Please thank firefighters in your town, TODAY

As many of you know, there was a fire in Sanford on Friday that caught the attention of the entire New England region. In fact, “fire” is probably the wrong word. “Conflagration” is far more apt.

As is being reported today, the blaze was the work of three arsonists. If you watch this drone footage of the blaze, you can see for yourself how mammoth the challenge of fighting this fire was. Just a few years ago, Northland re-developed the Sanford Mill. The project won a Phoenix Award for mill rehab, and today it is a beehive of activity in that City’s downtown. It is on Washington Street, just a stone’s throw from the mill fire that took place on River Street.

This fire very easily could have spread. But the professional career firefighters of the Sanford Fire Department made sure that it did not. They kept it in check, and thankfully nobody was injured. We would like to recognize the courage of every member of the Department, and express our heartfelt appreciation for all that you do on behalf of Sanford residents. Many properties and lives were at risk. This could have been much, much worse but it was not — and Northland would like to express its gratitude. We are quite sure that we are not alone in sharing these sentiments.

Affordable & BRAND NEW apartments in Portland, Maine


28 brand new apartments, moderately priced, are due to be finished and for lease by the end of 2017. Contact if you world like to be on the waiting list.

Northland Enterprises is happy to report that construction has begun on new apartments — with moderate rents — at 443 Congress Street in Portland. Also, you can now indicate your interest in leasing one of these units. Northland will keep your contact information, and we will be in touch with you before we advertise any of these brand new units in the newspaper or on Craig’s list. We expect these apartments to be ready for lease by January of 2018.

If you’d like to get onto the waiting list, please send your contact information and a brief message to

Josh Benthien is a partner at Northland. In this video, he describes the units, which will be located right on the edge of the Old Port. The building is being totally renovated, and will include eight 2-bedroom apartments, sixteen 1-bedroom apartments, and four studio units. Everything will be brand new.

It is widely known that the City of Portland, Maine is in the middle of a pretty tight housing crunch. In fact, Benthien experienced this phenomenon himself when he first moved to the city several years ago, as reported recently in the Portland Press Herald. The paper also published an in-depth series on the problem, called “Welcome to Portland: NO VACANCY.”

Developers have been building high-priced condominiums, of course, but this is one of the first major “change in use” projects in many years that will introduce brand new apartment units right into the heart of Portland downtown. If city living is for you, drop a line to us at, and we’ll put you on the list.

Commercial real estate pushing Portland’s West Bayside forward

Mainebiz magazine reporter Laurie Schreiber recently wrote a very thorough article about commercial real estate development that is helping to transorm Portland’s West Bayside neighborhood. “A growing number of retail and residential offerings are attracting visitors and prospective residents to the area between Congress Street and Marginal Way,” according to Schreiber.

The article reviews some of many new economic development projects that have been transforming that part of town, including Century Plaza, which Northland has been developing for several years now.

The solid forward momentum is likely continue, as the City of Portland moves forward with its plans to sell seven public works parcel. This property includes land and buildings and totals four acres. The city is in the process of putting these assets on the market, which could lead to further revitalization in the next several years, between Portland, Parris, Alder and Kennebec streets. The city says its goal is to stimulate private sector investment for 24/7 mixed-use development such as small retail or residential.

For the full Mainebiz article, CLICK HERE.

More commercial real estate development has also led to more residential units, like these 55 new apartments on Treble Street. The City has experienced a housing crunch for many years.

More commercial real estate development has also led to more residential units, like these 55 new apartments on Treble Street. The City has experienced a housing crunch for many years.

BAYSIDE UPDATE: Popular deli opening second location

Northland Enterprises continues effort to bolster neighborhood

(Portland, Maine) A busy, locally-owned eatery in Falmouth will be opening a second location in Portland’s burgeoning Bayside neighborhood, at 200 Kennebec Street, across the street from Century Plaza.

Levitt & Sons Deli is coming to Portland, Maine.

Peter Leavitt loves making great food.

Northland Enterprises, LLC, a commercial real estate development company based in Portland, announced that it has reached a lease agreement with Leavitt & Sons, a popular deli just off U.S. Route 1 in Falmouth, at 37 Depot Road. Josh Benthien, a partner at Northland, said the addition of Leavitt & Sons advances Northland’s effort to help community efforts to revitalize Bayside.

“This is a distinctive eatery, locally-owned by somebody with a great reputation, and who consistently puts out a quality product,” Benthien said. “We know our neighbors are encouraging a community feel in this area, and this will help.”

(Take a look at Levitt’s menu HERE.)

Peter Leavitt owns and operates the Falmouth deli, and said he will personally direct the company’s expansion. “Leavitt’s and Bayside are a perfect match. I like the visibility there, and the positive energy that is very obvious in that area. Bayside is clearly on the upswing,” Leavitt said. Leavitt expects to open for business later in 2017. The deli will join other businesses that Northland has attracted to the neighborhood, including Chipotle and a T-Mobile retail store. Century Plaza is the former Century Tire property on Marginal Way. Century Tire closed in February 2014 after almost 90 years in business.

Northland Enterprises has been managing and re-developing commercial real estate since 2001, in Maine communities and several others in the northeast Unites States. It is based in Portland, Maine.

Commercial real estate development in Portland, Maine.

Leavitt & Sons Deli is opening a Portland location in 2017.

Commercial real estate update, West Bayside

The West Bayside neighborhood in Portland, Maine continues to rebound. We always try to leave things better than we find them, and we also try to keep taxpayers informed in all the communities in which we do business. If you’d like a quick update, here’s a video report from Josh Benthien, a partner at Northland Enterprises.

Northland hires Peter Tousignant

img_3733(Portland, Maine) Peter Tousignant has joined Northland Enterprises as Finance Director. (Click here for video summary.)

Previously, Tousignant spent five years as an officer at TD Bank, where he underwrote over $450 million of real estate projects and real estate investment funds, including many high profile projects financed with federal tax credits. Prior to TD, he analyzed commercial properties for Corporate Finance Associates, The Eagle Point Companies, and as an independent consultant. He has extensive experience in analyzing, underwriting, and closing complicated real estate projects.

After graduating from the University of Arizona, Tousignant earned an MBA from the University of Southern Maine. He may be reached at

Northland Enterprises ( was founded in 2001. It is a commercial real estate development company that believes highest and best use of properties is good for communities, tenants and investors.


UPDATE: commercial real estate, Portland, Maine

We are in front of the Planning Board tomorrow night, September 20th, a key milestone. We’ve worked with the City of Portland for three years now on the redevelopment of the old Elks building on outer Congress Street. This key gateway to the city — right outside the airport — will host new businesses, generate new tax revenue and help Portland make a good first impression on visitors. It will also keep many jobs here that would otherwise move outside the city. The planning process is almost finished, and construction should start in early 2017. In this video, Josh Benthien updates the taxpayers of Portland.

“Five Guys” finishing Augusta redevelopment


(Augusta, Maine) Northland Enterprises, a commercial real estate development company based in Portland, has announced that the redevelopment of the former Kennebec Journal property on Western Avenue will soon be complete.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries has signed a lease to occupy the last remaining space at the complex. Construction on the space will begin shortly, and it is anticipated that the restaurant will be open for business in the early autumn. A Northland official said the owner of the Augusta restaurant already operates a Five Guys franchise in Portland that has proven to be very popular.

“We turned down several potential tenants for that prime space, because the feedback we got from Augusta community leaders was that they wanted something distinctive there,” said Josh Benthien, a partner at Northland. “Five Guys definitely fits the bill, and I think they’ll do well in that very visible location.”

Benthien published a YouTube video recently commenting on the completion of the Western Avenue redevelopment project. Five Guys Burgers and Fries started in Washington D.C. in 1986, and features hand-formed burgers and fresh-baked buns. The company now has more than 1,000 stores in 47 states and six Canadian provinces. On its web site, the company proclaims that, “there are over 250,000 possible ways to order a burger at Five Guys.”

Northland acquired the former Kennebec Journal property in 2011. Today Journal Square leases space to a Goodwill store, a Men’s Warehouse, a Supercuts, a US Cellular retail store, Starbuck, and the regional headquarters for Bangor Savings Bank. Five Guys Burgers and Fries will occupy 2,425 square feet that were specifically designed for a food user. It is centrally located in the project, between Supercuts and US Cellular. The restaurant will have an outdoor patio, facing Western Avenue.


Chipotle big step forward in Marginal Way makeover

(Portland, Maine) Chipotle Mexican Grill has opened at 45 Marginal Way, the first new business open to the public in a redeveloped business complex planned by Northland Enterprises of Portland.

Chipotle is a popular chain of fast food restaurants that operates in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and France. The restaurant will be joined on the property by a T-Mobile retail store, and according to a Northland official, the two will be the anchor tenants at the property, which is now called Century Plaza.

“It’s always exciting to see business come to life in an area that’s being redeveloped,” said Josh Benthien, who along with his business partner Rex Bell is a principal owner of Northland. “Since the closing of Century Tire, the neighbors have been eager to see the area bounce back. It’s been a complex project, but we’ve worked closely together with Portland City Hall, and it’s nice to see that work come to fruition.”

Benthien has released a “report to the community” on YouTube, detailing his company’s redevelopment activities in the area. (LINK:

Northland purchased the former Century Tire property from Atlantic Bayside Investments in 2015. In addition to the Century Tire site, Northland also acquired 1 Marginal Way, 200 Kennebec Street and 202 Kennebec Street, all of which it plans to redevelop. Century Tire closed in February 2014 after almost 90 years in business at 45 Marginal Way.

Commercial real estate developer makes progress at 45 Marginal Way, Portland, Maine.

Northland Enterprises has been working hard on the rebound happening right now on Marginal Way in Portland, Maine.Josh Benthien issues community update

Northland working to ease Portland housing crunch

Portland, Maine has a new mayor, and in case you missed it, Mayor Ethan Strimling says he wants to permit 2,000 new housing units within the next 5 years. Wow — ambitious! A big part of the need, according to an excellent series recently published by the Portland Press Herald, is reasonably priced rental units. (See “Welcome to Portland — NO VACANCY.”)

Northland will soon be contributing to the mayor’s effort, in a building we will be re-developing at 443 Congress Street. We’ll be adding about 30 reasonably priced apartments to the city’s housing stock. Reporter Ed Murphy, as part of the Press Herald’s recent series, interviewed Northland partner Josh Benthien:

Developer who experienced housing problem now turning offices into apartments

Story by Edward D. Murphy/ Staff Writer

Josh Benthien knows the difficulty in finding housing in downtown Portland for middle-income earners, a lesson he learned first-hand even before the market overheated in recent years.

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 1.13.25 PMBenthien moved from New York City to Portland in 2006 and, after living in Manhattan, he wanted to find a place in a downtown setting. He went apartment-hunting on the peninsula, which turned into a longer and more difficult process than he had anticipated.

He found there was housing for low-income people, but he earned too much to qualify. And, of course, there would have been no problem finding a place if he made a lot more money.

“The pricing just felt like there was no in-between,” said Benthien, who is now a partner at Northland Enterprises, a Portland-based development company.

It’s a problem that has only grown since Benthien last went apartment-hunting. And he and others worry that it could stifle Portland’s economic development, making it harder for companies to attract new employees and keep the ones they have.

Benthien said his experience factored into Northland Enterprises’ recent decision to convert the upper floors of the Clapp Memorial Building, a 1920s-era, seven-story office tower diagonally across from Monument Square, into apartments. The space had been offices until this summer, when a major tenant decided to move in search of more room.

He said the units – mostly studios and one-bedroom apartments, but with a handful of two-bedroom apartments possible – will be “reasonably priced, market-rate apartments.” Studios and one-bedrooms will rent for about $1,200 a month, heat included.

A few years ago, Northland bought a building on Shepley Street, which is downtown and not far from the Maine College of Art. Some of the units were leased to MECA for student housing, Benthien said, but the rest were advertised online and quickly rented out. “People were clamoring to live there. So we knew that there was something in the market that wasn’t being met,” he said.

A waiting list has already been started for the Clapp building, where apartments are expected to be available sometime in 2016, he said.

Benthien said the company hopes to accomplish three things by converting office space to apartments: fill a need, make money and help bring more people downtown.

“It feels good for a couple of reasons,” he said, and “it really hit home for me. When I moved here I remember walking down Congress Street at times and saying, ‘Where is everybody?’ ”