BANGOR, Maine — The former Bangor YMCA building has been sold to a nonprofit dental technology school, according to Penobscot County records.
William Buxton, one of the founders of New England Denture Center, purchased the property on May 15, according to deed documents filed with Penobscot County. The property, at 127 Hammond St., is now owned by the New England School of Dental Technology, which appears to be a new entity.
Buxton lists his contact address as 12 Stillwater Ave. in Bangor, the location of the Bangor branch of the denture center, which also has locations in Augusta, Lincoln, Ellsworth, Biddeford, Auburn and Westbrook.
Attempts to reach Buxton at home were unsuccessful on Friday. New England Denture Center offices are closed for the Memorial Day Weekend.
Greg Lovley purchased the 51,000-square-foot building in October 2011 after the Bangor YMCA became the Bangor Y and merged with the YWCA on Second Street. Lovley, a developer who owns several businesses in the Newport-Palmyra and Bangor areas, owned the building for fewer than 20 months. The asking price when he purchased the property was $725,000.
Little has happened at the site since the YMCA left, according to city staff. Lovley never filed paperwork with the city to conduct any major renovations and the assessed value of the building has taken a nosedive since 2012.
Lovley declined to provide details of the sale or talk about what work he might have done on the building during the months he owned it. He only confirmed that William Buxton was the buyer.
The sale price is confidential until the city receives deed and tax information, possibly next month, according to Susan Bulay, the county’s register of deeds.
Until fiscal year 2012, the property’s assessed value hovered just under $3 million. An assessment in fiscal year 2013 dropped the value to about $1.3 million and the latest assessment plummeted to $778,200.
Lovley said the $3 million assessment wasn’t an accurate reflection of the value of the building or its condition. City Manager Cathy Conlow said that because the building was tax-exempt when it was owned by the Bangor Y, a reassessment wasn’t a high priority until the building was sold to Lovley.
The value of the 1.7 acres of land has remained unchanged at $320,000.
Bud Kitchen, a real estate appraiser for the city’s assessing department, said he last walked through the building in September of 2012. He said the hardwood floor was buckling and maintenance appeared to be lacking. At the time, there was an idea of converting the building to office space, “however, a significant amount of renovation would be needed to put it to that use,” he said.
The building’s age and lack of upkeep, as well as the “astronomical” cost of converting the building for another use, caused the assessed value to drop, Kitchen said.
Before Lovley bought the building in 2011, several other groups, including the County Commissioners, expressed interest.
Penobscot County Administrator Bill Collins said Friday that the county uses the old Bangor YMCA lot to meet its demand for parking and would like to have continued access to those spaces.
If it does lose those parking spots when the new school moves in, the county could benefit from the demolition of the old Bangor Police Department on Court Street, a project that could create a new lot and meet the county’s demand for parking.