BANGOR (AP) – The University of Maine System could relocate its offices to downtown Bangor as early as the summer of 2005 under terms of a proposed property swap with the city.

The deal, which requires approval of the City Council and University of Maine System trustees, would move UMS to the former W.T. Grant building, giving a boost to the city’s downtown revitalization efforts.

In exchange, the city would get three buildings and land next to its Maine Business Enterprise Park near Bangor International Airport.

With the system aiming to house approximately 120 employees under one roof, and the city hoping to expand its business park, “it’s a win-win situation for everybody,” UMS spokesman John Diamond said Thursday.

Bangor City Manager Ed Barrett agreed, but said details still had to be worked out.

UMS trustees are expected to vote Monday on whether to give Chancellor Joseph Westphal the go-ahead to pursue the deal. The City Council could take up the proposal Nov. 24, Barrett said.

The move would make the system the largest single downtown employer, Diamond pointed out.

“Both parties anticipate that the presence of 120 employees and hundreds of guests and visitors each month will have a significant and positive impact on downtown Bangor’s economy and vitality,” he said.


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