June 2013 Newsletter: TechPlace, MRRA Loan Program, Department of Defense recognition and more

Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority

Note from the Director: Teamwork Pays Off with TechPlace Project

levesqueOne of the most exciting and promising initiatives in the works at Brunswick Landing is the proposed “TechPlace.” Working together with the Town of Brunswick, the Brunswick Development Corporation (BDC), the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), Southern Maine Community College (SMCC), University of Maine, Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MMEP), Coastal Counties Workforce, Inc. (CCWI), and Maine Technology Institute, we aim to establish TechPlace as an Advanced Science and Technology TechPlaceBusiness Accelerator in Building 250 at 74 Orion Street. Building 250 is the former Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department for Naval Air Station Brunswick (NASB).The building, which is home to Brunswick Landing’s newest business — SaviLinx — needs an estimated $1.5 million in upgrades. These monies will be invested in TechPlace to meet Americans with Disabilities Act and Life Safety Code requirements, repair the building envelope, and make systems and space improvements to support emerging manufacturing businesses. With approximately 93,000 square feet of floor space, Tech Place has lab, office, and shop spaces well suited for an R&D or technology accelerator facility.MRRA, DECD, and BDC have each pledged $250,000 toward the project in an effort to receive a matching federal grant of $750,000 under the U.S. Department of Commerce’s “Make It In America Challenge” to raise the $1.5 million needed for building improvements. Once the building is ready, TechPlace will help fill the need for entrepreneurial incubator space in the Midcoast region to support the business development needs of early stage businesses in critical STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields.

MRRA, Mechanics Savings Partner in Economic Development Efforts

MechanicsMechanics Savings Bank and the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority recently entered into a financial partnership whereby the bank provided a flexible Line of Credit to the redevelopment organization.
This loan will allow MRRA to leverage its own funds to lend to prospective and current tenants of Brunswick Landing and the Topsham Commerce Park, creating dollars that otherwise would not make it into the hands of these businesses. These entities can use this money to improve current facilities and support working capital needs. MRRA currently has 24 businesses at Brunswick Landing, with many more being sought out to grow and expand in the region.”We are delighted to be able to form this partnership with Mechanics Savings to support entrepreneurial business growth on the former base properties,” says Steve Levesque, the Executive Director of MRRA.Read more »

MRRA Ranked Top Base Redeveloper by Department of Defense

Dept. of DefenseThe Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority is a leader among communities impacted by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) according to the June 2013 Association of Defense Communities “State of Base Redevelopment Report.”The Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment project leader Bryant Monroe cites MRRA for its economic development efforts and its leadership by example.”MRRA’s efforts have made real progress and are at the forefront of communities dealing with adverse and significant BRAC closures and realignments,” Monroe said. “MRRA’s economic development efforts and progress in wrestling with a wide variety of former Navy base issues represent best practices among the 25 major BRAC sites.”Read more »

Welcome ABL Electric

ABL electricWe’re pleased to welcome ABL Electric, the newest business to locate to Brunswick Landing. ABL provides electrical repair services, upgrades, generators, new construction, remodels, lighting upgrades, and voice / data. According the company website: “ABL Electric LLC has the experience and expertise to get the job done right the first time. Our skilled professionals use only the finest tools and materials to complete your project.”
ABL Electric is located at 145 Allagash Drive in the former Building 632 near the old Seabee Compound.

This Month’s Featured Property: Building 11 (former Navy Exchange)

Building 11The former Navy Exchange building features 52,381 square feet (256’x180’x25′) in a prime location (46 Burbank Avenue) at Brunswick Landing. Built in 1981, this structure includes warehouse space, a food court area, loading dock, and significant fiber optic connectivity. Envisioned uses include professional office space, retail or technology center.Email us for more info.Download spec. sheet »

Seeds of Independence Sets Up Shop in Former Building 24

Seeds of IndepenceTBW, LLC of Freeport, has purchased a Brunswick Landing lot at the corner of Pegasus St. and Burbank Avenue with two former Navy buildings (buildings 24 and 592) for $510,000 on May 1. TBW, LLC, headed by Thomas B. Wright, plans to use Building 24, a 10,000-square foot former Navy personnel support facility, as a hub for the non-profit Seeds of Independence organization, of which Wright is the Executive Director.
Seeds of Independence is a mentor- and volunteer-based nonprofit organization committed to helping at risk youth in Maine reach their full potential as independent, productive members of society. Wright’s group works with Midcoast teens in the Brunswick, Bath, Topsham and Freeport school systems.
“We’re trying to help kids become productive members of society,” Wright said. “It’s a challenge communicating between the different agencies involved — the judicial system, the schools, and social services. This location is ideal. The building will be a communications center.”Wright plans to have up to 10 organizations, including Seeds of Independence, share the space. Potential occupiers could include drug counselors, social service agencies, and mentoring groups from the insurance and banking industries.Building 592, the former Navy Veterinarian Center across the parking lot from Building 24, will be leased to Wild Oats Bakery and Café, a downtown Brunswick restaurant. Wild Oats plans to open a second eatery at Brunswick Landing in the fall. See Bangor Daily News story and video about Wild Oats.Read more about Seeds of Independence »

Brunswick’s Steve Weems Re-appointed to MRRA Board

Steve WeemsThe re-appointment of Steve Weems to serve a second term on the MRRA Board of Trustees was confirmed June 6 by the Maine State Legislature. Steve, a former two-term Brunswick Town Councilor, has served on the MRRA Board for three years, most recently as Secretary. He is Chair of the Community Relations Committee and the Utilities, Environment and Energy Committee. He also serves on the Property Committee. Steve brings MRRA a tremendous combination of experience and skill in the fields of economic and community development, banking, project finance, small business ownership and management, non-profit management, business consulting, and environmental protection, to name a few. He currently is Managing Director of the consulting firm Polaris Associates. Steve is a graduate of Bucknell University with a degree in mechanical engineering and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, and was a captain in the U.S. Army. He has lived in Maine for 38 years, the last 26 in Brunswick.

Brunswick Executive Airport to Host Maine Flying Trail This Summer

Flying TrailWe’re delighted to once again present the Maine Flying Trail Program. The Maine Flying Trail is designed to encourage pilots to visit the many airports located throughout the State. Pilots are rewarded with two free lobsters from Brunswick Executive Airport after they fly into at least five participating airports by the end of October. This year we have 18 airports participating, including 3 new ones in Aroostook County. Pilots may participate by picking up a free passport book at any of the Maine Flying Trail 2013 airports.

SaviLinx Partners with Atlanta Company as it Opens Brunswick Landing Doors

CEO Heather D. Blease officially opened the doors to her new start-up business SaviLinx with an announcement of a newly former strategic partnership with NexxLinx of Atlanta.The two companies say the “partnership has been created to extend relationships and create dynamic new opportunities in government contracting. The partnership will bring together two industry veterans, poised to capitalize on each partner’s strengths.”On May 24. SaviLinx, located at TechPlace (former Navy building 250), held a Jobs Fair to recruit new employees for the contact center. Blease plans to hire 30 workers who will be engaged in help desk and technical support at the contact center.

Former Navy Control Tower and Terminal Building Transferred to MRRA

The Navy recently transferred Building 200, the former terminal and control tower building, to MRRA. The building is in a prime location, right on the airfield at the north end of Orion Street with tremendous 360-degree views of the airport and Brunswick Landing. Work is just beginning on the property. Funds from the FAA’s military airports program will be used for upgrades to the facility. It will eventually be used as administrative offices, and it is anticipated that FlightLevel, the airport’s fixed base operator, will move there from Hangar 6. The next Finding of Suitability to Transfer (FOST) has been pushed to September, although building 211 that is scheduled to be transferred to the Town of Brunswick, may be a little earlier. The remaining properties at the former NASB and Topsham Annex will be conveyed in bits and pieces, once appropriate environmental clearances are obtained.View more photos of terminal building »

Meeting Minutes

See a complete list of meeting minutes for board meetings and special meetings back to January 2008.