This multi-unit property at Riverbank Court in Springvale is among about 20 in Sanford recently sold by longtime landlord George Sleeper to White Bark Properties LLC. The 20 properties contain about 108 rental units. TAMMY WELLS/Journal Tribune

SANFORD – Longtime Sanford and Springvale landlord George Sleeper has sold 108 apartment units in about 20 properties to a company registered in Maine with a New York component.

The sale of the real estate to White Bark Properties LLC closed Nov. 5, and represents the largest single transfer of dwelling units in the city in recent memory.

White Bark Properties LLC, which registered in Maine on Oct. 22,  lists a Brooklyn, New York address shared by Excel Builders & Renovators, Inc., but is not a subsidiary, said Matthew Goldfine, who said he is the manager of White Bark Properties, LLC.

Goldfine is president of Excel Builders & Renovators, Inc., according to the company’s website. The latter company has a long history with the U.S. Government General Services Administration, completing 40 renovation and design and build projects. Non-governmental work includes renovations of a number of brownstones in Brooklyn and Manhattan, among other projects.

“I am a construction and real estate expert and have built and renovated hundreds of projects across several sectors,” he said. “I currently consult on real estate and simple or complex construction matters.”

He said White Bark Properties LLC intends on leaving the Sanford and Springvale properties largely as they are while each is evaluated and a plan developed, as needed.

“There is an intent to assure that the rental units are in compliance with governmental codes,” said Goldfine. “We are working on regularly inspecting the units for compliance and put an action plan in place to assure compliance. Furthermore, there will be some minor upgrades in the finishes of the rental units giving them more personality and greater appeal. Our intent is to have a positive impact on the local area and provide good quality, safe and reasonably priced rentals for the citizens of the area.”

The properties are largely multi-unit with some mixed commercial and residential and are spread throughout the Sanford and Springvale community, from eight buildings on Riverbank Court to two on Main Street, two on Island Avenue, three on Winter Street and the remainder on State, Mousam, River, Church and Mill streets.

“We are very pleased with the warm welcome we have received from everyone involved in the business,” said Goldfine. “We also thank George Sleeper, (and) David Jones and Thomas Gadbois of F.O. Bailey for making a smooth and honorable transaction.”

Goldfine said he has a generations-deep association with New England, particularly Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Connecticut.

He said White Bark Properties LLC will be using local businesses and vendors for banking, accounting, general maintenance and construction, and plans to continue to use the same on-site staff he said has been in place for many years.

Sanford Community Development Director Ian Houseal said he had spoken to Goldfine about the properties and what might need to be done.

“It is  a significant number of housing units,” said Houseal. “In general, I think it is a good thing.”

He said Sleeper had been in the process of licensing his properties under a consent agreement with the city after paying a $1,000 penalty.

Sanford City Manager Steve Buck told the Sanford City Council at Tuesday’s meeting that the properties had been sold for $4 million.

“The new owner expresses an understanding of Sanford’s requirements and has the financial capacity to address any deficiencies within said units,” said Buck.

Sleeper, who also owns the family business Sleepers Market on Lebanon Street in Sanford, and markets in Limerick, Limington and Biddeford, has been a landlord for 35 years.

“I’m getting close to retirement and it is a good economy in which to sell,” said Sleeper on Wednesday regarding his decision to sell the rental properties.

He also said he was among the landlords who did not favor Sanford’s recent adoption of a rental housing ordinance, feeling there was enough oversight.

He said his tenants have been made aware of the sale.

Sleeper thanked those who has been part of his 35 years in the rental business.

“It s had its ups and downs, but overall, its been a pretty pleasurable experience,” he said.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 780-9016 or [email protected]

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