The former Saliba’s Rug Sales & Service building in Bangor in a June 2021 file photo. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

The former home of Saliba’s Rugs on the Bangor Waterfront sold last fall to Bangor Savings Bank after a proposed commercial and residential redevelopment project fell through.

The building at 2 Pleasant St., at the corner of Front Street, was sold by Robert Ervin in late October 2022 to Bangor Savings for $1.7 million.

Ervin bought the property for $788,000 in February 2021 from longtime owner Steve Saliba. He planned to redevelop the 28,000-square-foot building into a mixed residential and commercial space, with the potential for a restaurant on the street level and apartments in the rest of the building.

Though work commenced on the space, the project ultimately fell through, and less than two years later, Ervin sold the property to Bangor Savings. Information on why the project fell through was not available Friday. Ervin did not respond to a request for comment.

The bank’s extensive waterfront campus now encompasses approximately seven acres along Main and Front streets, including two vacant lots on Main Street, next to Dunkin.

Bangor Savings’ director of marketing and community relations, Jaclyn Fish, said the property is vacant, and that the company has no plans for development.

“As Bangor Savings Bank continues to grow and support the community, options for the location will be evaluated based on future needs,” she said.

Available space on the waterfront is at a premium, with the majority of the area taken up by Bangor Savings, the Maine Savings Amphitheater, Hollywood Casino, Hotel and Raceway and city-owned parkland.

The only other privately owned buildings on the waterfront are the Sea Dog Brewing Co., the condominiums at 24 Pleasant St. and two commercial spaces across the street from the Sea Dog.

The Saliba family operated its rug business at 2 Pleasant St. for nearly 60 years, opening in the large stucco building in 1962 nearly 40 years after the business first opened elsewhere in Bangor in 1925.

The building, with its huge red “magic carpet” sign on the exterior, was an eye-catching landmark in a waterfront area that until the 1990s was mostly industrial and home to a railway depot. The building, built in 1875 as a warehouse, had only two owners in its existence until Ervin bought it in 2021.

Saliba’s Rugs has relocated to 183 Robertson Blvd. in Brewer.

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Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.