Original article by Laurie Schreiber
PORTLAND — The sale of an aging brick building for use as a "food lab" is expected to give the up-and-coming West Bayside area in Portland a further lift. Partners Neil Spillane and Eric Holstein purchased the 5,700-square-foot commercial building, at 272 Lancaster St., for $505,000, in a deal that closed March 9, according to Andrew Ingalls, senior broker at CBRE|The Boulos Co.
The two-story building, which dates to 1900, was part of a sizeable portfolio owned by a Connecticut resident who is liquidating properties following the sudden death of her husband. She sold this property under the name Mahoney LLC.
The building, whose windows are boarded up and walls are marked with graffiti, took a while to attract interest.
But Spillane sees it as ideal for the planned Fork Food Lab, a collaborative commercial kitchen serving new and existing food businesses. The idea is that, for affordable full-time and part-time membership fees, Fork provides cooking space and equipment, serves as a business mentor, and distributes product — allowing food entrepreneurs to focus on creating food.