In the span of just over two years, real estate developer Dash Davidson and his partners at High Tide Capital have purchased three downtown Bangor buildings and completed renovations on two.
The latest, 33 State St., at the corner of State and Exchange streets, will begin welcoming tenants into 15 new one- and two-bedroom apartments in mid-January, in a 1912 building that originally housed a bank and, later, the headquarters of Bangor Hydro Electric Company, now known as Versant Power.
Davidson said several of the apartments are already rented, and he expects to have the rest of the building filled by the spring. The apartments add to an inventory of high-end downtown apartments that has grown in recent years, with developers renovating a number of old buildings.
The State Street property is actually two buildings — 33 State St. and 213 Exchange St., the latter of which is home to the City Drawers boutique. Davidson and his partners purchased the property in April 2021, about five months after purchasing 2 Hammond — another former bank that later housed the Hammond Street Senior Center — just down the street.
Transforming the warren of floors and stair wells into modern apartments was a challenge, but the end result is 15 unique living spaces that highlight the historic touches of the building but offer contemporary amenities. In addition to spacious kitchens and bathrooms, the building will offer a gym and screening room with a large TV and leather couches on the first floor for tenants. The roofs of both buildings will offer roof decks — one for hanging out and socializing, and the other for use as a garden or for quieter activities.
The apartments will rent for around $1,900 per month for a one-bedroom, and $2,200 and up for two bedrooms, and will additionally have one dedicated parking space per unit.
“There is still a big market for higher-end apartments in Bangor. It is a niche that has only been filled in recent years,” Davidson said.
While one of the two commercial spaces in the property is already occupied by City Drawers, the other, larger space has been empty since the early 2000s. Davidson hasn’t yet found a tenant for the approximately 3,500-square-foot space, which boasts soaring ceilings, intricate tile work and wainscoting, and unique granite partitions.
“We’re really open to any sound proposals from any sort of tenant, but I really see this as being ideal for an architecture firm or a design firm, or something creative,” he said.
Davidson and his partners purchased a third property, 27 State St., in June. The 20 tenants in that building, including small business owners and artists, were asked to leave their rentals by the end of July so that a renovation project could get underway. High Tide began work on that project last month, with a plan to offer commercial space on the bottom floor and apartments on the upper floors, although none of that will be complete until late next year at the earliest.
Coffee shop Nest opened in the 27 State St. building in October, and longtime tenants Qi Gong Studio and Cornerstone Barber Shop moved out over the fall.
While Davidson said he and his partners would like to purchase more buildings in downtown Bangor, there are far fewer historic buildings up for sale now than there were two years ago.
Real estate developer Andrew “Dash” Davidson gives a tour of 33 State St., the former Bangor Hydro building. The 1912 building will begin welcoming tenants to the new one- and two-bedroom apartments in mid-January. Credit: Linda Coan O’Kresik / BDN
“Most of them have been purchased and are already being redeveloped, which is really a great thing for Bangor,” he said. “We just want these beautiful spaces to be useful again.”
Davidson said his tenants typically fall into two groups: young professionals working in the medical, engineering or tech fields or who can work remotely, and retirees looking to sell large old family homes and move into comfortable, accessible downtown apartments. By the time Davidson has completed work on all three buildings, he estimates that around 100 people will be living in his downtown apartments.
“That’s really a big part of bringing energy to downtown, is having people live here,” he said.