By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,227)
Earlier this year, Bill Zolper, co-owner of the popular eatery b.good in the Old Port, learned that the two top floors of Joe Soley’s property between 10 – 26 Exchange Street were for sale. Zolper looked at the 27 units that comprised the for sale property several times – the last time with a builder. That’s when he and some business friends decided against purchasing the units. The’ve been closed for years because of code violations imposed by the City. “It’s hard to tell how serious the code violations were and what other problems might exist after those are resolved, ” Zolper said. His group was prepared to offer Joe Soley $1 million for the units before they decided against the purchase.
It is Zolper’s belief that Steve Baumann, an associate of the controversial Joe Soley, 83, purchased the property earlier this month. The two top floors would make very unique units because each one has a stage in it. Quite possibly the units would be scaled back to fifteen units. The entrances to the units are not located on Exchange Street, but rather in the back of the building. Many businesses in the Exchange Street area believe that restoring those missing units from the housing market would be very beneficial to businesses in the Old Port.
Meanwhle, Zolper, a new Munjoy Hill home owner, is busy with plans to expand his enormously successful business to South Portland on Gorham Road. He and his co-owner father, a doctor, own the b.good franchise for northern New Hampshire and all of Maine.
Zolper has a business degree from the University of Maine.