Redevelopment News: More Than $120 Million in Capital Investment So Far at Brunswick Landing, Topsham Commerce Park
Touching base with the Director
After nearly three years of redevelopment, the former Naval Air Station Brunswick is making a fast transition toward civilian use as MRRA continues implementation of the Reuse Master Plan. We now have 47 (and counting) entities doing business at Brunswick Landing and Topsham Commerce Park. We’re on pace to create 750 jobs by the end of this year and we’ve added more than $50 million in valuation to the tax rolls of the Towns of Brunswick and Topsham. A huge reason for our success has been the enthusiasm shown by the private sector to invest in the properties. More than $120 million has been invested in capital and operations by local developers and companies that have located here. That is an impressive amount in what has proven to be a stubbornly lackluster economy. We’re grateful for their entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to step up to the plate to take on significant risk to grow their businesses. We’re also pleased to welcome a couple of new businesses to campus this month – RollEase, D&D Automotive, University College, and CE Express with more to come. By the way, one of the best ways to follow the redevelopment progress is to keep handy the MRRA Scorecard and to join us on MRRA’s social networks – Facebook and Twitter.
CMP Rate Proposal Could Alter Brunswick Renewable Energy Center Plans
For some time now, MRRA has been working with Village Green Ventures on construction of an anaerobic digester and green energy generation plant at Brunswick Landing. The plant would generate approximately 1 megawatt of electricity and meet most of Brunswick Landing’s current power needs. VGV expects to break ground on the plant this month and be up and running by the end of the year. In the meantime, Central Maine Power is working with the Maine Public Utilities Commission on a proposed rate adjustment that could nullify some of the benefits of Brunswick Landing’s renewable energy center. CMP would institute what is known as a stand-by fee for the power that would normally be delivered. The proposed stand-by charge would make projects like VGV’s uneconomical. MRRA has filed for intervenor status with the PUC in this rate case, joining other entities with on-site power generation plans such as Bowdoin, Colby, and Thomas colleges, and a consortium of Maine manufacturers, led by many of the paper mills, that already generate power on site. It will be interesting to see how this rate case turns out. We’ll likely have an answer before summer. Stay tuned. Read article in Mainebiz for more details on this case »
Amendments Made to Reuse Master Plan; More Habitat Preserved
MRRA held a public hearing on Feb. 26th to discuss proposed amendments to the Reuse Master Plan. We unveiled the amended map with the new land use districts, which indicate the changes. We’ve added 16 acres on the north end of the complex to the natural areas. This will help preserve sand plain grassland habitat for the endangered grasshopper sparrows, which enjoy nesting in this area. We also consolidated some of the previously designated professional office space into the community mixed use parcels and reconfigured our proposed entry ways into Brunswick Landing. We’ve removed the entrance across the street from Merrymeeting Plaza from the old plan and instead will continue to use the Admiral Fitch Avenue intersection as the main entrance. The Board will be asked to approve these changes at the next meeting on March 26th. View new map with amended land use districts »
Blease, SaviLinx Bringing Business, Jobs from ‘Away’ Back to Brunswick
Many Maine business leaders recall the Envisionet story several years ago as the company, founded by Heather Blease, made its mark as a Maine employment engine, growing from start-up to one of the State’s largest employers in the late 1990s with over 2,500 call center employees. Blease is at it again. She launched a new contact center business called SaviLinx last summer, headquartered at Brunswick Landing and in partnership with NexxLinx, a company that purchased Envisionet several years ago. SaviLinx currently employs 30 people and supports 12 clients, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The SaviLinx facility can support approximately 500 employees. Read more about SaviLinx’ plans »
RollEase Opens Windows Coverings Innovation Center at Brunswick Landing
RollEase, a Connecticut-based company and leader in custom window treatment design and development, recently signed a lease MRRA for about 11,000 SF of space at Brunswick Landing in former Navy Building 54, which is also home to American Bureau of Shipping. The new RollEase Innovation Center, which will be completed and fully staffed later in the spring, will serve as the company’s research and development hub and include state-of-the-art prototyping equipment and extensive testing capabilities, according to a company statement. Greg Farr, former Brunswick Downtown Alliance Executive Director and RollEase’s Senior Vice President, is managing the new operation. Learn more about RollEase »
Georgetown Mechanic Launches Car Repair Shop at Brunswick Landing
We’re pleased to have our first automotive service shop on campus. Darryl Zantow of Georgetown has recently opened a garage at 58 Burbank Ave. in the former Navy service station. D& D is a full-service automobile repair shop with six ASE-certified mechanics on staff, a detailing center, and three lifts. D&D sells new and used tires as well as Interstate batteries. The garage is located across from Maine Technology Institute. D&D repairs all makes and models as well as heavy equipment. It will soon offer state inspections and full alignments. D&D also offers a free air pump for tire inflation. The customer waiting area has a TV with free coffee and WiFi.
Oxford Networks Announces Expansion to Brunswick Landing Data Center
Oxford Networks announced recently that it is expanding its high security cloud computing and data storage area in the former Navy secure data and communications center. The expansion is expected to increase the data center’s computing footprint by 7,000 square feet and result in an anticipated 12 new positions at the center. “This expansion will enable us to maximize the potential of this unique high security data center located right here in Maine. The market demand for ultra secure cloud computing and data storage products and services is growing every day and this expansion will uniquely position us to offer leading edge technology to our customers in Maine, New England and beyond,” said Ron Shink, chief technology officer for Oxford Networks, which was recently named Business of the Year by the Southern Midcoast Maine Chamber. Read more about Oxford Networks expansion »
Race the Runways slated for April 5th
The fourth running of Race the Runways will be held on Brunswick Landing Saturday, April 5. In addition to a 5-kilometer race and half-marathon, there will be a one-mile race and a Kids Fun Run. Join more than 1,000 participants in this family friendly community event. To sign up, visit www.racetherunways.com.
Building of the Month: Hangar 4
We are actively seeking an aviation/aerospace tenant for newly available Hangar 4, a former Navy maintenance hangar with approximately 56,000 SF of space. The building, which we received from the feds via a Lease in Furtherance of Conveyance (LIFOC), includes 40-foot high doors; two stories of premium office space and workshops (14,000 SF); overhead cranes and lighting; three-phase power; emergency back-up generator; direct access to the flight line; and automatic AIFF systems. It’s ideally suited for maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) activities or aircraft manufacturing. You won’t find many buildings like it elsewhere in the U.S. More information about Hangar 4 »
Next Conveyance of Property from Navy Imminent
The Navy is scheduled to convey more property to us before the end of the month. We are due to receive several more buildings and about 60 acres of land in the deal. The big-ticket item is Building 231 (the new control tower) on the west side of the airfield. Although somewhat isolated from the rest of Brunswick Landing, it offers some of the best views on campus from the 100-foot control tower balcony. Other key facilities included in this latest conveyance are the SeaBee Compound, the indoor small arms range (Building 102), and the former Navy Police Station (Building 55). Originally we had planned to have these properties back in September, but sequestration and other government delays forced the transfers to be put on hold.
MRRA, FlightLevel to Move Into Renovated Terminal Building in April
It’s looking like MRRA will move from its current Hangar 6 offices this spring. MRRA’s new headquarters will be in the former Control Tower and Terminal building. Contractors are busy renovating the 22,409 SF building, which sits at the edge of the inboard runway (1R & 19L) near the ramp. Workers are installing a new elevator, painting throughout the building (both interior and exterior), updating the HVAC systems and bringing the building up to current ADA and life safety codes. A new roof is also in the works. FlightLevel Aviation, Brunswick Executive Airport’s Fixed Base Operator (FBO) will take the first floor, while MRRA will have the second story. As for Hangar 6, MRRA will vacate some premium office space on the second floor and it will continue to work with prospects who may wish to join current tenants Kestrel Aircraft and Tempus Jets in the largest building on campus.