BY RAMONA DU HOUX
September 18, 2013
Portland Mayor Michael Brennan along with members of the Portland City Council, the BioScience Association of Maine, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and city staff celebrated the completion of Phase I of the Portland Technology Park by officially cutting the ribbon and announcing the availability of three developable lots on September 18th.
The Portland Technology Park was conceived by the city’s Economic Development Department to facilitate growth and expansion of the area’s life sciences industries. Phase I called for the construction of a road and public infrastructure necessary for development of the first three of the seven potential sites. Phase I was funded by the EDA, a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce, grant of $660,000 with matching funds provided through the city’s Capital Improvement Program.
“With more than forty life science businesses, the Portland area is home to the largest cluster in the state and as we look to future economic development and opportunity we need to build the infrastructure like the Portland Technology Park to support growth and attract new business,” stated Mayor Brennan.
Life science businesses specialize in a wide array of products and services ranging from veterinary pharmaceuticals to immunology, diagnostics, lab products, environmental biotechnology and more. Statewide, bio tech industries employ more than five thousand people and have generated $1.337 billion in revenue, with the economic impact for the state increasing more than 200 percent since 2002.
In keeping with the city’s Economic Development Plan and Vision and recommendations from the MIT urban planning study, Portland in Focus: Building on assets for collaboration and growth, the city along with its regional partners have been working to support and help grow the life sciences cluster.
The Portland Technology Park is located on Rand Road adjacent to Exit 47 of the Maine Turnpike.
Phase Two will be timed with development of the available lots and extend the road and infrastructure by another five hundred and twenty-five feet, opening up the remaining four sites. The park will accommodate buildings ranging from 10,000 to 40,000 square feet with each company responsible for constructing its building, driveway and parking area. At full build-out, the park will have approximately 120,000 square feet in seven buildings.
Low impact development techniques have been incorporated into the design to create an environmentally friendly campus including reduced impervious surfaces, siting buildings for maximum solar gain, and the use of gravel wetlands for storm water management, which is designed to minimize the impact to the natural hydrology of the site and reduce the overall project footprint. The park will connect to trail systems throughout nearly two hundred acres of adjacent Resource Protection Zone land, including a Fore River sanctuary. All buildings on the campus will meet the city’s Green Building Code.