New Quality of Life in Ellsworth, Maine

Ellsworth City Hall 1990

Ellsworth City Hall 1990

The Crossroads of Downeast. That is the nickname I heard when I first moved here to bring up my family. One will usually pass through Ellsworth to go to Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park, Bangor, Mount Katahdin at Baxter State Park, Machias, Eastport, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and some of the most beautiful and secluded hillsides overlooking lakes in all of Maine. We are right in the middle of all these wonderful places.

I raised my family here because it reminded me of the best times in my childhood. We swam in the lakes, hiked the mountains, sailed on the ocean, fished in the ponds, ate the local produce, fiddleheads, blueberries, blackberries, and tons of apples everywhere. The traffic was light and we never waited in lines. We had all the conveniences of the suburbs within 20 minutes of us, but we have all the amenities of a sea side, rural country life. Winters were cold and snowy, spring was a bit buggy and muddy on the dirt roads. But we bought Subarus and trucks and snow tires and we got around fine. We were young and healthy and determined.

Ellsworth has all the advantages I love in a town. The feeling of smallness and down home identity, near the ocean, near lakes, surrounded by beautiful hills and mountains and scenery, and with open land available at reasonable prices for my new clients to hire me to design new homes. Low prices for the time being anyway.

Let’s skip ahead. My children are in college. I am here holding down the fort and watching something amazing happen to my town. It is becoming a city. Actually, Ellsworth is one of the largest cities in the nation for land mass, but we hardly had enough people to call it a city. We still don’t. However, this year, if you drove through Ellsworth and knew what it looked like 3 years ago, you would swear that we are preparing for a huge migration of new residents. The economy is booming here. You cannot tell that we are enduring a severe national recession. Ellsworth is flowering into a real upscale place with all the conveniences enjoyed in the most wealthy communities in the country.

Ellsworth Center 1990

Ellsworth Center 1990

Shops are being remodeled. New shops are opening. Big stores are repaving their lots and redesigning their buildings with new facades. Several new banks have built pretty, new buildings in town. The crummy restaurants are improving and a few new ones have opened with excellent cuisine and reasonable prices. I have counted seven huge new clinics that have been built here and in surrounding towns including optimetrists, chiropractors, therapists, elderly facilities, pharmacies…the hospital in Bangor built a huge parking garage, more rooms, and a new helo pad.

Driveways into empty lots are being cut by the dozens everywhere I drive, into land that has sat there for 20 years growing trees and feeding the deer. Modular home companies, kitchen suppliers, stone construction showcases, temporary storage compounds, fancy furniture showcases, carpet dealers, and car dealers are ramping up and redecorating.

Something very stimulating is happening here. We don’t have enough customers here in the Ellsworth area to support all these services. All of these businesses will fold within 5 years and lose their investment if we don’t acquire a substantial boost in our population. An entire city does not just suddenly spend buckets of money during a recession unless there is a strong expectation that business is about to get much better. They must know something.

Well…I am wise enough to deduce the situation. Ellsworth is about to become a little mecca for baby boomers and more. It is a delightful place to retire. But also, because of the major increase in the investment capital in the bio-tech industry, our local bio-tech hero, Jackson Laboratories, has received substantial funding to build a new facility in Ellsworth. That will increase our customer traffic enormously. Executives and medical professionals from all around the world will also travel here to visit the lab, which I am sure will be very high tech and much bigger than the old one on Mount Desert Island. This will drive the price of land and home up all by itself. If you are thinking about moving here, do it soon.

Then, when all this fuss hits the national news drawing attention to our newly renovated city, the following tourist season will be hugely successful. Followed by a successful season for real estate purchasing and home construction starts and remodeling work. Right now, builders are struggling to stay afloat. Two years from now, it will be hard to find a builder who isn’t booked all year. Then new builders will get started, but they won’t be very experienced. You will need a good architect who knows people around here. I have lived here for 25 years. You could call me.

, , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.