By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,191)
The upper floors of a block of Joe Soley properties between 10 and 26 Exchange Street are for sale according to sources close to the situation. The basements and first floor properties are not for sale, however. The eccentric Soley
purports to have a purchaser for the properties who wants to gut the upper floors and then covert them into pricey condominiums according to the same sources. Currently there are some offices in those units and some units are empty. How close the two parties are to striking a deal is unknown at this time.
Soley who started investing in the Old Port around the mid-80s, has long had a contentious relationship with the city of Portland as well as many of his tenants. A recent contentious relationship with a tenant, The House of Jerky, was recorded herein earlier this year. It involved an inadequate fire sprinkler system at that business location.
On two separate occasions recently, Soley has admitted that he was once a business associate of the late Vice President Spiro “Ted” Agnew while the two lived in the Baltimore, Maryland area. Agnew was vice president under Richard Nixon and forced to resign – the first VP in American history to resign in disgrace. Agnew was involved in taking bribes, conspiracy and income-tax evasion. Many believed he should be put in jail, but he and his three attorneys managed to mount a major plea-bargain deal that prevented that from happening.
Soley said that Agnew worked for him beginning in the 60s and right up through his stint as Vice President. “He was a wonderful speaker. “We’d write talks for him and he’d give them and he did a great job.” Soley did not elaborate for whom the talks were prepared. He was not as flattering about his intellectual abilities. Soley allegedly still has about 1,000 rental units in Baltimore. There are unconfirmed reports that Soley owns a home in France as well as on Park Avenue in New York City.
“Agnew was a crook. Did you know that?” Soley said earlier this week at his unofficial office at the corner of Fore and Exchange Streets in the Old Port.