WATERVILLE — Construction of a 6,384-square-foot addition to Pine Tree Mall at 369 Main St. will start soon to make way for a Harbor Freight tools and equipment retail store.

Meanwhile, an announcement is expected soon about a restaurant to be housed in the former Friendly’s restaurant nearby in that same area of upper Main Street, near Exit 130 of Interstate 95.

Harbor Freight, with headquarters in Calabasas, California, carries power, air and hand tools, as well as floor jacks, gas generators, welding equipment, winches and tool storage items, among other things.

The addition will be built onto the north end of the mall where the former 8,691-square-foot Aaron’s rental store is located, and Harbor Freight will include that space as well as the addition, for a total of 15,075 square feet.

Project broker Charlie Craig, a partner in the Dunham Group, of Portland, said Friday that officials hope to break ground in April or May and complete construction about three months afterward – by the end of the summer.

Founded in 1977, Harbor Freight has 700 stores in 47 states and employs more than 17,000 people. In Maine, Harbor Freight has stores in South Portland, Bangor and Auburn.

Craig also is brokering a lease for the former Friendly’s building west of the mall. He said he expects a new tenant to be named within a month.

“There is announcement forthcoming – a new tenant for the former Friendly’s,” he said. “It’s a restaurant that likely will be very popular.”

Businesses in the Pine Tree Mall include the Ming Lee restaurant and Advance Auto Parts. The Cigaret Shopper on nearby Armory Road also is part of the development, which is owned by Sanderson Development. Craig said two more buildings are available for lease on the lot – the former Jiffy Lube and a 39,000-square-foot warehouse at 10 Armory Road that is the former Huhtamaki machine shop.

Amy Calder can be contacted at 861-9247 or at:

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