Falmouth in for Route 1 business boom

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FALMOUTH — Several long-vacant properties along U.S. Route 1 are getting new life this fall.

The most significant change is the addition of Ocean State Job Lot in the former Shaw’s supermarket space at the Falmouth Shopping Center.

David Sarlitto, a spokesman for Ocean State, said the company is also bringing along another tenant, Planet Fitness, which will take over the former Lamey Wellehan shoe store space next door.

In addition, the former Wendy’s restaurant in the Falmouth Plaza at 206 Route 1 is set to become a new Verizon Wireless store, according to Theo Holtwijk, Falmouth’s director of long-range planning and economic development.

Holtwijk also acknowledged that the former Pratt Abbott space across the street, at the corner of Route 1 and Depot Road, is under contract. But he said he could not reveal what the plans are for the building.

Both the former Pratt Abbott store and the former Five County Credit Union, at 223 U.S. Route 1, are being marketed by CBRE The Boulos Co.

Greg Boulos said Tuesday that it could be another six weeks before there’s a formal announcement of what’s coming to the former Pratt Abbott property.

He also said the former credit union space has just gone on the market and he’s already begun showing it to potential tenants.

Under the town’s zoning ordinances, allowable uses for both properties include restaurants, banks, office and retail.

Ocean State Job Lot, which according to its website provides “quality brand name merchandise at closeout prices,” has six other stores in Maine.

The company is now hiring associates, and Sarlitto said the goal is to open the new store by mid- to late-November. He expects the Falmouth location to employ between 35 and 45 people in a variety of full- and part-time positions.

Sarlitto said Ocean State, which was founded in 1977 in Kingstown, Rhode Island, was attracted to Falmouth partially because the company was able to get a good deal on the lease.

He said Ocean State is leasing more than 50,000 square feet of space, with a little over 30,000 dedicated to the retailer and the remaining space to be occupied by Planet Fitness.

Sarlitto described Ocean State as providing “a unique experience for shoppers where you can find Spanish olive oil for sale alongside kayaks.”

The company may also provide competition for Shaw’s, he said, because it “has a significant number of food offerings.”

Kate Irish Collins can be reached at 710-2336 or kcollins@theforecaster.net. Follow Kate on Twitter: @KIrishCollins.

Ocean State Job Lot is renovating this space at the Falmouth Shopping Center on U.S. Route 1, and plans to bring in another new tenant, Planet Fitness.

Verizon Wireless will occupy this former Wendy’s restaurant in the Falmouth Plaza on U.S. Route 1.

The former Pratt Abbott building at 231 U.S. Route 1 in Falmouth is under contract, but neither town officials nor the broker for the space will identify the new occupant.

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  • falm98

    A junk store, a cell phone carrier and another fitness center. Great.

    • soxnut007

      Would you rather have vacant buildings? Also, I’ve found good quality stuff at cheap prices at OSJL. Plenty of people will shop there…

      • Bender

        OSJL is a step up from, say, Marden’s.

    • Bender

      The Shaw’s property was vacant for more than a decade; it’s not like potential retailers were lining up to take over the space.