Office Max in Auburn will be closing. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

There’s too much popping — it’s a two-Buzz week.

First: Auburn is losing OfficeMax.

A corporate spokeswoman confirmed the impending closure Friday.

The Boulos Co. has a lease listing for the 23,748-square-foot building on 2.38 acres on Union Street, with pictures from inside and outside the store, and notes under availability date: “October 1, 2020. (Potentially earlier. See broker for details.)”

It was built in 1998 and has 76 parking spots.

Corporate owner Office Depot has previously announced it is closing 90 stores in 2020 and 2021.

“Office Depot Inc. continues to optimize its retail footprint,” spokeswoman Sarah England said. “As a result, the company is closing its Auburn OfficeMax store #6611 located at 88 Union Street. We will continue to serve our customers online at officedepot.com.”

The Auburn location appears to be the only OfficeMax in Maine, according to the store locator on its website.

Rusty Bus Brewing Co. had hoped to move into space on Cedar Street in Lewiston and is now looking around Lewiston-Auburn. Rusty Bus Brewing Co. photo

FROM GOODBYE TO HELLO?

Rusty Bus Brewing Co. is, well, on the move.

Early plans to set up in Continental Mill space fell through, according to a company Facebook post: “Although it was a great old building, and we had a lot of romantic notions on how it would turn out, in reality, it would cost a small fortune to get to the point that we needed.”

Co-founder Peter Ouellette, who is opening the brewery with his wife, Nichole, said Friday that he’s been looking for between 2,500 and 3,000 square feet, enough for a microbrewery and taproom.

Proper drainage and build-out costs have so far been among the biggest hurdles in the search.

“We would like to be open this year,” he said. “I grew up in the Lewiston and (brewer Nathan Chisholm) grew up in Auburn, and we really want to contribute in the revitalization of this area, so staying local is very important to us. If finding a suitable location means locating in a suburb, then we will.”

The company has a one-barrel brewhouse and 10 one-barrel fermenters to brew about 300 gallons at a time. It plans to brew an array of beer styles along with carrying ciders and kombucha.

“We bought our brew system from Grateful Grain Brewing in Monmouth about a year ago as they expanded their brewing capacity,” Ouellette said. “We have been home-brewing for about four years and have been working on establishing Rusty Bus for about two years.”

As for the brewery name? Ouellette is the manager at Hudson Bus Lines and Chisholm his dispatcher there.

SPEAKING OF PLUMBING

GWD Properties LLC this week bought the 89,000-square-foot industrial building at 3 Middle St. in Lewiston from Hall & Knight Realty LLC for $895,000, according to Josh Soley at Maine Realty Advisors, who represented GWD.

Tim Millett at Porta & Co. and Chris Paszyc at The Boulos Co. represented the seller.

Soley said the building has a long history in plumbing.

“It’s currently home to Ferguson plumbing and heating supply, they’re a national plumbing and heating company that has been in the location for many years,” he said. “They bought out Redlon & Johnson, which was there for many years before, which had also bought out (Hall & Knight Plumbing Supplies), which was there before.”

The building is Ferguson’s largest Maine location and the company is staying put, Soley said.

It was bought as an investment property, with some site cleanup planned.

“Ferguson is a good tenant, it’s a huge property and it’s by the water, and I think, it’s a market that has a lot of upsides,” Soley said.

THAT’S A LOT OF READING AND SPEEDING

Lastly, let’s start the weekend early with some fast facts.

Numbers from the Lewiston City Administrator’s year-end report, which came out this week:

  • 122,000: Number of items circulated in 2019 at the Lewiston Public Library
  • 68: Number of holiday banners hung downtown (compared to 31 in 2018)
  • 9,246: Number of vehicle stops by Lewiston police (compared to 9,768 in 2018)

Quick hits about business comings, goings and happenings. Have a Buzzable tip? Contact staff writer Kathryn Skelton at 689-2844 or [email protected]


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