Camden National Bank will move its Damariscotta branch from its present location in the Coastal Marketplace to the development going in at 435 Main St. – now named Camden National Plaza.
Camden National Bank is the first and, for now, only tenant set to open in the development near the Lincoln County Rifle Club. It will occupy a 2,700-square-foot building with a drive-thru.
The property owner, Commercial Properties Inc., also has approval to build a 22,000-square-foot building with two retail spaces and a 5,525-square-foot building with three commercial spaces.
Daniel Catlin, CEO of Commercial Properties Inc., said construction is underway and the bank building is expected to be move-in ready by the beginning of February 2020.
Catlin said Camden National Bank signed the lease for the new space at the beginning of September. The bank has been leasing its current space in Damariscotta, next to Main Street Grocery, since 1998.
Catlin said there is interest in the other spaces and he has a letter of intent from one company, but Commercial Properties plans to wait for leases to be signed before proceeding with construction of the other two buildings.
“I’m very encouraged by the level of activity that the project is producing,” Catlin said in reference to the construction of the future bank.
He said Commercial Properties is willing to talk to any interested parties, including local businesses, about moving into one of the new retail spaces.
Camden National described the future home of its Damariscotta branch in a press release as a “high-tech, high-touch banking center” that will include a drive-up window and ATM, as well as convenient customer parking.
Mark Graham, vice president of corporate real estate and facilities for the bank, said “high-touch” refers to the use of iPads and other technology. He said tellers will help teach customers how to use desktop banking and mobile apps to make their experience easier.
“It’s all about leveraging the technology to make banking simpler,” Graham said.
Graham said the branch will have the ability to issue new debit cards in about five minutes.
The bank plans to host a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony this spring, pending regulatory approval. No interruption of service will take place for its Damariscotta customers, according to the press release.
According to Renée Smyth, executive vice president and chief experience and marketing officer for Camden National Bank, the bank must receive approval from the federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for all new banking centers and relocations. Since the pending move is considered a short-distance relocation, within a mile of the original site, she said this will be a less extensive process.
Smyth said she looks forward to continuing the bank’s investment in Damariscotta.
The development at 435 Main St. has been in the works since at least April 2017, when Catlin first presented the project to the Damariscotta Planning Board.
The project has faced some resistance, including a citizen-initiated referendum to impose a temporary ban on retail development over 2,500 square feet and a lawsuit by opponents.
Voters rejected the ban, 420-358, Nov. 7, 2017. A Superior Court justice ruled in favor of the town and the developer in the lawsuit on Nov. 2, 2018.