2016-11-11 / Front Page

Turnpike Motel torn down; MTA says no plans for the property

By Wm. Duke Harrington Staff Writer

KENNEBUNK — The Turnpike Motel, located at the northbound exit to Interstate 95 in Kennebunk, is no more.

The building came down last week, cleared away by the Maine Turnpike Authority, which bought the building at 77 Old Alfred Road in June for $875,000.

MTA Executive Director Peter Mills said Tuesday there are no specific plans for the property.

Buying it, he said, “made sense” when the owner, Heidar Schirazi died and his widow, Sally Kay, put the property on the market.

The MTA owns all of the property around the 1.86-acre motel lot, which is wedged in between the interstate and the northbound on-ramp. The building could be seen from the northside toll booth.

“We didn’t have a firm idea of what to do with the property, but we were a logical buyer,” Mills said.

Built in 1955, the 24-unit motel was purchased by Schirazi in 2004 for $1.13 million, according to the town’s assessing records. As of the April 1 commitment date, the town had the property assessed at $657,600, which included $250,000 for the land.

The motel was used by the town as a place to house the indigent on public assistance, and, according to Police Chief Bob MacKenzie, had been a source of increasing calls in recent years.

Mills said the property will be used to grant a right-of-way to natural gas utility Unitil, for a line to be laid to West Kennebunk and Kennebunk High School.

Apart from that, however, there are no immediate plans for the site, he said.

Staff Writer Duke Harrington can be reached at news@kennebunkpost.com.

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