Jackson Lab gets deal on Ellsworth Lowe’s property

Posted Nov. 13, 2012, at 4:56 p.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — The recent sale of the former Lowe’s property in Ellsworth to Jackson Laboratory is widely accepted as a good deal for the city.

Turns out, it was a pretty sweet deal for the lab, too.

The Bar Harbor genetic research facility paid just over half the assessed value of the 17-acre parcel and its 140,000 square-foot big-box building, according to paperwork obtained Tuesday from Maine Revenue Service.

The lab paid $3.2 million for the property when the deal closed on Oct. 26. It was assessed at $5.9 million last year, according to Ellsworth assessment records.

The store closed its doors in November 2011. Until the property sold, the South Carolina-based Lowe’s Home Centers Inc. was still on the hook for property taxes each year. Assistant Assessor Valerie Moon said it’s not unusual for large companies to sell their discarded property at slashed prices in order to disinvest themselves of costly empty buildings.

The lab’s price is an even sweeter deal considering the property’s value in 2011, when Lowe’s was still open. Moon said the fully operational retail outlet was assessed at a whopping $16 million that year.

Follow Mario Moretto at @riocarmine.

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