This office building at 17-19 Mollison Way in Lewiston is the latest in Maine to hit the auction block at online auctioneer Ten-X. The online auction is Sept. 23-25, 2019. Credit: Courtesy of The Boulos Co.

A Lewiston office building will go up for sale in an online auction by the same auctioneer that sold the Bangor Mall and the Aroostook Centre Mall.

Ten-X Commercial has listed the property at 17-19 Mollison Way at a starting bid of $1.6 million.

The online auctioneer also is selling the former MBNA building in Belfast, which once housed the largest employer in the midcoast. Both online auctions are being held Sept. 23-25.

The 60,000-square-foot building in Lewiston has been occupied since it was built in 1994 by Change Healthcare Technology, a health software, networking and analytics company. 

It has a lease that runs through Aug. 31, 2025, but it can terminate that lease early, on the last day of August 2023, by paying a fee of around $125,433. Change Healthcare pays $561,000 annually for rent, plus it pays for the building’s taxes, insurance and utilities.

Online auctions have become increasingly popular in recent years for selling properties that languish on the market or that are up for a quick sale.

Christopher Paszyc, a partner at The Boulos Co., which is selling the property in collaboration with Ten-X, said the property has been on the market since May, but a couple factors have hampered its sale.

“There are a couple elements that do not make it a simple, straightforward investment property,” he said. “Change Healthcare’s financial information was not available until recently when they went public, so it was difficult for investors to understand the creditworthiness of the tenant.”

“And the length of the lease made it difficult to get bank financing,” he added. “The tenant can get out of the lease in a few years.”

Still, Paszyc said the building should sell for more than the $1.6 million starting bid.

That’s well below the city of Lewiston assessment of $4.8 million for the buildings and 5.97 acres of land on the property.

Stag Industrial, a Boston-based real estate investment company, owns both the Belfast and Lewiston properties. Stag has more than 100 subsidiaries that own industrial and office properties across the country.

Stag owns five properties in Maine: the Belfast and Lewiston office buildings and distribution warehouses in Biddeford, Augusta and Portland.

Paszyc said Stag is selling the Belfast and Lewiston office buildings because it is focusing on industrial real estate, including warehouses and manufacturing facilities.

The Change Healthcare building is in an office park near Pediatric Associates of Lewiston, St. Mary’s Center for Family Medicine and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Interested parties need to pay $25,000 to participate in the auction.