Just five days after opening Orono Brewing Company’s new location at 61 Margin St. in Orono, OBC co-owners Abe and Heather Furth began work on the renovation of another building — this one in downtown Bangor.
The Furths purchased 29 Franklin St., a nearly 15,000 square-foot, three-story building built in 1912, for $552,888 in December 2017, according to Heather Furth. She said they weren’t able to begin renovations on it until last week, after longtime tenants Northeast Occupational Exchange (NOE) moved out last month. NOE, a social services organization, has moved to new offices on Mt. Hope Avenue in Bangor.
The Furths intend to renovate the upper floors into loft-style apartments, not unlike the apartments located above their other two downtown Bangor buildings at 91 Main St. and 26 State St. Abe Furth said they are hoping to attract a commercial tenant for the ground level, though they have no immediate plans for what sort of business that might be.
The building has been home to a number of businesses and organizations over the years, including seafood restaurant McCarthy’s on the Half Shell in the 1980s, and Finnegan’s, a bar and nightclub that operated in the 1980s and early 1990s. NOE has occupied the building since the late 1990s.
Over the weekend, contractors began dismantling the glass atrium covering the entrance to building, a structure that had slowly been deteriorating over the years, with many cracks and patches in the glass visible from the street.
The building in July 2018 was named by the Bangor City Council to the Great Fire of 1911 Historic District, as one of the first buildings to be constructed after the fire ripped through downtown Bangor on April 30 and May 1, 1911.
The Furths have not given an estimate as to when renovations will be complete, and residential and commercial rentals will be available.
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