The owners of Olympia Sports have purchased a struggling retail complex in downtown Freeport and plan to open a sporting goods store in the plaza at 140 Main St. in November, a company official said Monday.

Olympia’s existing Freeport store — in the Shaw’s Shopping Plaza at 200 Lower Main St., near Exit 20 of Interstate 295 — will close before the new store opens, said Olympia President Richard Coffey of Windham.

Olympia’s move is expected to position the Maine-based retailer to attract more tourists and increase foot traffic north of L.L. Bean and Bow Street — a perceived boundary of Freeport Village that many shoppers don’t cross.

“We hope to draw people a little further up Main Street,” Coffey said. “We’d like to pick up more of the downtown tourist traffic than we do in the Shaw’s plaza and still keep our local customers.”

Olympia’s pending move is one of several ongoing real estate transactions in Freeport that show commercial interest is strong heading into the fall shopping season, said Sande Updegraph, executive director of the Freeport Economic Development Corp.

“Olympia is going to bring a lot of energy to the area north of L.L. Bean,” Updegraph said. “It will be a strong anchor for that complex.”

E&R Properties, which includes Coffey and Olympia CEO Edward Manganello of Falmouth, bought the retail complex at 140 Main St. from an out-of-state owner last month, said Charles Day, a broker with CBRE/The Boulos Co.

The 32,500-square-foot property had been on the market for about three years and has been mostly vacant except for Siano’s pizzeria and a Subway sandwich shop. Taking a more aggressive approach, Day began marketing the property for a limited 45-day period on May 1 and sought sealed bids from serious buyers on June 15.

Olympia is leasing a 4,000-square-foot storefront on Main Street that was occupied by Freeport Square Gallery, Coffey said. The company has more than 190 stores across the Northeast and a distribution center in Westbrook.

The shopping complex at 140 Main St. includes several vacant retail spaces, including a few below street level to the rear of the building, where there’s a 130-space parking lot that’s shared with the public.

Olympia has begun making several improvements to the property, such as resurfacing the parking lot and upgrading long-neglected landscaping, Coffey said. Day is marketing the vacant storefronts to compatible tenants.

Also in Freeport, Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, a men’s apparel chain with more than 500 stores nationwide, has leased 3,500 square feet of retail space at 42 Main St., said Greg Boulos, an agent with CBRE/The Boulos Co. The building includes The Children’s Place, The Cosmetic Co. Store and a Timberland outlet.

Outside the village center, Pillars, an antique store in Yarmouth, is moving into retail space with Winter People at 125 Route 1, and a Napa Auto Parts Store has opened at 152 Route 1, Updegraph said.

In addition, Milton’s Spas of Maine, a hot tub retailer in Yarmouth, and Harmony Studios, a hair salon and day spa in Skowhegan, plan to open new locations in Freeport, Updegraph said.

 

Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at [email protected]