Redevelopment News: Employment, Business Activity on Rise at Brunswick Landing
Touching base with the Director
After a long winter, spring has finally arrived in Maine. With growing season now here, we look forward to another productive year in effecting the redevelopment of former NAS Brunswick, which closed in May of 2011. Already this year we have added five new tenants and have several more in lease negotiation. Several tenants are expanding their lease areas in Hangar 6, Hangar 5 and Building 200 (Air Terminal). On the sale side, we have 55,000 SF under contract, as well as an additional 90,000 SF of building space and approximately 40 acres in final negotiation. We’ve topped the 400-jobs created mark and are projecting 750 by year’s end, which puts us well ahead of our 2005 BRAC peers. Another exciting project in the works for 2014 is TechPlace: Brunswick Landing’s Technology Accelerator business incubator. Now that the Economic Development Administration grant we were awarded in President Obama’s “Make It In America Challenge” is in place and the Lease in Furtherance of Conveyance (LIFOC) is secured for Building 250, staff is aggressively working to gear up for the opening of the facility in October.
MRRA Staff Attends MRO Show in Phoenix
MRRA Executive Director Steve Levesque and Brunswick Executive Airport Manager Marty McMahon were at last month’s MRO Americas 2014 show in Phoenix. This is the largest tradeshow for aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul companies. They made some good contacts and met with several companies that have shown interest in expanding their operations to BXM. Working the floor of huge tradeshows like MRO is exhausting work, but it is one of the most effective ways of keeping our available, world-class facilities in front of some of the industry’s major players. One of the big takeaways from the show for Marty and Steve was that Maine really needs to consider bolstering its aviation education programs to be competitive with other states at attracting aerospace businesses. States that have a well-trained workforce in place have a big advantage over states that don’t.
Maine’s Aviation Business Poised to Take Off, Mainebiz Magazine Reports
Jim McCarthy, of the Portland-based magazine Mainebiz, wrote an interesting feature story on Maine’s growing aviation industry. He interviewed several key aviation business folks for the story, including Scott Terry, the Tempus Jets CEO who moved his company’s Part 145 Repair Station here back in September. McCarthy also wrote about the Maine Aviation Business Association, a newly formed group that is trying to bring Maine’s airports and aviation businesses together to promote the state’s aviation industry. BXM’s Marty McMahon is the Executive Director of the organization.
Read Mainebiz story »
Tempus CEO Writes About Brunswick Move, Flight Assignment at NASB
Speaking of great stories, Scott Terry is quite a talented writer himself. He writes a monthly column for Tempus Magazine and it’s a great read. This month’s piece was about his decision to move a portion of Tempus Jets’ business to Brunswick. He writes about his military career stop at NASB where he was an officer with Patrol Squadron 23 and the shock of arriving in Maine in the dead of winter from Florida. It’s a wonderful piece, which you can read here.
CMP’s Alternative Rate Proposal Could Affect Renewable Power Generation
MRRA participated in a spirited public hearing April 2nd at the Maine Public Utilities Commission headquarters in Hallowell. We have filed as an intervener in CMP’s proposed rate adjustment case. CMP has proposed increases and a so-called stand-by charge that would adversely affect customers who generate their own power while remaining connected to the grid. The stand-by charge could make renewable energy projects economically unfeasible and damage our plans to be a renewable energy center of excellence — one of the cornerstones of the Reuse Master Plan for NASB. Therefore we have joined other entities such as Maine’s small colleges, paper mills, ski resorts, and solar power firms, to urge the PUC to reject CMP’s proposal. Here’s a copy of Steve Levesque’s testimony to the PUC about this case.
Brunswick Landing, Topsham Commerce Park Now Have Over 50 Business Entities
Thanks to Tom and Willo Wright’s Seeds of Independence (SOI) organization, we now have surpassed another new milestone – 50 businesses! The Wrights purchased the former Buildings 24 and 592 last year and moved Seeds of Independence to 29 Burbank Street. There are now five entities leasing space from Tom, including the Department of Corrections, Goodwill Workforce Solutions, and Day One, a drug abuse treatment agency. These organizations work with at-risk, Brunswick-area teens who receive mentoring and social services from SOI. Right next door, Tom is finishing up renovations on Building 592, which will be the future home of Wild Oats Bakery and Café new Brunswick Landing eatery. Here are a few photos of the Wild Oats project.
Featured Building: 121 Orion Street
The former Navy Police Station (Building 55) was built in 2005. It offers about 10,000 SF of flexible office space. The building has three-phase power, a backup generator and extensive single-mode fiber connectivity. It’s in a great location, just across the street from the airfield and close to Brunswick Landing’s trail systems, Brunswick Parks and Rec., and golf course. Give us call or email to schedule a showing and please submit a Business Information Form (BIF) if you’re interested in this property. Click here to view photos and download a spec sheet.
Demo Project Chugging Along
MRRA is in the process of demolishing 20 buildings totaling nearly 100,000 SF at Brunswick Landing, Brunswick Executive Airport, and Topsham Commerce Park. These facilities were in tough shape, poorly maintained, and would not have been good candidates for redevelopment. We are using a grant from the Economic Development Administration for the work. McGee Construction of Gardiner is the demo contractor and they’ve done a great job on this project, reports MRRA Public Works and Utilities Manager Tom Brubaker. We’re also leveling 10 buildings in the former Seabee Complex along Bath Road. As part of this project, it’s our vision that this property will be redeveloped as an office complex. View photos and demo scorecard here.
Latest Conveyances Provide New Opportunities for Redevelopment
The Navy recently conveyed another 57 acres of land and several buildings to MRRA in a couple of separate FOST (Finding of Suitability of Transfer) maneuvers last month. Among the highlights are Building 292 (former Navy Fire Station), Building 555 (former Sonobuoy building), the Seabee Complex, and Building 45 (former airfield materials storage building). In the next few weeks, we expect to receive the New Control Tower complex (Building 231) along with a few acres on the west side of the airfield via Public Benefit Conveyance. When we account for the latest Navy conveyances and the property we have sold, MRRA currently owns approximately 1,415 acres of land and 1,075,000 SF of building space. To date we have sold over 300 acres of land and 27 buildings (nearly 600,000 SF). The properties that we have sold are all undergoing further redevelopment.
Suzanne Krauss Leaving MRRA to Resume Navy Aviation Career
MRRA Business Relationship Coordinator Suzanne Krauss has announced her resignation. She will be greatly missed by all of us here as well as our customers. Suzanne, a Brunswick native, will dedicate more of her time to the U.S. Navy and family. She had multiple roles during her tenure at MRRA. She was responsible for handling special events. She was the Deputy Director of the 2011 Great State of Maine Air Show and drafted MRRA’s Natural Resources Management Plan. Most recently, Suzanne was the administrator of the TechPlace initiative, the Brunswick Landing Advanced Manufacturing, Science and Technology Business Accelerator. We all wish Suzanne Godspeed.