Empty Spaces Part 2 

Wayne Harvey

Empty buildings are a sign of the times.A lot of local places where businesses used to be are vacant now.But the outlook may not be as bleak as you think, even with the economy the way it is.”The businesses that are here we want to take good care of them when they have some sort of an issue.” says D’arcy Main-Boyington, Brewers Director of Economic Development “We want to make sure that we’re one of the first phone calls they make, that they call us and say what can you do to help and we want to be at the table helping to resolve those issues so that they will stay and be strong and healthy in the future and grow here.”The city of Brewer did get involved with the negotiations to bring Beef O’Bradys to Wilson Street. It’s a chain of family oriented sports restaurants based primarily in Florida.There were some issues with the lending company that Brewer city officials helped new owner David Kennedy iron out.”Once that was finalized then it was the lease that was finalized it was fairly easy to negotiate cause with the economy they wanted to get somebody in here and it worked out well for both parties.”Kennedy recently moved back to Maine after living in Florida. He plans to be in this for the long haul.”A win for me would be to get this running real well and be financially stable so we can open up another way.”Kennedy continued “I’m hoping that this Beef’s is going to be the seed for the Northeast. It’s a great product, it’s a great concept and I think it’s going to go over well.”Beef O’Brady’s will fill the spot in Brewer vacated by Applebees. That’s not the only opening coming soon.In Bangor, things are already set for some new businesses to move in according to Rodney McKay, Bangor’s Director of Community and Economic Development.”In the old WalMart building, Lowe’s has a permit to demolish that building and start construction as soon as that relocation has taken place. Tractor Supply has permits to build on outer Broadway, Walgreen’s has a permit to build on Oak Street in the downtown area.” McKay added “There has been an awful lot of activity recently and I don’t know if we’re going to keep up that same level, you know 200 million dollars of new development a year in the future, the last two years have been really outstanding and we’d like to keep that up but it would be highly unusual if we did.”According to Main-Boyington Brewer still wants to focus on building industrial employers that will provide long term jobs, so those workers will be able to visit the soon to be opened restaurants and retail shops.”We’re in the process of trying to build a new business park that would accommodate those businesses so that’s certainly down the road we don’t expect that will be done next year, we’d like it to be done in the next two to three years.”David Kennedy expects to open Beef O’Brady’s on March 24th. It’s the first restaurant of it’s kind north of Virginia.