay.

“We moved everyone back to this space earlier this summer,” Hodgdon said.

The company’s last expansion was in Lincoln County; it leased formerly vacant manufacturing space in Damariscotta in 2014 to build custom yacht tenders, according to the Lincoln County News.

Hodgdon had been in Richmond for about a decade, and the company had made some modifications to the space.

“It’s a good space,” Hathaway said.


The market is tightening up around Portland, but that doesn’t automatically mean that real estate scouts are looking to central Maine, said Chris Paszyc, a partner with the Portland-based CBRE | The Boulos Co. and a member of the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

“There isn’t a lot of supply for industrial space in central Maine from Augusta to Richmond,” Paszyc said, “but there isn’t a lot of demand, either.”

The Lewiston-Auburn area and Waterville have been able to accommodate demand for industrial space so far.

“There is demand for industrial product, provided it’s priced appropriately,” he said. “However, we need to take a more regional look when we’re closing deals.”

In nearby Gardiner, city officials have taken a look at the commercial real estate market and have opted to raise the lot prices on parcels in the Libby Hill Business Park by 2 percent to 10 percent, depending on the lot’s size and location. The prices per developable acre range from about $15,500 to $21,000.

“When the economy and the real estate market tanked in early 2010,” Gardiner City Manager Scott Morelli said, “we updated prices because we weren’t even getting people in to kick the tires.”


City officials dropped prices twice and developed the free land program, under which a business developer would get a lot essentially free through a credit enhancement agreement, provided the developer committed to putting up a building of a certain value.

“When we lowered the prices, there wasn’t much interest anywhere in the state,” he said. “Now we have an seen an uptick. With the economy rebounding, it has its benefits.”

Paszyc said available industrial buildings might not suit tenants in today’s real estate market.

“Typically, what we see when with new construction is a combination of good ceiling height, sprinkler systems, loading docks or drive-in doors,” he said. “That’s typically non-negotiable.”

At the same time, he said, companies typically look for existing buildings because they often don’t have the time to wait for construction of a building to suit their specific needs.

“It can take six to 12 months to get a building built, and that’s too slow for businesses looking to start operations,” he said.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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