March 11, 2010

Former market being turned into green offices

BETH QUIMBY

— By

click image to enlarge

Doug Jones/Staff Photographer, Thursday, May 28, 2009: Bill Anderson of M. C. Hall Co. cleared sheet metal rubble shortly before PowerPay CEO Stephen Goodrich, spoke to the press in the gutted interior of the former Portland Public Market about his development plan for PowerPay in the space.

Doug Jones

click image to enlarge

Doug Jones/Staff Photographer, Thursday, May 28, 2009: PowerPay CEO Stephen Goodrich, spoke to the press in the gutted interior of the former Portland Public Market about his development plan for PowerPay in the space.

Doug Jones

Staff Writer

PORTLAND — The renovation of the former Portland Public Market into an office building will feature a public cafe, and workers will be encouraged to bicycle to work.

PowerPay CEO Stephen Goodrich on Thursday unveiled some of the details of a $10 million renovation that will convert the Bayside neighborhood landmark from a public market into an office building for the company's 130-member work force, now in leased space at 280 Fore St.

Goodrich said the plan is to try to retain the building's atrium-like interior and its soaring post-and-beam ceilings, while providing energy-efficient office space.

The construction, which started two weeks ago, is due to be completed in December or January.

The building has remained empty since the market closed in 2006. It opened in 1998 as a bequest from the late philanthropist Elizabeth Noyce. About two dozen vendors sold fresh produce, flowers, food and wine at the market before it closed after failing to become financially viable.

Goodrich bought the building for roughly $2 million last October.

Renovating landmark buildings is not new to Goodrich. He also redeveloped the Tracy-Causer Block on Fore Street and is now renovating the Riverdam Mill in Biddeford.

The renovations will meet the second highest standard of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system, a widely used set of standards for green building design developed by the U.S. Building Council, according to Goodrich.

Changes to the building will reduce water usage, use locally produced building materials and incorporate energy-efficient improvements.

Much of the material removed from the market building will be recycled and used at the Riverdam Mill.

Employees will be given incentives to car pool, use public transportation or even bicycle to work. The new office space will be equipped with showers and a workout room.

Architect Steve Weatherhead of Winton Scott Architects in Portland said it was a challenge to adapt a space originally designed for a different purpose.

''Closing up all the windows seemed like the wrong approach,'' he said.

Goodrich, who grew up in Gorham, founded PowerPay in 2003 and expects the company to quickly grow to 200 employees in its new quarters.

The company provides credit card acceptance services to more than 40,000 businesses nationwide.

Staff Writer Beth Quimby can be contacted at 791-6363 or at:

bquimby@pressherald.com

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