BAR HARBOR — Crews demolished the former Nakorn Thai building across from the Bar Harbor Post Office on Cottage Street last Thursday morning.
Owner Tom Alley of Bar Harbor said that the building saw many uses, including a sandwich shop, gas station and ice cream shop.
“The lot is worth more with the building off of it,” Alley said. “The building was a liability, any new owner would want to tear it down anyway.”
Alley said that the building was still in good condition, but it was built to conform to Bar Harbor’s zoning decades ago.
“It didn’t really suit the way the town is being developed now,” Alley said. “The parking was put up front and the building out back. Now [the buildings are] all up front.”
Alley said that there was a concern among potential buyers that there would be added cost to remove tanks from the former gas station. Alley said CES, a surveying company from Brewer, found no evidence of tanks on the property when using radar.
“There was that expense, the demolition and cleaning up the lot,” Alley said.
Alley said he considered using the land for parking, but the land use ordinance didn’t allow for that.
Town Councilor Matt Hochman posted a photo of the building on Facebook on Oct. 12. In response, many residents fondly remembered the arcade, Popeye’s and frozen yogurt shop that once occupied the building.
The asking price of the lot, adjusted for demolition and surveying costs, sits at $1,495,000. The property is being sold by Erica Brooks at Sotheby’s International Realty.
“I haven’t been approached by anyone yet,” Alley said.
Mount Desert Street Motel
Also on Thursday, the 12-room motel that sat at 68 Mount Desert St. was demolished to make room for a 31-room bed-and-breakfast.
The property’s owners, mother-and-son team Cathy and Steve Coston, have been through a lengthy review process for their planned new Mount Desert Street Inn.
An appeal was brought by Robert and Anne Bahr, owners of Anne’s White Columns Inn, Cleftstone Manor and the Elmhurst Inn, and Andrew Geel, owner of the Thornhedge Inn.
“If you allow this, you’re making it more profitable to tear the buildings down,” rather than maintain historic buildings as bed-and-breakfasts, Geel said.
Stephen Coston said that the building was once part of the Ledgelawn Inn and has been an independent hotel since the 1950s. It was also known as the Rockhurst.
In August, the Board of Appeals denied the appeal, allowing the Costons to move forward with their development.
Stephen Coston told the Islander that site work on the new inn began almost immediately after demolition was completed on Friday.