MECHANIC FALLS — Some 65 to 75 full- and part-time jobs are expected to be available when Hannaford Supermarket opens in Mechanic Falls this spring.
Site work began recently for the 20,000-square-foot facility that will be the 63rd Maine Hannaford Supermarket which is opening sometime this spring near “Five Corners” at the intersection of routes 11 and 26 on land that the company has purchased.
The property is located on Route 26 (Pigeon Hill Rd.) directly across the street from Chipman Mini Storage and the former PlayCare Center, which is for sale. To the south at Five Corners, it borders Egg-ceptional Restaurant on Route 11 at the intersection of Route 26.
“We don’t have a specific associate count yet, but anticipate it will be somewhere around 65 to 75 full-and part-time associates, depending on season and other factors,” said Eric Blom, a spokesman for Hannaford Supermarket.
Blom said the store will be similar in size to those in North Berwick and Waldoboro, but will be different in format because it will include a pharmacy, in addition to the grocery.
Local officials and residents are excited about the new store and particularly bringing a pharmacy back to the community after a dozen or so years.
“The Town Council is thrilled to have a new company with such a strong, respectable reputation coming into Mechanic Falls,” said Town Manager Koriene Low.
Low said one of the important aspects of the store is that it will also have a pharmacy.
“The return of a pharmacy to the community is an important asset that has been missing for a while, challenging residents to go to Auburn or Oxford for needed medications,” she said.
The new development is also expected to be an economic boon for Mechanic Falls.
““It will increase the tax revenue … . The hope is this store will be an anchor to attract and grow new business in Mechanic Falls,” she added.
While each store brings its own economic advantage to a town, depending on a number of factors including the store size, town tax rate and so forth, it is clear they contribute heavily to many town tax bases.
In North Berwick, for example, Hannaford purchased the 12 acres it sits on for $1.1 million in 2014. The land value is $928,000 while the building is assessed at $2,108, 432 for a total value of $3,036,800. Hannaford Brothers Co., based in Portland, pays $19,131.82 in taxes to the town of North Berwick.
In nearby Oxford, where a Hannaford Supermarket is located at 1603 Main Street in a building that is just about twice the size of the proposed Mechanic Falls store, the building is assessed at $3,954,000. In that case, Hannaford Brothers Co. pays $58,123.80 in taxes to Oxford.
The company leases the land owned by Bob Bahre. The parcel is part of a 24.10 acre tract which is valued at $503,700. Bahre pays Oxford $7,404.39 in taxes for that piece of land.
Nearby Egg-ceptional Restaurant has told its Facebook followers that the restaurant will not change due to the siting of Hannaford Supermarket next door.
“I would like to reiterate to all our followers that we are staying open. The Hannaford is not changing anything for us,” they said in a January 20 post on its Facebook page.
“We’re excited to be moving forward,” Blom said.