BANGOR, Maine — Bangor will spend about $1 million updating the former L.L. Bean call center near Bangor International Airport, which soon will serve the same role for an online home furnishings retailer.
During a meeting Monday night, councilors approved using up to $1 million in general obligation bonds to fund improvements to 689 Maine Ave. In February, Wayfair and the city announced a lease agreement for the space, which the city owns.
Bangor will replace the building’s roof, relocate and repair sewage pipes, improve the parking lot, reseal windows and install new heating controls.
Tanya Emery, Bangor’s economic development director, said the work would have been needed eventually regardless of whether the city had a tenant to immediately replace L.L. Bean. The Maine retailer announced its plans to vacate the facility in 2014.
In spite of the expense, Emery said the work will help put the building into reuse quickly and will result in a good deal for the city.
Under the terms of the seven-year lease, Wayfair will pay $16,250 per month in rent, increasing to $17,725 after 60 months. The lease includes two options for five-year extensions.
The city could have divided the 30,000-square-foot building into multiple units, she said, but that would have come with additional costs on top of the already needed improvements.
Preparations for Wayfair will begin May 1, with Wayfair expecting to move in Aug. 1, according to the city.
In other business Monday, the Bangor City Council gave an aircraft maintenance firm the OK to expand again at its Bangor International Airport hub.
The council authorized a lease agreement with C&L Aerospace for hangar No. 10 at the airport, the fourth such hangar space C&L has acquired as part of its growing business.
C&L CEO Chris Kilgour has declined to say what purpose the new hangar space would serve.
The company and its 140 employees handle plane maintenance — everything from painting and seat upholstery to engine overhauls — for small commercial, charter and corporate aircraft from around the globe.
Also on Monday, councilors approved a design for a new electronic sign resembling the sign outside the Cross Insurance Center to be installed along Main Street outside Waterfront Concert’s Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion.
The sign will display upcoming events, ticket information and more to advertise what’s coming up for the 16,000-person outdoor venue. Costs of the sign would be covered by Waterfront Concerts.
The council held a first reading of an ordinance change that would allow for a “single freestanding sign” in the Waterfront Development District on Monday night. That will come back to the council for approval in coming weeks.
In other business, the council accepted a $2,500 donation from Bangor Greendrinks to cover a portion of the costs of installing new trash and recycling receptacles on Maine and Central streets.
Follow Nick McCrea on Twitter at @nmccrea213.