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Board of Selectmen accept a bid for the demolition of two Kmart Plaza buildings

MADAWASKA, Maine — Madawaska’s Board of Selectmen met Tuesday evening to discuss the future of the Kmart Plaza and accepted a bid for the demolition of two buildings located there. 

In December 2018, Mid-Town Realty Associates donated property to the town of Madawaska that consisted of two buildings: one housed The Cubby and Modern Touch Salon, the other had 13 residential units on the second floor and was home to Spectrum and Family Dollar in the Kmart Plaza on Main Street.

The Select Board decided to appoint an 11-member committee to examine the property and determine the best use of the plaza in January 2019. The committee had its first meeting in March 2019 when ideas were bounced around. 

Possibilities for the space included a parking garage, a senior retirement facility, a new grocery store, a microbrewery, an old-fashioned general store, an indoor space for vendors to rent booths and sell crafts or other items and a splash park.

Despite the committee’s efforts, no movement was made on the property until October 2021 when Fish River Rural Health began finalizing plans on a new health care facility that would be built on the lot adjacent to the Kmart building in the plaza. 

This rendering by Fish River Rural Health’s architecture firm, Harriman, shows a theoretical design for the new health care center. In terms of appearance, the only thing known about the building as of now, is that it will be red and white — Fish River’s signature colors. (Courtesy of Heather Pelletier)

Before any building can take place, the current structures will first need to be taken down. The Board of Selectmen accepted a $464,940 bid Tuesday made by Ed Pelletier & Sons for the demolition of these buildings. 

Town Manager Gary Picard said that work may begin as early as next week starting with the removal and disposal of asbestos-containing siding, roofing, flooring and ceiling tiles. 

“The town has been working hard over the last few years to tear down dilapidated properties,” Picard said. “We’ve already torn down some buildings on Main Street where the few parks are. Those buildings that are going to be torn down are in terrible shape and have been neglected for decades.”

Select Board members will meet again Feb. 17 to consider the work order proposal of the remaining property with the town’s engineers, Woodard & Curran. This meeting will set in motion the next phase of planning and engineering of the Kmart Plaza Infrastructure & Revitalization Project.

“Our vision is to continue our work to beautify our town,” Picard said. “Some of the work we are doing and have already done has improved the town a lot already, and we’re just going to keep making improvements.”

 

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