Redevelopment Newsletter, July 2014
Touching base with the Director
Last month, several MRRA representatives traveled to Washington for the Association of Defense Communities National Summit. We brought along a $3 million check for the U.S. Navy to pay off MRRA’s note for the Economic Development Conveyance (EDC) property. The significance of this action is that MRRA is paying off the total note 10 years before it is due, saving about $1 million in interest and bank charges. This action represents the types of sound fiscal management decisions that are made by the MRRA Board of Trustees in their oversight of the NASB redevelopment effort. The ability for MRRA to accomplish this loan payoff is due to the speedy transfer of the property from the Navy and the subsequent rapid redevelopment activity to date at Brunswick Landing and Topsham Commerce Park. MRRA had planned to begin paying down the loan this coming year in installments, with a balloon payment for the balance in 10 years. Instead, MRRA has paid off the note completely. That will help us free up some funds sooner for much-needed infrastructure and property improvements that otherwise might not be in the budget for us, which is important as we continue to work toward our redevelopment goals. Another element of Economic Development Conveyance deal is a revenue sharing formula with the Navy over the next 20 years, where they share a portion of gross sales and lease proceeds.
Wicked Joe Coffee Roasting Company’s Topsham Commissary Expansion Impressive
Wicked JoeThe former Navy Commissary building at Topsham Commerce Park is being redeveloped as the new home of Wicked Joe, a Brunswick-based coffee roasting business. The company will be leasing about 25,000 SF of space at 35 Canam Drive from JHR Development, which purchased the former Commissary from MRRA back in November. Wicked Joe has outgrown its current location in Brunswick and plans to move into the Topsham building this summer. The company plans to add more jobs as it grows in Topsham. The new space also gives Wicked Joe owners Bob and Carmen Garver more room for roasting and for customers to visit a proposed coffee tasting area. The building is being upgraded for improved energy efficiency with solar panels for electricity and heat. Read more about Wicked Joe’s move »
Frosty’s Donuts Ready to Open Brunswick Landing Production Facility
Frosty’s Donuts and Coffee Shop recently signed a lease with MRRA for about 4,200 SF at 119 Orion Street (former Navy Building 51). Frosty’s, a popular downtown Brunswick eatery since the 1960’s, has expanded to Bath, Freeport, and Gardiner. The doughnuts are also sold in Hannaford’s grocery stores. With increased demand, Frosty’s needed more space for production. Building 51 turned out to be a great fit for the growing business. This expansion will create seven new jobs at Brunswick Landing, the company said. Times Record article about Frosty’s expansion »
Featured Property: Building 333 at Topsham Commerce Park
We have some wonderful properties available for redevelopment across the river from Brunswick Landing at the Topsham Commerce Park. Building 333 is the former Army Reserve headquarters. This two-story 13,248 SF building is in a great shape and would make an excellent office complex. It’s in a great location about a mile from I-295 exit and Route 1. It’s next to the Topsham schools and ball fields. Give us a call if you’d like more information about this property. View property and download spec. sheet on MRRA website »
Opportunities to Build Your Own Hangar at Brunswick Executive Airport
We’ve recently filled our new 10-bay T-hangar building that was constructed last summer at 36 Orion Street. Pilots must now join a waiting list for a T-hangar. If you can’t wait, there are several acres of land available for more hangars. Give us a call if you’re interested in building a custom hangar of your own. We have property available now for lease on Orion Street (airfield side) with direct access to the flight line and next door to FlightLevel Aviation. In fact, there’s enough space to build at least three 10,000 SF hangars. Give us a call of visit our website to learn more about this project.
Twin Lobster Special: Time to Hit the Maine Flying Trail This Summer
Once again, the Maine Aviation Business Association (MABA) is delighted to sponsor the Maine Flying Trail. This year we have 12 airports participating: Augusta State Airport, Bangor International Airport, Brunswick Executive Airport, Bar Harbor Airport, Caribou Municipal Airport, Knox County Regional Airport, Millinocket Airport, Mars Hill Airport, Portland International Jetport, Sanford Seacoast Regional Airport, Robert Lafleur/Waterville Airport, and Wiscasset Airport. We encourage pilots to take advantage of visiting Maine’s fine lineup of airports this season. If you land at five or more airports, you will win a free pair of lobsters, which can be picked up at Brunswick Executive Airport. More details »
2014 MRRA Demolition Project is Now Complete with 20 Buildings Removed
This spring, nearly 100,000 SF of buildings were leveled by MRRA using monies from a $1.7 million Economic Development Administration federal grant. The demo project cost about $522,000 in total. Our demolition contractor, Stephen McGee Construction of Gardiner, did a great job taking down 20 buildings. The work was done ahead of schedule and under budget with no disruptions to services. It was quite a challenging project. We took down four older buildings at Topsham Commerce Park, most of the Seabee Complex buildings, all of the small ranch-style homes on Fitch Ave., Buildings 20, 37, 41 and Building 225, plus several other smaller facilities on the airport property. The buildings were determined to be unsuitable for redevelopment.
New Dining Options at Brunswick Landing: Wild Oats, Mainely Burgers Food Truck
Wild Oats Bakery and Café is expected to open its new Brunswick Landing eatery soon. Wild Oats, which has a restaurant downtown at the Tontine Mall, is leasing the former Building 592 from Tom Wright and Seeds of Independence. They are located on the southwest corner of Pegasus Street and Burbank Ave. Tom has installed a raised bed vegetable garden nearby to help supply the restaurant with fresh produce. Some of the Seeds of Independence kids will help tend the garden. Mainely Burgers, a Portland-based food truck, made its Brunswick Landing debut on July 2nd. The truck will serve lunch each Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. They will be located in Parking Lot 12 on Admiral Fitch Ave. across from Southern Maine Community College.
Former Navy McKeen Street Housing Closing in on 100 Sales
Dave Gleason of Coldwell Banker gave us an update on sales of the former Navy housing at McKeen Street Landing. Affordable Midcoast Housing has now sold almost 100 single-family homes in the McKeen Street area, which is about three miles west of Brunswick Landing and was built for military families in the 1950s and 60s. George Schott of Affordable Midcoast Housing purchased the properties from the Navy in 2010. Schott is selling off some of the stock and renting other homes. Sales have been stronger than expected and have not had a negative impact on the local real estate market as some feared would happen when the Navy left. Dave’s statistics are quite telling and are in line with the housing strategy that was developed early on in the reuse process. More than half the homes have been sold to first-time home buyers. Three quarters of them have been sold to those with affordable home incomes ($80,000 or less). Read more »
MRRA to Move Out of Hangar 6 to Building 200
MRRA will be moving its offices to 15 Terminal Road in early August. We’ll be located on the second floor of the newly renovated former air operations and terminal (Navy Building 200). We’ve bounced around a bit since Brunswick Landing opened. We started in Building 37 at the front of campus in 2011 and then moved two years ago to our current offices at Hangar 6. This will hopefully be a more permanent move. FlightLevel Aviation (FBP) and Maine Coastal Flight have already moved to the first floor at 15 Terminal Road. Private plane storage is now in Hangar 5. Read more and view photos »
Schuman Joins MRRA Team
MRRA is pleased to welcome Kristine Schuman to the organization. Kristine recently joined us as the Business Development Coordinator. Kristine will be the administrator of TechPlace, Brunswick Landing’s Technology Accelerator project in the former Navy Building 250, and will work with new businesses and coordinate events on campus. She brings a lot of great experience in economic and workforce development and a wealth of knowledge in business incentives and assistance programs. Most recently, she worked for the State of Maine’s Department of Economic and Community Development. “MRRA is very fortunate to have someone of Kristine’s caliber on board,” said MRRA Executive Director Steve Levesque.
Annual MRRA Open House Slated for August 19th
MRRA’s Annual Open House and Barbeque will take place on August 19th at 5:30 p.m. at 8 Venture Ave. in front of the MTI building. Last year’s event was a good one with delicious food from Finest Kind and bus tours of the airport and Brunswick Landing. Contact MRRA’s Kathy Paradis for more information.