Maine Made & More leaving

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NORWAY – The collapse of the Odd Fellows Hall deal has taken another Main Street store with it.

Maine Made & More, a gift shop owned by Vickie Farr, was to move into the Odd Fellows Hall after a Gorham contractor agreed this past fall to buy the building. But when Rick Lockwood failed to meet his closing deadline last week, Farr also lost her space in the first and second floors of the hall.

Now, because she must move out of her spot in the J.J. Newberry building to make way for Norway Savings Bank, which is expanding, Farr is without a home.

She said there’s a possibility she can temporarily move into the old Books N Things space in Oxford while she scouts for another location. The bookstore moved into a spot on Main Street last year.

“We want to stay right here in the Oxford Hills area,” Farr said. “I’m from this area, and I just feel we want to be part of Oxford Hills.”

The Growth Council told Farr Wednesday she needed to pack up and move out by midnight of Jan. 31. Soon after receiving the news, Farr hung up signs in the window advertising a moving out sale, 10 percent off everything.

“We might have a few less things to carry,” Farr said.

“I’m disappointed that the Growth Council can’t do more to help businesses on Main Street,” she said, admitting to being frustrated with the lack of help.

The loss of any store on Main Street hurts the entire micro-economy here, as the more shops there are to lure customers downtown, the better for every business.

Originally, Norway Savings Bank and the Growth Council had allowed Farr to stay on in the building until the end of February, but only based on the premise that Farr would move into the Odd Fellows Hall after Lockwood purchased it.

The Growth Council, which owns the building, will lease the space to the bank. Farr said she agreed to break the gift store’s five-year lease to make way for the bank, which she said is paying a higher rent for her store and the empty space next door that once housed the New Balance outlet.

“We gave up our lease so the town of Norway could grow,” Farr said. “So (the Growth Council) could make much more money with the bank.”

Marcy Boughter of the Growth Council said the original agreement with Farr was that she could only stay if there was a guarantee she would move into the Odd Fellows Hall and that there was a solid future for her on Main Street.

“Norway Savings Bank was doing us a favor of letting her stay until the end of February. That was a gift,” Boughter said.

The bank will be renovating the space for three of its departments.

“The last thing we wanted to do was see that store leave Main Street Norway,” Boughter said.

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