What Will Maine Medical Center Do After Buying Union Station Plaza in Portland?
Maine Health, the non-profit organization that owns Maine Medical Center, announced on Thursday that it has purchased the Union Station Plaza on St. John Street in Portland. The shopping plaza is just down the hill on Congress Street from Maine Medical Center.
Union Station Plaza is named after the beautiful railroad station that served the former Maine Central, Boston and Maine, and Portland and Ogdensburg railroads from 1888 to 1960. It was torn down in 1961 after the decline of passenger rail service in the United States and its demolition was the genesis for the creation of Greater Portland Landmarks, which works to preserve historic landmarks in the city.
After the building was torn down, the shopping plaza took its place, much to the disappointment of many Portland residents.
Maine Health has now purchased Union Station Plaza for $16.8 million, saying in a press release that it has no plans to develop the property at this time and that "the acquisition will help position the health system and its flagship hospital, Maine Medical Center (MMC), Maine’s only Level One trauma center, to continue to meet the region’s dynamic and growing health care needs."
Maine Health recently built an employee parking garage next door to Union Station Plaza and behind the only remaining piece of railroad history in the area, the former Maine Central Railroad offices.
For now, Maine Health will just be the landlord to the tenants of Union Station Plaza, but it seems clear that at some point in the future, this shopping plaza will see the same fate as its namesake and be demolished to expand the ever-growing footprint of Maine Medical Center.