The former Konica Minolta building at 71 U.S. Route 1 in Scarborough might soon have a new owner that could spruce up the gateway area for the town.

Bob Gaudreau, president of Hardypond Construction in Portland, is negotiating a deal to buy the 60,000-square-foot property on 6.6 acres of land from Monks-O’Neil Development in Portland.

Gaudreau presented his initial sketch plan to the Planning Board on Monday night.

“I’ve actually had my eye on this property over the last four years, if not longer,” Gaudreau said last week.

The deal should be final this week, said Tim O’Neil, founding partner of Monks-O’Neil.

The sale price will not be released until it is finalized, O’Neil said.

Gaudreau plans to turn the property into office space, similar to the Maine Medical Facility offices up the street.

The building has sat vacant for five years. The new plans, if finalized, would give a facelift to that area of town that people see as they enter Scarborough on Route 1, said Harvey Rosenfeld, executive director of the Scarborough Economic Development Corp.

“The Konica building is going to be a great project,” Rosenfeld said. “It will become one of the gateways to Scarborough.”

Gaudreau previously redeveloped the Humpty Dumpty potato chip plant at 51 U.S. Route 1 in Scarborough, turning it into the Nonesuch River Plaza.

“There wasn’t much there in the Humpty Dumpty factory, but he turned it into a very successful multi-tenant building,” Rosenfeld said.

Gaudreau’s plans for the former Konica building include medical and office space. He said he has spoken with Rosenfeld, the town manager and the town planner about his plans to refurbish the building.

Gaudreau said he wants to make the building environmentally friendly, increase parking and build a new facade.

“The new designs with the shading of windows, green initiative products and usage will help make the building look very contemporary,” Gaudreau said. “It will have a mix of brick with metal siding and more appropriate windows that will be larger.”

Konica Minolta was a film processing plant and about 81 people lost their jobs after the Japanese-based company closed the it in December 2005, citing the rise of digital cameras.

Monks-O’Neil, operating under GRI Scarborough LLC, bought the property in December 2005 for $4 million.

Monks-O’Neil chose to negotiate a sale to Gaudreau earlier this year, O’Neil said.

“We’ve had it on the market to sell or to lease for about two years,” O’Neil said. “We’ve had some interest in both leasing and sale activity and Bob Gaudreau offered a price that we felt was competitive in this market and we feel we can now focus our energies on other projects we want to pursue.”

According to Scarborough’s tax assessor, Paul Lesperance, the land value is about $854,000. The building is valued at $1.46 million for a taxable value of more than $2.3 million.

“It’s likely the value could increase once the project is complete,” Lesperance said.

Gaudreau said he has spoken with possible tenants, but nothing is final. He said he hopes to begin the project in July and have the first tenant in the building by December.

“I feel it’s an attractive project,” Gaudreau said. “We’re excited to get to work.”


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