ROCKLAND, Maine — A developer who has renovated multiple downtown properties is planning to create an indoor market that will highlight locally produced foods.
Richard Rockwell, through his company 435 Main Street LLC, purchased in November the four-story brick building that had been the home of “The Store” since 1985.
Plans were submitted to the city’s code enforcement office this week detailing plans for the structure. The city’s code officer said he was excited by the plans which include having shops on the lower level which faces the harborside on the back of the block.
The Main Street and lower harbor-facing levels will be divided into smaller spaces for vendors to sell their locally produced foods. There is space for 13 vendors on the Main Street level while the number for the lower level has not been determined, according to general contractor Tom Potter.
There will be an open stairwell leading from the Main Street level to the basement level that abuts the city-owned parking lot and faces out to the harbor. The city plans to undertake improvements to that parking lot including lighting, sidewalks and landscaping.
The Main Street facade of the building will be restored with three large archways, Potter said.
The plan is for the market to be open by midsummer, Potter said.
The tentative plan also calls for developing apartments on the top three floors, but that will come later, he said.
Potter said Rockwell wants to help revitalize Rockland.
Rockwell, who lives in northern New Jersey, is no stranger to Rockland. His grandfather was Saul Zwecker, the president of Port Clyde Foods in the 1970s and into the 1980s.
Rockwell purchased the Hewett Block at 491 Main St. in August 2008 from Barry Faber, and spent about $1.5 million on the renovation of that four-story brick structure that was built in 1877.
He also purchased a three-story apartment building at 5 Granite St. in Rockland in May 2011 and undertook major renovations.