By: Paul Briand, Seacoast Online
Judging from social media, a lot of people were surprised at the bang-bang closing announcements of two downtown coffee shops late last month.
But, for two real estate brokers based in Portsmouth, the changes are just part of the normal ebb and flow in the downtown market that they say remains very desirable to commercial and retail enterprises.
“The demand is there in downtown Portsmouth,” said Christian Stallkamp, senior broker with the Boulos Company, a commercial brokerage company at 14 Manchester Square at Pease International Tradeport. “Businesses want to be there, and they’re willing to pay that dollar amount.”
“Leases come up all the time,” added David Choate, executive vice president of Colliers International at 500 Market St. “There’s always that ebb and flow. New tenants come in. Some tenants just move from one location to another for better visibility.”
Social media started to buzz in late December with the announcements that Breaking New Grounds and Profile Coffee Bar were closing.
Breaking New Grounds, located in the heart of Market Square, announced Dec. 28 it was closing for good Jan. 3 in order to sell its building to Tuscan Kitchen, which plans to move its market from its current location on Lafayette Road to the downtown location and add a café.
The property at 14 Market Square, assessed by the city for $1,848,500, sold for $4,250,000, according to a deed filed on Monday at the Rockingham County Registry of Deeds.
BNG Properties LLC, owner of the business and the building, sold the property to J&S Investments LLC of Salem. BNG has financed the purchased with J&S paying a $3,150,000 mortgage to BNG, according to registry documents.
Breaking New Grounds, which opened its coffee shop and café some 25 years ago, is maintaining its coffee shop in Durham.
Profile Coffee Bar, at 15 Portwalk Place, closed Dec. 30. Its Facebook posting of the announcement gave no reason. An inquiry to Andrew Levinson, who opened the coffee bar in July 2015, went unanswered.
For many people, the closings, particularly Breaking New Grounds, was indicative of a change in Portsmouth toward a more corporate, more sterile look and feel.
Read the complete article on seacoastonline.com.