Downtown Bar Harbor is undergoing a construction boom as the 2015 tourist season approaches. PHOTO BY ROBERT LEVIN

Seasonal construction boom

BAR HARBOR — One of the town’s last neighborhoods with available commercial property is undergoing a redevelopment this spring, and projects in another part of town are well underway.

Lower Main Street

Several properties at the far end of Lower Main Street are gaining new life this year, with a dental clinic, apartments, a business co-working space and an art center among the new businesses on the way.

“A lot of us local businesses want to be part of the downtown but can’t locate there because of space constraints. Lower Main Street is another entrance into town and is a logical place for businesses needing space to expand,” said Nicole Ouellette, proprietor of Anchorspace, a new Lower Main Street business. “Personally, and as a business, I am thrilled to be part of the excitement.”

Anchorspace opened this month in the old Bar Harbor Water Company building at 337 Main Street. The business offers daily and monthly workspace rentals and a conference room that can fit up to 10 people at a time. It is the first commercial activity to take place in the Water Co. building since restaurateur and planning board member Tom St. Germain bought it from the town in August 2013.

Next door to Anchorspace, at 333 Main St., dentist Mathilde Reznik is overseeing redevelopment of a property that contained two older houses that had been used for seasonal worker housing. After purchasing the property, Reznik had the houses torn down and is replacing them with a dental clinic, garage workshop and two apartments. The development project, which Reznik said is focused on energy efficiency, alternative power and other environmentally friendly options, was approved by the planning board earlier this year.

Moving just one lot over, another residence, at 329 Main St., is being converted into Artwaves, a community creative art center. The space, owned by artist Liz Cutler, comprises six table spaces, available on two floors in any combination, plus a Stairwell Gallery “providing highly visible space for patrons, friends and artists to gather,” Cutler said.

The membership-based art center will offer monthly shows, daily “member tea time” and regular salon-style discussions.

Over on the other side of the street, at 312 Main St., the brick building that for many years housed K.A. McDonald Picture Framing is slated for a new salon. Denise Swan said that she is moving her Spa 24 to the space and renaming it Mosaic Salon. The year-round business will offer full service hair and nail treatments, as well as waxing and spray tanning and facials.

Just a bit further toward downtown, some excitement is building around a space at the corner of Hancock and Main streets that a couple of years ago hosted Gram’s Pizza. Kathleen Field, the owner of Poor Boy’s Gourmet restaurant, is overseeing renovations in preparation for opening a bakery and bagel shop in the space. Field’s restaurant is known for its baked goods, among other items.

Construction around Cottage Street

The sound of hammers and power saws is echoing through other parts of town this spring, especially over on Cottage Street. The Criterion Theatre has been veiled for weeks as both interior and exterior undergo $1 million in renovations. The Art Deco landmark, which is now free of the interior mold and mildew that plagued it for years, is slated to open next month.

Just across the street, at 32 Cottage, workers have been busy putting up a new building. The property, owned by Dana Pelletier, formerly housed a T-shirt shop. Meanwhile, on Rodick Street, the owners of Side Street Café are planning a juice bar at the space next door to their restaurant, which until this spring, housed Little Sister’s youth art studio. It will be called Thrive Juice Bar and Kitchen.

Robert Levin

Robert Levin

Former reporter Robert Levin covered the people, businesses, governmental and nonprofit agencies of Bar Harbor. [email protected]
Robert Levin

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