RUMFORD – Jay Wise of WRE Commercial Properties of South Portland has brought four major businesses to the River Valley Crossing Shopping Center since purchasing the empty complex more than three years ago.

Now, he has turned over further development of the center, located two miles west of downtown Rumford, to Jonathan Rauch of The Federated Companies of Boston.

Wise purchased the 11-acre parcel and 82,000-square-foot complex once known as the Abbott Farm Plaza, from the town a couple of years after Ames Department Store declared bankruptcy and closed its doors.

He said via e-mail that Rauch has been a principal in development of the shopping center for several years.

Since 2005, Marden’s Discount, The Dollar Store, Olympia Sports, and Sears have opened, employing a total of nearly 100 people full and part time.

Marden’s opened in late spring 2007. Two spaces remain vacant and will be the focus of Rauch’s search for tenants. They are 3,000 square feet next to Olympia Sports, and about 11,000 square feet of the former Hannaford space now leased by Sears.

Wise said he continues to manage some leasing in the River Valley area, but the day-to-day work will be conducted by Rauch.

Rauch said in an e-mail Wednesday afternoon that he is working with potential new tenants for the remaining spaces and will announce their names in a few weeks.

“There are exciting things happening with the center, but I am not empowered to divulge any information at this time,” he wrote.


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