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As a national retailer opens in the Old Port, local businesses hope for the best

By Portland Press Herald

A clothing retailer with over 150 stores across the U.S. will open its first in northern New England this fall on a busy corner of downtown Portland.

Madewell is the latest national brand to set up shop in the Old Port and will be within steps of three others that have opened there in the past decade: Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie and Athleta.

The building has been owned by Portland real estate company East Brown Cow since 2006. Tim Soley, president and CEO, said attracting national retailers to Portland has taken decades of work. Thirty years ago, he said, many of today’s prime shopping spots were ground-floor offices that rolled their blinds down during the day and turned their lights off at night.

“It started with starting to convert those ground-floor spaces to retail uses, commercial uses, that were far more interesting and visually connected with the pedestrians,” he said.


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