MRRA Newsletter: Busy Summer at Brunswick Landing
Note from the Director: Redevelopment Activity Heats Up
It’s been a busy summer at MRRA. We’ve completed multiple property transactions, including land and building sales and short- and long-term lease agreements. Other deals are in the works, including possible expansion here by some exciting prospects in the aerospace industry. While MRRA staff continues to work hard to attract manufacturing companies to Brunswick Landing and Topsham Commerce Park, we’ve been fortunate to forge redevelopment partnerships with the private sector. We are working closely with George Schott of Affordable Midcoast Housing, Jim Howard of Priority Real Estate Group, Tom Wright of TBW, LLC, and Hilary Rockett of JHR Development.
These visionary real estate developers are willing to assume substantial risk and invest in former Navy property to help realize the redevelopment vision.
It is our goal to transfer the redevelopment of key properties to the private sector, especially to those with proven business track records and great ideas for generating economic activity. So far, nearly 260 acres and 24 buildings have been conveyed to the private sector.
Our most recent sales (since April) have added up to $4,211,740. As of July 17, we’ve created 214.5 jobs at Brunswick Landing. We project nearly 400 jobs by the end of 2014 from our current mix of companies. More than 700 students are expected to enroll this fall at Southern Maine Community College. We’ve had nearly 1,000 take offs and landings since the beginning of the new year, well ahead of last year’s airport traffic. Keep in mind, many of those planes refuel here and bring visitors and economic activity to the Midcoast region.
MRRA Energy “Science Experiment” in Building 592 Decommissioned
Tom Wright, CEO of Seeds of Independence, purchased former Navy Buildings 592 and 24, adjacent properties on the southwest corner of Burbank Ave. and Pegasus, in April. For the past year, Building 592, the former Navy veterinary clinic, has been used to test new insulation products by a group of companies: Dow Corning, Dryvit, Mathews Brothers and Fraunhofer Sustainable Energy Systems. On July 16, after the one-year lease expired, the test team gave Tom a debriefing on this U.S. Department of Energy project. Tom now owns a one-of-a-kind, extremely energy efficient building. He plans to build an addition and outdoor patio on the 1,600 sq. ft. building and lease it to Wild Oats Cafe and Bakery, which is adding a second location at Brunswick Landing. It is expected to open in the fall and will be the first eatery at Brunswick Landing.
MRRA, Priority Group Close Deal on Two Brunswick Landing Buildings
We completed a sale of two buildings and 3.25 acres of land to the Priority Real Estate Group of Topsham in July. Priority has purchased the former Navy Lodge (Building 31) and the former Navy Recreation Center and Bowling Alley (Building 583) for $1.1 million. The two buildings sit next to one another on the northwest corner of Pegasus Street and Burbank Avenue. Together, the buildings offer nearly 35,000 square feet of space. They will be used by the Providence Service Corporation as a school for autistic children and for its administrative offices. Providence is expected to move in and be operational in September.
This Month’s Featured Property: Middle Bay of Hangar 5
The middle bay of Hangar 5 is now available for lease. It includes 14,470 s.f. of open space, which would be ideal for light manufacturing, aviation/aerospace or flight and marine systems simulation. The Middle Bay is located at 112 Orion Street, between the north and south bays of Hangar 5 and offers direct access to the flight line. The Navy used this space as a corrosion control facility for P3 Orion aircraft. It also includes nearly 10,000 s.f. of renovated office space for a total of 23,293 s.f . Download spec. sheet »
MRRA hosting First ADC Redevelopment Forum
The Association of Defense Communities (ADC) will be hosting its first Redevelopment Forum September 25-27 in Portland and Brunswick. The focus of the program will be on the art of and tools needed to successfully redevelop major military installations and to give attendees some practical “tools of success”. The NAS Brunswick redevelopment story will be a major feature of this forum. MRRA was recently touted by the ADC as leader among communities impacted by the 2005 BRAC in a recent publication – “The State of Base Redevelopment Report.”
MRRA Barbecue and Open House
We held our first-ever Open House and Barbecue on July 30th outside Building 27. About 75 folks attended the event, which included hamburgers, hot dogs and other traditional cookout food. We also had a bus tour of Brunswick Landing. MRRA Executive Director Steve Levesque gave a briefing on redevelopment activities and challenges we face. Thank you to all who visited. We look forward to making this an annual event.