BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce announced that it reached an agreement on June 20 to establish a new headquarters on the city’s waterfront.
The Chamber’s Board of Directors’ approved at its monthly meeting a lease agreement for the organization to move into offices at 20 South St. in Bangor, a building owned by Brewer real estate investor Larry Springer. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The Chamber is currently in temporary quarters near Bangor International Airport in a city-owned building. In 2011, the Chamber gave up its building on city-owned land in Bass Park to make way for the new Cross Insurance Center, the city’s new arena and convention center.
Since that time, the Chamber has been exploring plans for a permanent home, and after a review of available options, settled on the space near the waterfront.
“It was important that the Chamber find a location where we could contribute to the growing vibrancy of the city,” said Jane Irving of Bangor Savings Bank, current current chair of the Chamber. “This location speaks to a new era of success for both the city as a whole and the Chamber.”
“It is really nice space,” said John Porter, president and CEO of the Chamber. “I know my employees are going to appreciate both the location and the quality of the offices available at 20 South Street.”
Porter said the new space will add to the Chamber’s cost structure, and the board undertook the lease agreement with the understanding that dues may increase somewhat as a result.
“For many years the Chamber enjoyed a subsidy from the city in the form of free land underneath our building, and more recently favorable terms for our temporary space,” explained Porter. “We gladly gave up our building to make way for the new arena, but that also meant giving up our city subsidy.”
The Chamber plans to move into its new home on Oct. 1.
Between now and then the organization will be do fundraising among members to pay for signage and furnishings at the new location. During that time, the Chamber also will explore the possibility of sharing its space with another area nonprofit, something allowed under its lease terms.
The new Chamber headquarters will feature a boardroom available for use by its members as well as a visitors’ center where the public can get information and brochures about area attractions.
“We’re excited” said Irving. “I think our members and the community at large will be very pleased with how this new headquarters will enhance our presence and contribute to our mission to grow the region’s economy.”