Consigli Construction Completes Transformation of 110 Free Street in Portland for MaineHealth

PORTLAND, ME – Renovation of the long-vacant former Sears & Roebuck building at 110 Free Street in Portland has been completed by Consigli Construction and Harriman, Architects + Engineers. The 89,000-square-foot, four-story building, originally designed in 1946 for retail use, was converted into a modern, Class-A corporate headquarters to consolidate and centralize operations for MaineHealth.  

MaineHealth, the state’s largest integrated healthcare delivery network, originally planned to build a new $40 million office and parking structure in Portland’s Bayside neighborhood.  When the initial plans did not materialize, the organization purchased the property at 110 Free Street with the goals of consolidating offices, creating opportunities for greater collaboration, increasing efficiency and saving on building operating costs in the future.  The budget for construction was $100/sq. ft. and occupancy was required in early November 2010, necessitating fast-track construction.

“We are delighted with our new corporate headquarters and credit our design and construction team’s professionalism, collaboration and teamwork with delivering an exceptional building,” said Bill Caron, president, MaineHealth. “Consigli Construction and Harriman listened to our priorities and consistently maintained a very high level of professionalism throughout this fast-tracked project.”

The design of the original retail structure was wider than a typical office building, so natural light did not penetrate to the center bay. Therefore, while several elements of the original building were preserved and restored, the main focus of the renovation involved the gutting of the central core to create a new atrium which allows natural light to flow through the space.

The building includes a new conference center and meeting rooms on the lower level which provide space for up to 350. Sophisticated video conferencing capabilities allow MaineHealth to connect with member hospitals throughout southern Maine, saving travel time and expense for its affiliates while enhancing communication. The lower level also houses a boardroom, catering kitchen, employee health/exercise facility and large staff break-room. 

MaineHealth’s building renovation included the refurbishing of HVAC system equipment, plumbing, and elevators.  The large new atrium skylights draw natural light into the building and energy-efficient lighting systems throughout the building are equipped with occupant and daylight sensors. Original terrazzo floors on the ground floor were restored. In the future, a one-story portion of the building, formerly used as the outdoor sales area for Sears & Roebuck, will support an outdoor roof deck for employees, providing south-facing views of Portland Harbor and Casco Bay.

The building’s damaged exterior masonry was repaired and new control joints over the entire envelope were installed to prevent future damage from expansion and contraction. In addition, existing parking lots received minor upgrades. 

Fourteen months after purchasing the building, MaineHealth moved into its renovated facility—a new professional environment for 225 employees featuring a state-of-the-art conferencing center, a daylight-filled central atrium and room for future growth.

Photo: MaineHealth Entry – ©David Lamb Photography