The $2.8 million, 27,800 square foot building houses the bank's corporate offices, operations center, and a retail branch with drive-through. "We will be bringing together close to 95 employees from three different locations into a single facility," said Jim Delamater, President and CEO of Northeast Bank. "This move has significant meaning for our company as we look to take advantage of improved efficiencies and to provide greater access to our family of financial services."
Special guest speakers at the event included Mayor Lionel C. Guay of Lewiston, Commissioner Jack Cashman, Director of Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, President Dana Connors, Maine State Chamber of Commerce and Leslie B. Otten of the Boston Red Sox.
Cashman said "the positive transformation of this Gateway into Lewiston is an example for the rest of the state of what can happen when committed City leaders and visionary developers and business leaders set a goal and work together to achieve it."
Otten spoke of Northeast Bank (the former Bethel Savings Bank), where he went in the early 80's to seek financing to build his first condos at Sunday River. "If it weren't for Jim Delamater and the Bank's willingness to take a risk on my vision I wouldn't be where I am today. You've all seen what was accomplished at Sunday River all because Jim had faith in me."
Completion of Northeast Bank's new building represents the most recent step in the transformation of the Southern Gateway in downtown Lewiston. In June 2003 city officials, flanked by Jim Delamater, developer Stanley Sclar of Franklin Property Trust, and Rick Anstey, president and CEO of Oxford Networks, announced a vision to significantly improve the Southern Gateway. The area had suffered from more than 20 years of disinvestment. There were many vacant and boarded up buildings. Sclar unveiled plans to build two signature office buildings in the gateway with Oxford Networks and Northeast Bank as the primary tenants in the buildings. "This project is just one way we can partner with the community, and help transform the Lisbon Street entrance to Lewiston, it solidifies our presence here in Lewiston / Auburn," said Judy Kelley, Chair of Northeast Bank's Board of Directors. "Northeast Bank has a proven record of effective growth and leadership in the communities in which it serves. We are thrilled and proud to be a part of the vision and leadership that made all this possible."
About the Southern Gateway:
The Southern Gateway announcement ignited new development interest in this area of the city. Within three weeks of the announcement, VIP Tires and Service bought a historic building in the gateway. They invested $1.8 million renovating the building into the company's flagship store. Andover College renovated 13,000 square feet of space formerly occupied by the Good Shepherd Food Bank and converted it into a first rate educational facility. They began offering certificate and associate degree programs from the new location in March 2004. The Public Theatre has moved forward with renovations to its lobby, restrooms, and exits with more improvements to come. Work is nearing completion on a new parking garage in the area, and work will begin soon on the renovation of another historic building that will be occupied by the Androscoggin Chamber of Commerce and the Lewiston Auburn Economic Growth Council. New sidewalks, curbing and landscaping has been installed on Lisbon, Canal and Maple Streets, and the utilities have been moved underground. To date, the total public and private investment in the gateway exceeds $19 million.
About Northeast Bank
Northeast Bank was founded in 1872. It is an independent Maine-based bank. The bank had record earnings in 2004, and achieved significant growth in new loan and deposit generation. According to Delamater the bank achieved these goals by being customer focused, and always having the best long-term interest of the customer in mind when advising them, even if it sometimes means sending the customer to a competitor. "Northeast Bank's future, and that of our customers, will be determined by always being proactive to create value and derive benefit from the long-term relationships developed. As families, businesses and communities flourish so will Northeast Bank."
Northeast Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of Northeast Bancorp (AMEX: NBN); has over $576 million in assets as of June 30, 2005 and has 21 retail and insurance locations serving the financial needs in western, central and mid-coastal Maine. Information regarding Northeast Bank can be found on its website at www.northeastbank.com or by contacting 1-800-284-5989.