WATERVILLE — The former Camden National Bank building at 33 Main St. is being demolished to make way for construction this year of a boutique hotel.

Elm City 9 LLC, an affiliate of Colby College, bought the former bank building last year with plans to build a hotel on both that and an adjacent lot that formerly housed Levine’s clothing store. That building also was purchased by Colby and demolished.

Brian Clark, Colby’s vice president of planning, said Tuesday that demolition is expected to be complete in the spring, with construction to start in the summer.

“Ideally, the hotel will open in 2020,” Clark said.

The former bank site, which includes parcels at 9-33 Main St., will become a “truly beautiful and right-sized hotel that will bring a new kind of accommodation to the area and will build on the rich history of hotels in downtown Waterville,” according to Clark.

“As we work through the planning process, we are keeping in mind the importance of a building on this site to anchor the southern part of Main Street, and that will help to connect Main Street to the Hathaway complex and Waterville’s South End neighborhood,” he said. “One of the great opportunities with this project is to introduce a restaurant on the ground floor that will open to the pocket park on the north part of the site and create a really great public venue on Main Street that also helps to enliven the Silver Street corridor.”

Camden bank late last year moved to the first floor of 150 Main St., the Colby-owned Bill & Joan Alfond Main Street Commons, in which about 200 students and staff and faculty members live.

Workers from the EnviroVantage company work inside the former Waterville Hardware store on Tuesday on Main Street in Waterville. The building, now owned by Colby College, is undergoing removal of lead paint, mold, bird droppings and asbestos.

The former bank building at 33 Main is 40,000 square feet in size and was built in 1920. The bank had used only about 8,000 square feet of it. Camden bank bought the building in 2012 from Bank of America.

The demolition at the site is being done by J.E. Butler, of Brewer, according to Clark.

On Tuesday, an excavator was breaking off parts of the building facing Front Street and separating materials into large trash receptacles. The property is fenced in, with orange barriers placed in the road on the Main Street side.

According to the Waterville assessor’s database, the parcel the bank occupies is 0.67 acre; the back side of the property at 11-13 Front St. is 0.61 acre; and the 9 Main St. piece, the former Levine’s property, is 0.27 acre.

City councilors voted in 2017 to approve leasing 30 spaces on the west side of the 60-space public parking lot on Front Street exclusively to Colby for use by the hotel.

Clark said last year that Colby generally planned to use parking spaces in the Front Street parking lot that the college has leased from the city and will identify other ways to manage hotel parking.

The excavator in foreground holds up a wall as a precaution while the other excavator removes salvageable material Tuesday during demolition of the former Camden National Bank on Main Street in Waterville. The building and site are now owned by Colby College and are expected to become the location of a hotel.

Meanwhile, work is being done to the former Waterville Hardware building at 14-20 Main St., across the street from the former Levine’s lot.

Clark said the building, also owned by Colby, has been exposed to the elements since a fire burned the northernmost part of the building in 2013 and the building was in “terrible condition.” Work is being done by EnviroVantage to remove mold, bird droppings and asbestos, he said, with that work expected to be complete at the end of this week.

“It’s a matter of remediation and cleaning out that building to get it ready for development,” he said. “This makes it much more attractive from a redevelopment standpoint, and it ensures we’ll be able to save it.”

Also on that site, workers have removed an addition on the back of the building, where most likely an elevator and stair tower would be built to allow occupancy on upper floors, according to Clark.

Colby still is exploring a range of possibilities for the building’s use, which could be mixed-use with offices, residential and artists’ gallery space, with retail on the first floor, he said.

Workers continue the demolition of the former Camden National Bank on Tuesday on Main Street in Waterville, as seen from the former Waterville Hardware store. Both properties are now owned by Colby College.

As for efforts to identify retail tenants for the first floors of both 150 Main St., the Bill & Joan Alfond Main Street Commons, and 173 Main St., which houses offices on upper floors and Portland Pie Co. on half of the ground floor, Clark said officials are still having conversations about that. Colby also owns and renovated 173 Main.

“We continue to field a lot of interest in both of those spaces and are working through the possibilities — and hope to have an announcement soon,” Clark said.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17


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