BANGOR, Maine — Demolition crews hired by Lowe’s are tearing down the old Wal-Mart store on Springer Drive to make room for a new retail store for the home improvement chain, Bangor Code Enforcement Officer Dan Wellington said on Monday.
Lowe’s purchased the property in late October or early November, he said, and plans to build a 137,000-square foot retail store at the site. It is expected to open in early 2011.
Wal-Mart sold the property after opening a new Wal-Mart Supercenter off Stillwater Avenue in July of 2009.
“We won’t disclose a purchase price,” Maureen Rich, spokeswoman for Lowe’s Companies Inc., headquartered in Mooresville, N.C., said on Monday.
The cost of constructing the new retail store is expected to run around $18.5 million, she said.
City records show that Lowe’s paid only “$10 and other goods and valuable considerations,” for the former Wal-Mart property, Wellington said, noting the true value of the deal will be recorded with the Penobscot County registry of deeds. It could not be confirmed Monday if that filing had occurred.
Once constructed, the new Bangor store will create “up to 175 jobs, and Lowe’s offers benefits to both full and part-time employees,” Rich said.
Lowe’s first came to the Greater Bangor area in April 2008, when a 117,000-square-foot store with an adjacent 31,000-square-foot garden center opened at 15 Arista Drive, off outer Wilson Street, in Brewer.
That retail store was the 10th built in Maine and cost approximately $18.5 million to build. It employs about 150 people. Currently, there are more than 1,700 Lowe’s stores in the United States and Canada, according to the company’s Web site.
The next nearest Lowe’s, about 25 miles southeast of Brewer in Ellsworth, opened January 2008.
Lowe’s plans for the Bangor property also include a 35,000-square-foot building that will sit to the left of the Springer Drive entrance, Wellington said.
“They have not named that tenant,” he said.
“About half of it is on the ground,” Wellington said, referring to the razing of the Wal-Mart building.
The work started about a month ago when crews began pulling out the regulated waste — fluorescent bulbs, electric switches and other items containing mercury from the old store. Those materials must be disposed of properly, he said.
“They actually started tearing it down, parts of the roof, last Friday,” Wellington said.
A pre-construction meeting is scheduled for Thursday, and Lowe’s officials would like to begin construction this spring, Wellington said.