Alongside the tight residential real estate market in Southern Maine, marginal vacancy rates have hit the industrial and commercial markets. Both established business owners and entrepreneurs are left waiting for an opening and delaying growth or exploring how to create a new building of their own.

Medical cannabis businesses looking for growing, processing or warehousing operations have specific needs that make it hard to find the right existing space. The costs of retrofitting, upkeep and delaying business growth can make new construction look like a good option.

PATCO Commercial Construction, based in Sanford, has been in the metal building and roofing business for over 30 years. According to Jon Bell, PATCO’s director of field sales and operations, supporting the growth of Maine’s cannabis industry has been a natural fit and an exciting way to strengthen their expertise.

“We never did a hockey arena until we did Casco Bay Ice Arena Yarmouth,” he said. “And we never built a climbing gym until we did Salt Pump [Climbing Co. in South Portland]. We like projects that push us out of our comfort zone to learn something new and meet client’s needs.”

PATCO specializes in pre-engineered and fabricated steel construction, creating durable, cost-efficient buildings with wide, open spaces. While many building parts are prefab, their in-house, design-build process is customized to each client’s needs.

“Our project management teams oversee the entire process from start to finish and the steel crew focuses on getting the job done right and on time,” Bell said.

As a family-founded, small business, PATCO of course values cost-effective operations, but they also value integrity, fairness, respect and loyalty. Their goal is to create a partnership with every customer, focusing on clear, consistent communication to keep clients informed and listen to their needs.

“Of all the things we build, we are most proud of the relationships we build with our clients,” said company co-owner Greg Patterson. “These values drive what we do, how we do it and who we partner with in our business projects. In our work, we always strive to do the right thing.”