A view of the downtown Augusta office building, formerly occupied by MaineHousing, on Oct. 6 that will be the new Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife offices. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

AUGUSTA — The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is expected to relocate its headquarters by the end of October to a Water Street location overlooking the Kennebec River.

Mark Latti, director of communications for Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, said the move is intended to consolidate the department and bring together some functions into a single office.

In all, Latti said, about 100 department employees will move to 353 Water St., the former home of the Maine State Housing Authority, which has relocated to Edison Drive.

Currently, the department has its headquarters on State Street, an office on Federal Street where the department’s recreational safety office is located, and storage space on Civic Center Drive for printed materials. Those will all move to Water Street.

In addition, Latti said, part of the department’s research and assessment section located in Bangor, will relocate to the new headquarters.

“The idea is to consolidate our offices and have everybody together,” Latti said.


At the same time, the department’s customers can be served from a single location for guide certifications, licenses and registrations.

Among the attributes of the new space is a large conference room that can be used for public hearings. Latti said the department has been renting space for public hearings and it won’t have to anymore.

“Ideally, we hope to have some outdoor things there like fishing demonstrations with some of our biologists and wardens because we are right on the river,” he said.

Latti said the department has been looking for a new location for a while, including considering building a new facility on land owned by the city of Augusta. Its options also included renewing its lease on State Street while consolidating its other Augusta facilities in another leased facility.

Michael Hall, executive director of the Augusta Downtown Alliance, said business owners in downtown Augusta are happy to have additional workers and potential customers on Water Street since the Maine State Housing Authority moved last year after two decades there.

Their exit meant that 165 workers moved out of downtown, and the building has been vacant since the housing agency relocated.


Jason Gall, who manages the property that is owned by his father, Ed Gall, said he had started talking to department officials about leasing a smaller space in Augusta, but the Water Street property emerged as the best option, allowing the consolidation to take place.

“It really checked off all boxes for them,” Jason Gall said. “It’s on the river, it’s next to the rail trail, it’s close to downtown, and downtown is really humming. It’s a great scenario for all parties.”

The property comes with 130 city of Augusta parking permits.

The current headquarters will close on Oct. 18, when the move starts. The new headquarters is expected to be open later that week to issue licenses and registrations.

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