The non-profit Maine Preservation announced on June 10, 2018 that the iconic 1906 Grand Trunk Railroad Depot, located on Main Street in the heart of Yarmouth Village, is under contract to Ford Reiche for use as commercial office space. Reiche has an enthusiasm for revitalizing historic properties and has already rehabilitated Halfway Rock Light Station off the coast of Harpswell and the Charles B. Clark House in Portland, both Maine Preservation Honor Award winners. He has also rehabilitated an historic train station on the Grand Trunk Line in Gilead that now serves as the Gilead Historical Society’s headquarters. This will be the fifth building listed on the National Register of Historic Places that Reiche has purchased and restored. All restoration work at the Depot will be coordinated by George Reiche, Ford’s son, who is a board member of Greater Portland Landmarks.
Reiche’s passion for Maine and its history stems from his family’s many generations in the state. In 1989 he co-founded Safe Handling, Inc., a rail-based shipping and logistics company established to help paper mills and other Maine industries receive bulk shipments of raw materials through the state’s rail network. In 2008 he received both the US Small Business Administration’s Maine Small Businessperson of the Year Award and the MaineBiz Large Company Business Leader Award.
“We received fourteen impressive and competitive offers on this property and are delighted to be working with the Village Improvement Society and Ford Reiche to ensure a dynamic future for this Yarmouth landmark,” said Real Estate Manager Sarah Hansen.
The Depot has been owned and maintained by the Yarmouth Village Improvement Society (VIS) since it 1968 when it acquired the property from the Canadian National Railway to save it from demolition. Since the early 1970s until last year the building had been leased as a florist shop. After 50 years of faithful caretaking, the VIS decided the time was right to sell the property to a new steward and began working with Maine Preservation to find a preservation-minded buyer.
“Since saving the Depot in 1968 the VIS has been able to maintain and preserve this focal point of Yarmouth’s Main Street. Ultimately, we determined the Depot needed to be sold but only with preservation easements to ensure its future as a unique building,” said Linda Grant, President of the Village Improvement Society. “Maine Preservation has made this possible and we are thrilled the at Ford Reiche, who has previously saved historic buildings will be able to rehab and bring this building back to life on Main Street.”
Maine Preservation’s Protect & Sell program was established in 2013 to match owners interested in rehabilitating historic buildings with unique properties across Maine. Preservation easements on the properties allow Maine Preservation to protect them and guide their rehabilitation. The innovative program is operating statewide and has successfully sold significant properties in Buckfield, Pembroke, Bath and Norway. Maine Preservation’s mission is to promote and preserve historic places, buildings, downtowns and neighborhoods, strengthening the cultural and economic vitality of Maine communities.