MRRA Annual Report Now Available
Excerpt, Letter from the Director
The redevelopment of the former Naval Air Station Brunswick continues to outperform initial projections made six years ago when implementation of the Reuse Master Plan began. To date, more than 1,500 jobs have been created by more than 100 entities doing business at Brunswick Landing and the Topsham Commerce Park. Forecasters originally projected 700 jobs would be created by this date, six years into the project.
We have resident businesses in each of our six target sectors: aerospace, composites, information technology, life sciences, clean tech and education, in addition to other complementary business sectors.
Among the top redevelopment stories of 2017 include:
- TechPlace, Brunswick Landing’s Technology Accelerator, now houses 32 businesses and nearly 100 employees. This has occurred in just under three years since MRRA completed renovations in former Navy Building 250 (AIMD facility). TechPlace recently opened a new shared composites layup facility and paint booth to further bolster its manufacturing capabilities. Earlier in the year, we added a new classroom and larger industrial spaces to the facility.
- In October, STARC Systems, TechPlace’s first tenant, moved into a larger building on the Brunswick Landing campus to accommodate its rapid growth. STARC started with just two employees in 2014 and now has 20.
- TechPlace neighbor SaviLinx became the first HUBZone certified business at Brunswick Landing. This designation gives the contact center business preferred status when bidding for federal government contracts and has created another hiring surge for SaviLinx.
- In September, ReVision Energy broke ground on a 1.5 megawatt solar PV farm. It is being constructed on a five-acre airport parcel behind Hangar 6 near the old cross-wind runway and aviation fuel farm. MRRA has a power purchase agreement with ReVision to supply approximately one third of Brunswick Landing’s current electricity requirements.
- Brunswick Executive Airport surpassed 16,000 operations in November to set a new record for air traffic with nearly two months remaining in the calendar year.
- MRRA staff is working with the Maine Community College System and other partners to open an FAA-certified aviation technicians school at Brunswick Executive Airport.
- Finnish aircraft manufacturer Atol Avion launched a U.S. manufacturing operation at TechPlace. Atol will build an innovative amphibious plane, utilizing the area’s talented composites workforce.
- MRRA and the Town of Brunswick are working together on construction of another access road into Brunswick Landing to help alleviate traffic congestion at Cook’s Corner. The road is expected to be complete in 2018.
- MRRA submitted a bid for Brunswick Landing to be the site of e-commerce giant Amazon’s second headquarters. Amazon issued an RFP in September. MRRA was one of just two Maine entities to submit a proposal.
- Priority Real Estate Group purchased two more lots near the front of campus and has commenced construction of a 12,000 SF medical building.
- Helios purchased 400 former Navy housing units and land at Brunswick Landing and Topsham Commerce Park from George Schott. Helios has plans to add up to 500 more units to meet the local housing demand.
- Tom Wright completed the REAL School project in time for the new school year in former Building 223. Tom also completed renovations on Building 102 for Flight Deck Brewing, which opened for business in March.
- Other new businesses to open at Brunswick Landing in 2017 include: Brunswick Aviation
Services, Accel Physical Therapy, Harpswell House, Black Diamond Whiskey, Innovative Solutions and Support, American Classic Aviation, Hydroswarm, AdmitHub, Maine PTAC, Rusty Lantern Market, JMH Associates, Maine Aviation Business Administration, 14 Wiley Road, Planus, Nobleheart Products, and Mobility Technologies.
Overall, more than $350 million in private and public-sector investments have been made to the former NASB properties over the past six years. Additionally, MRRA’s efforts are helping boost the local, regional and state economies impacted by base closure. Nearly $160 million in valuation has been added to the local tax rolls in Brunswick and Topsham, resulting in nearly $3 million being paid annually in real estate taxes from redevelopment activities in both communities.
Equally important to the economic growth of the region is the success and growth of the Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) campus and Brunswick Executive Airport (BXM). The combined SMCC and University of Maine campus now contains more than 900 students.
At MRRA, our staff and board remain passionate about the redevelopment effort. We’re proud of the success we’ve had in meeting or exceeding most of our short- and mid-term goals and creating Maine’s Center for Innovation. We remain focused on our long-term goals as we work toward maximizing the full potential of the former NASB properties.