The City of Old Town is looking for businesses to fill some recent vacancies at their Downeast Market Village of pop-up shops. These pop-ups are located right across the street from the park and splash pad on Main St. in Old Town.

Pop-up shops, City Of Old Town
Pop-up shops, City Of Old Town
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EJ Roach,  Economic & Community Development Director for the City of Old Town, says this is the second year they've had this opportunity available.

"Two of the existing tenants have cited difficulties in hiring staff to operate the shop and have decided to keep staff focused on their permanent 'brick and mortar'’ locations. We want to create a mix of businesses that will complement, but not compete with each other. "

Roach says the City will even waive the lease fee for the first season.

"The monthly fee for this year is $50 (Fifty) per month from May through October and a portion of the electric bill depending on what business they are operating. The monthly fee will be waived for a new tenant to help them focus on other aspects of their business (i.e. marketing, labor, inventory, etc.)"

Roach says the city expects foot traffic in the area to increase again with the continuation of their popular outdoor programming this summer.

"This year the City has brought back our summer concert in the park series that will be offered on seven Thursday evenings at 6:30 pm starting in mid-June. We also will be showing movies in the park this summer on a mix of Thursday and Friday evenings.  We hope that these two programming efforts will add to the foot traffic in the downtown and park area and help bring more people to the pop-up shops."

Would you be a good fit for a pop-up by the park? Roach says they're looking for businesses that work well together.

"We will be reviewing businesses who are interested and will work with our Downtown Old Town (DTOT) committee to get some feedback and input. The pop-up shops only have electricity and no running water so the business needs to be able to operate in a way that still meets any local and state guidelines. For example, any type of food business would have to have products produced and packaged in a State of Maine approved facility and only sold from the pop-up shop. Business would need to agree to be open at least Thursday (Afternoon/early evening), Friday (Afternoon/early evening) and Saturday (Midmorning-midafternoon). Business may be open longer hours and more days than agreed upon."

Roach says the city of Old Town hopes to expand the Village in the coming years.

"Our plan is to add more pop-up shops next year to allow for more business to enter into our downtown at a reasonable and low risk investment. We modeled this concept after the Market Village in Tionesta, PA. We reached out to them during our planning and implementation phase to get some pointers on how to best start our own."

Anyone with interest in learning more about the pop-up opportunities should reach out to EJ Roach either through email, eroach@old-town.org, or by phone at (207) 827-3965.

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