Redevelopment News, Fall 2016
Executive Director's Report: Summer Sizzling With Jobs Growth
It's been a very productive summer of redevelopment and job creation at the former Navy base. As of September 1st, our employee count was more than 1,200 workers at Brunswick Landing and Topsham Commerce Park.That number is more than triple what was originally forecast. Thanks to booming companies like Wayfair and SaviLinx, which are both hiring hundreds of workers this year, and the steady growth of additional new companies, we've easily surpassed projections. We recognize how fortunate we've been to land quality companies.
Many are new to Maine, including SaviLinx, Wayfair, Mölnlycke Health Care, InSphero, Tempus Jets, and ONE Aviation. It's important to recognize how sticking to the Reuse Master Plan has helped us create a thriving live, work, and play community.
The Reuse Plan calls for a disciplined focus on attracting businesses within targeted industries such as aerospace, biotech, composites, IT, and renewable energy. We've kept our aim on those sectors. Sometimes that focus has meant we've had to say no to other business activities. So far, this business attraction strategy is working. We're pleased to be closing in 100 business entities and ahead of the game, but we still have a very long ways to go and plenty of buildings to fill before we can truly call the redevelopment a success.
Featured Property: Building 333 in Topsham Commerce Park
MRRA has recently put one of the Topsham Commerce Park's best facilities on the market. If you're looking for an opportunity to redevelop a property with tremendous potential, 47 Canam Drive in Topsham is worth a look. The two-story brick office building was built in 1958 and was used as headquarters for the army reserve. It offers more than 13,000 SF of space, a 100-space parking lot, and is only a mile from the Topsham exit on Interstate 295. The property also comes with more than four acres of land that could be redeveloped to create an office campus within the existing business park.
Topsham Commerce Park is a beautiful property in a quiet area close to housing and adjacent to one of the top school systems in the state of Maine. The building was designed by famous Maine architect Alonzo Harriman and is eligible for historic tax credits to developers who would preserve the building's historic integrity and architectural vernacular. It is listed at $299,000 by Don Spann of Riverside RE/MAX in Topsham.
Additional Manufacturing Space Being Created at TechPlace to Meet Demand
MRRA is wrapping up renovations on the TechPlace expansion project. The project is designed to help growing manufacturing companies in need of industrial space. The space will be ideal for companies engaged in the aerospace, composites, renewable energy, and biotech/biomed industries. Once complete in a few weeks, approximately 16,000 square feet of manufacturing space divided into several separate units will be available. The modified space, which includes an overhead monorail crane and a layup room, will be able to accommodate up to seven manufacturing businesses with individual work spaces ranging in size from 1,500 SF to 2,800 SF. The space is located adjacent to TechPlace. Brunswick Landing's Technology Accelerator, which features smaller manufacturing spaces and a shared machine shop and woodshop. View photos of the construction work »
FAA Renews Brunswick Executive Airport's Participation in Military Airport Program
The Federal Aviation Administration has selected Brunswick Executive Airport to participate in the FY16 Military Airport Program (MAP). This is great news for BXM and Brunswick Landing. It allows us to remain in the program for five additional years and be eligible for grant monies to fund airport improvement projects necessary to grow a robust aviation/aerospace business here. BXM was the only former military airport or joint use airport added to MAP this year, the third straight year FAA has picked only one participant. A total of 15 airports can participate in the program at one time. The selection will allow us to complete projects that started during the previous five years, including conversion of military hangars to civilian use, obstruction removal, drainage upgrades and installing wildlife fencing.
Brunswick Landing Construction Projects Continue to Progress
Two more projects are rapidly taking shape near the front of the property. Avita of Brunswick is nearing completion of a 50,000 SF memory care facility that is scheduled to open early next year. The building is located just off Admiral Fitch Avenue on the site of the old Navy mobile home park. Landry-French, the lead contractor, says it has employed more than 150 workers during the project. Priority Real Estate Group of Topsham broke ground last month on a new convenience store and service station along Bath Road. They are moving along quickly and expect to have the bulk of the work done by mid-November. The store will be located on Bath Road across from Merrymeeting Plaza.
MRRA Adjusting Traffic Pattern on Admiral Fitch Avenue to Increase Safety
Our Public Works Department recently completed work to reconfigure the traffic lanes on Admiral Fitch Ave., Brunswick Landing's main thoroughfare. The traffic pattern on Fitch from Forrestal Avenue to just beyond Pegasus Street (the four-way stop) is being changed from four lanes (two inbound and two outbound) to one lane inbound and one lane outbound with a center turn lane and designated bike lane. The project will help promote safer driving on the increasingly busy road. Motorists are reminded to please observe the posted speed limits and be mindful of the new traffic pattern. Read advisory for more information »
TechPlace Growth Shows No Signs of Slowing Down; Go Babe Newest Tenant
With the recent addition of Go Babe, a manufacturer of children's garments, to the roster, TechPlace now has 27 businesses. Several other firms, including a rocket company, are close to signing deals for space in Brunswick Landing's Technology Accelerator. Additionally, some of TechPlace's current businesses have already outgrown their original footprints. STARC, SteriZign, and InSphero are in serious expansion mode and may need to lease more space in TechPlace or even other buildings on the property to accommodate their growth. Some of these growing businesses may be able to take advantage of the new manufacturing space being constructed in Hangar 4 East, which is adjacent to TechPlace.