June 21, 2018
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As Waterville, Augusta newspapers need less space, buildings put to new use

BDN staff and wire reports

AUGUSTA, Maine — Four buildings are being planned for a 5.8 acre parcel of land in Augusta that was once the location of the Kennebec Journal, the newspaper in the Maine capital.

If the plans are approved, a branch of the Bangor Savings Bank and Goodwill Industries of Northern New England will serve as anchors of the property that fronts Western Avenue.

On Oct. 11 the Augusta planning board will consider an application by developer Northland Enterprises LLC to demolish the 50,000-square-foot building and replace it with four separate buildings and parking.

The Kennebec Journal says that in addition to the bank and Goodwill, plans call for a 6,000-square-foot restaurant or retail building and a 5,000-square-foot retail building. No tenants were named.

The newspaper left the location in March.

The city of Waterville is also considering buying the building that currently houses the Morning Sentinel, so it could be converted into a new police station.

Both newspapers are owned by MaineToday Media, which also owns the Portland Press Herald and the Maine Sunday Telegram.

Waterville officials revealed the names of three sites being considered as home for the station after top police officials toured the Front Street building on Tuesday.

Mayor Dana Sennett, also an advertising account executive for the Morning Sentinel, said the police felt there was enough space at the Morning Sentinel location.

The other locations being considered are a city-owned parking lot at Head of Falls and land on Colby Circle, according to a Morning Sentinel story.

Publisher Anthony Ronzio says the newspaper building has more space than the newspaper needs. If the city makes a fair offer the paper could find other space.

MaineToday Media bought the newspapers from the Seattle Times newspaper group in 2009. The day after the paper sold, the new owners announced they were selling the downtown offices of the Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram.

The buildings were soon sold, and the newspaper moved most operations to space in One City Center in Portland, and some to its property in South Portland, where the printing plant is.

Staff Writer Matt Wickenheiser contributed to this report.

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