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 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.

“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?’ ”

Northland hires Conor Beliveau

Northland Development hires Conor Beliveau

Conor Beliveau, our new Development Officer, is a great addition to the Northland team!

(Portland, Maine) Conor Beliveau has joined Northland Enterprises as a Development Officer.

Beliveau joins the Northland team having previously worked as the marketing director at a commercial mill property in southern Maine. He is a licensed real estate broker. At Northland, Beliveau will participate deal structuring and underwriting, acquisitions, marketing, and tenant relations.

A Maine native, Beliveau has also worked as a commercial fisherman and an organic farmer. He is an avid athlete and outdoorsman who enjoys telemark skiing, surfing, tennis, ultimate Frisbee and other pursuits.

Great news for Northland clients

(Portland, Maine) Tim Meyer has joined Northland Enterprises as Director of Property Services.

(VIDEO: Northland partners Rex Bell and Josh Benthien welcome Meyer, discuss why having a good property manager is so important.)

Meyer previously spent 12 years at Benchmark Construction in Westbrook as a superintendent. He has also worked with PM Construction in Saco and Ouellette Associates in Brunswick. He currently oversees all subcontractor/vendor assignments at Northland-owned properties, working with company personnel to formulate multi-year plans to achieve energy efficiency and sustainability.

Tim Meyer currently resides in Freeport with Jeanne, his wife and daughter Kelsey and son Willets. He enjoys spending time with his family in the outdoors — kayaking, boating, skiing, and spending time at the beach surfing with his kids.

Use of park signals completion of Sanford Mill project

Public using Gateway Park, symbol of collaboration between developer & city

(Sanford, Maine) Developers Josh Benthien and Rex Bell issued a video news release yesterday, marking official completion of the Sanford Mill redevelopment project.

They also revealed that the downtown redevelopment project enabling the construction of newly-opened Gateway Park is contending for a national award, recognizing the significant environmental clean-up completed at a former industrial mill. (CLICK HERE for link to video press release from Josh Benthien and Rex Bell, partners at Northland Enterprises.)

The redevelopment of Sanford Mill took seven years from start to finish, according Benthien. Located at 61 Washington Street, Sanford Mill is a mixed use development that includes both residential units, as well as office and retail space. It’s part of the Sanford Mill Historic District, and is the nearest mill building to the center of the city’s downtown. Benthien said that of the $12 million invested in the project, nearly $11 million went to Maine-based contractors and companies.

As part of the redevelopment, Northland Enterprises also contributed $10,000 earlier this year to help with infrastructure and landscaping needs at Gateway Park, which the Sanford News recently described as “evidence of a revitalizing downtown Sanford.” The park is an approximately 1-acre parcel that allows citizens to enjoy an overlook and waterfall near Number One Pond and the Mousam River, at the corner of Riverside Avenue and Washington Street.

Bell gave high marks to Sanford’s economic development officials, calling them “innovative” and willing to explore “creative ways to make this project work.”

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.


Razor-sharp logic examines development facts vs. emotion

A proposal to build senior housing at a former convent on Stevens Avenue has the Portland Press Herald criticizing the critics. (Photo by Derek Davis, staff photographer @ Portland Press Herald.)

A proposal to build senior housing at a former convent on Stevens Avenue has the Portland Press Herald criticizing the critics. (Photo by Derek Davis, staff photographer @ Portland Press Herald.)

This is our third post in less than six months citing a particularly cogent piece of writing by the chief editorial writer at the Portland Press Herald, Greg Kesich. A couple of weeks ago his piece, “Anti-growth mindset leaves Portland with little to build upon, “cited a couple of compelling facts.

In the last few years, Portland’s population has increased less than 1 percent. In the same timespan, the national population grew at more than 3 percent. “If there is crazy population growth, it’s not happening here,” Kesich wrote.

Particularly in Portland, the tone of anti-development rhetoric is often hysterical and irrational. Kesich is right on it, however, and deftly shreds its inherent pomposity. If you’d like to read his entire column, CLICK HERE.

Bayside re-development continues

Commercial real estate development Portland Maine

Article about the redevelopment of Portland’s Bayside neighborhood. Reported by The Forecaster

By David Harry, The Forecaster, Monday, May 4, 2015 at 2:20 pm

PORTLAND — A developer expects the former Century Tire service center at 45 Marginal Way to be flattened within the next two weeks.

“Our demo guys are ready to roll,” Northland Enterprises principal Josh Benthien said May 1, two days after the announcement his company bought the property and three adjacent parcels on Marginal Way and Kennebec Street.

To read full article in The Forecaster, CLICK THIS LINK.