WATERVILLE — Hathaway Creative Center owner Paul Boghossian is poised to start developing a former mill building in the three-mill Water Street complex.

His plans for the 53,000-square-foot building, which formerly housed Central Maine Power Co., include developing work spaces for graphic artists, weavers, ceramic artists, glass blowers and the like.

“They’re little work studios clustered around a cooperative gallery,” Boghossian said.

The studios and gathering place would take up only part of the first floor in the building between the former Hathaway Shirt Co. building and the former Marden’s Surplus & Salvage industrial building.

Boghossian says he also wants to build “incubator kitchens” to be used by culinary staff and students during the daytime. Culinary arts students then would be able to cook all night long.

“If you want to be the next Stonewall Kitchen guy, this is where you start,” Boghossian said, adding that he is in serious discussions with a community college that aims to expand its culinary program.

Boghossian wants to build student housing on the second floor and says two colleges are interested in using student housing there.

A large conference space that could seat 500 people for dinner is a much-sought venue and one Boghossian hopes to create in the building and use in conjunction with the site’s third major building, the site for a hotel, he said.

“That doesn’t exist in Waterville right now,” he said. “This is the conference space that goes with the hotel.”

The hotel would go in the former Marden’s building, closest to the Ticonic Bridge, which carries Route 201 over the Kennebec River between Waterville and Winslow. That building is 165,000 square feet.

“There is some interest at this point (in a hotel),” he said. “We’re definitely gaining momentum.”

The former Hathaway Shirt Co. building is 230,000 square feet and was built in three sections from 1890 to 1910, Boghossian said. The shirt factory closed in 2003.

The building is nearly full, but Boghossian is still seeking tenants for the first floor, whose major tenant is the Button Down Cafe. He is courting restaurants to move in and says the spot is ideal for a brew pub.

The building has 67 loft apartments on the fourth and fifth floors, with all but one occupied.

MaineGeneral Health – the building’s anchor tenant, which moved into the building in 2008 – occupies about 40,000 square feet of the third floor with 260 employees, and Cengage Learning, a publishing company, occupies about 9,000 square feet.

Boghossian said Cengage’s space was built out in 100 days “and that was fast, but it’s nice to know we can do it because that’s one of the competitive advantages we have.”

Workers are busy putting more offices on the second floor for MaineGeneral, which plans to consolidate employees from Augusta and Gardiner, as well as from its Seton Campus in Waterville, at Hathaway. Boghossian said it will be mostly billing offices, and construction will be complete in about a month. MaineGeneral is adding a total of about 35,000 square feet.

Boghossian said he is getting requests from people wanting to occupy retail space in the building as a result of MaineGeneral’s expansion and the number of people who will be working in its mill space.

“This project wouldn’t have happened without MaineGeneral,” he said. “There were essentially three community players that made this happen – MaineGeneral, Colby College and the city of Waterville.”

Boghossian, a Colby graduate and Rhode Island developer who lives in Maine part time and has an apartment in the building, said he has put more than $30 million into the former shirt factory so far.

He has long touted the idea that in order for downtowns to survive and thrive, people must be living and working downtown.

.