Retail Moves Coming to Portland’s Old Port This Fall


By Carol McCracken  (Post # 1,526)

“We need more space,” said the manager of J. L. Coombs, 22 Exchange Street, this afternoon.  That’s why the chain store is moving into the space vacated by Serendipity a few months ago; a high-end womens’ clothing store that closed due to the death of its owner.   Coombs sells quality footwear and active lifestyle apparel that are expensive as well.  There are six stores with four in Maine, one in New Hampshire and one in Massachusetts.  The one store in South Portland is closing so that inventory will be consolidated in the Old Port store according to several sources at the Coombs store.  Coombs expects to be in its new digs by Columbus Day.

comb Potters is relocating as well from its current 49 Exchange Street location to 145 Commercial Street, next to Starbucks. “There seems to be a lot of change going on.  A lot of retails are moving to Commercial Street.  We still love Exchange Street, but high-end businesses are moving to Commercial Street,” said Lily Caivano this afternoon. The well-known Edgecomb Potters has three stores in Maine; its flagship store in Edgecomb, Freeport and the Old Port.

The Dunkin Donuts at Fore and Market Streets is also moving, but the manager is not certain where.  “The maintenance is poor here, so we’ve been looking for a while,” he said.  The building is owned by Joe Soley, a major property owner in Portland’s Old Port and South Portland  as well as out of state.

Kevin McQuinn, of Compass Commercial, said:  “High end is everywhere around here.  It’s on upper Exchange Street,  Middle Street, everywhere in the Old Port.  Not just in one place.”