Redevelopment Newsletter, June 2015: Innovators Flock to TechPlace
We’re gearing up for an extremely busy summer here at Brunswick Landing. We kicked things off with the Grand Opening celebration of TechPlace, Maine’s Technology Accelerator and Business Incubator on May 28th. Guests included Maine Gov. Paul LePage along with several local, state and national dignitaries. TechPlace has been open for four months now and we already have 14 new businesses operating inside the sprawling 94,000 SF former Navy aircraft maintenance facility. While TechPlace is filling up quickly with innovative firms, we still have plenty of space available for lease or sale to expanding companies. A prime example is Building 86, one of our top priorities at the moment. The building, located at 54 Orion Street, offers more than 35,000 SF of industrial and manufacturing space, including two 6,000 lb. overhead cranes with direct access to the flight line. We’re actively searching for a tenant who will occupy the building and create 50-100 jobs. Accordingly, we’ve targeted several industries – composites, advanced materials, textiles, biotech, and aerospace manufacturing from which to focus our marketing efforts. MRRA staff is hitting the road more than usual this year to attend multiple trade shows in order to meet as many companies as possible. Economic development doesn’t happen overnight and Maine isn’t always the first location businesses from away target when they plan expansions. We need to let the world know about the incredible business opportunities available at Brunswick Landing, Maine’s Center for Innovation, and that’s exactly what we plan to do this year. See our trade show schedule below.
Frosty’s Donuts Opens New Production Facilty at Brunswick Landing
Frosty’s Donuts celebrated 50 years of crafting donuts on National Donut Day, June 5, 2015, by opening its brand new production facility at Brunswick Landing. The ceremony included refreshments with Frosty’s famous hand-cut donuts and Wicked Joe’s coffee. Guests were able to tour the facility (former Navy Building 51) at 119 Orion Street. A local band, Klimko, provided retro hits from 1965 at the party. In the afternoon, Frosty’s held a make-your-own-donut event for families along with more tours and a glass of milk. More photos »
RollEase Donates Window Coverings to Curtis Memorial Library
On Wednesday, June 3, RollEase installed new rolling shades on most of the 11-foot windows in the Curtis Memorial Library’s historic 1904 building in Brunswick. “These new shades are a great improvement – filtering light while protecting the Rainbow Rug as well as artwork and artifacts in the original library building,” Library Director Elisabeth Doucett said. “We are grateful to RollEase for this incredible in-kind gift to the library, and its community of readers. These shades greatly enhance the experience of reading or studying in this historic room.”
Village Green Ventures Breaks Ground on Anaerobic Digester Project
VGV’s renewable energy plant ground-breaking took place Wednesday, May 27th on the south end of Brunswick Executive Airport’s ramp where the new anaerobic digester will be built. Plant construction is under way and should be complete before winter. This an exciting project and one we’ve been looking forward to as the cornerstone of the Brunswick Renewable Energy Center (BREC). Once up and running at full capacity, the plant will produce nearly 1 megawatt of power. MRRA currently handles about a 2 MW power load. Within the next year, nearly half our power requirements could be generated on site.
MRRA Closes Sale of Former Navy Firehouse in Topsham
We’re pleased to announce the sale of the former Navy Firehouse (Building 336) at Topsham Commerce Park (TCP). The Firehouse will become a new gymnastics facility, known as Firehouse Tumbling. MRRA Executive Director Steve Levesque said the sale proceeds will be dedicated toward clean-up of the remainder of the TCP triangle. We will demolish 13,000 SF Building 333 (47 Can Am Drive) and complete the foundation demolition of the former Marine complex.
Airport Continues Growth in Traffic, Fuel Sales
We’re forecasting a record-breaking year at Brunswick Executive Airport (BXM). With the Great State of Maine Air Show and the Brunswick Fly-In on the schedule this summer, we’re poised for our best season ever for fuel sales as well as airport operations. Last year we had more 13,500 operations and sold 238,576 gallons of fuel. Those figures should be easily toppled this year as more pilots discover the convenience of BXM.
Brunswick Landing to be Touted Round the World
Business attraction is a key area of focus for MRRA this year. We recently landed a $50,000 “Invest in Maine” grant from the Maine International Trade Center to boost our global outreach efforts this year. MRRA had to match the grant from its own budget and actually committed nearly twice the amount required. Now it’s time for the staff to execute. We’ve signed up for twice as many international trade shows than we normally attend in order to meet growing companies engaged in all of our target sectors – aerospace/aviation, composites/advanced materials, biotech/biomed, IT, and renewable energy. We’ve already attended Techtextil in Frankfurt am Maine, Germany (May 4-7), the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE2015) and JEC Americas (composites) in Houston June 1-4. Other shows we’ll be at include Bio International in Philadelphia (June 15-18), The Paris Air Show in France (June 15-21), World Congress of Industrial Biotechnology in Montreal (July 17-21), and Composites and Advanced Materials Expo (CAMX) in Dallas (Oct. 27-29).
HUB Zone Legislation Gets New Life
After several tries at expanding the federal Historically Under-utilized Business Zones (HUBZones) at Brunswick Landing, it looks like a bill sponsored by Rep. Bruce Poliquin and a second piece of legislation, sponsored by Sens. King and Collins, may finally make it through Congress. HUBZone expansion will help current Brunswick Landing businesses and boost MRRA’s business attraction efforts. HUBZones allow small businesses located on former military bases or economically distressed communities with high rates of poverty or unemployment to obtain certain federal contracting preferences. Current HUBZone law requires 35 percent of employees in a qualifying business to live within the geographic boundaries of the closed base, a provision that is difficult for former bases like the one in Brunswick to meet. The HUBZone Expansion Act would allow prospective employees who live just outside the boundaries of the closed base to count toward the 35 percent requirement, and would extend the period of time for which a closed base would qualify from five years to eight years.
TechPlace Proves Popular with Entrepreneurs, Innovators
In just three months since TechPlace opened for business, 14 companies are already operating in the new technology accelerator. TechPlace is bustling with activity as new firms have moved in to take advantage of inexpensive rent, co-working space, shared office equipment, small manufacturing space, business development mentoring and much more. Current business lineup: Aerotech Surgical, Atayne, Bourgeois Guitars, Drummond Woodsum, Greisen Aerospace, Griffin LLC, Harbor Digital, Insphero, Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Maritime Surveillance, SonicBlue, STARC Systems, Tempus Jets, and University of Maine.
MRRA Chief Steve Levesque Earns ADC’s Community Award
Steve Levesque, Executive Director of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, has been selected as recipient of the 2015 Community Leadership Award, the Association of Defense Communities announced recently. “This is a tremendous honor. It’s really an award that recognizes the passion, dedication and hard work the MRRA team has put into the redevelopment of the former Naval Air Station Brunswick.” Steve said. Read more »
Hoyle Tanner Opens New Offices in Hangar 6
Engineering firm Hoyle Tanner and Associates is the latest business to expand to Brunswick Landing. The growing company, based in New Hampshire, needed larger space for its Maine office after initially moving to Winthrop two years ago. Hoyle Tanner is located in Hangar 6 (in MRRA’s former offices) at 2 Pegasus Street, Suite 1, Unit 200. MRRA has been working with Hoyle Tanner for several years on airport improvement projects. Having them close by is a win-win all around.
Featured Property: Buildings 654 and 658
Last fall, MRRA demolished the two former Navy fuel farm tanks, which combined, held more than 1 million gallons of aviation fuel. This project yielded several tons of scrap metal while making the area much more scenic. We removed most of the pipeline infrastructure and pumps. Several acres of land and two smaller buildings that we believe are suitable for redevelopment were preserved. The buildings are both around 2,000 SF and could be used for multiple business activities, including light manufacturing and equipment maintenance. Both buildings have overhead doors and potential shop space. Building 654 is set up more for purely industrial activities, while 658 has some space that could used for a small office with about half shop space. A creative tenant may be able find a way to use them together for one business. They are located in a quiet area just off Katahdin Drive with the airport and SMCC within walking distance. There is plenty of parking and space for delivery trucks as well. If you’d like to take a look, please fill out a MRRA Business Information Form and call the MRRA office at 207-798-6512.
UMaine-Augusta Launches New Aviation Degree Program at Brunswick Landing
Brunswick Landing will be the home the state’s first aviation training degree program. For the first time in Maine, students are able to attain their Bachelor degree and become an FAA certified commercial pilot under one program at the University of Maine at Augusta. There is a growing demand for pilots in the U.S. and abroad, and commercial airlines prefer to hire pilots with a B.S. degree. The program will be split between Augusta and Brunswick. Students at Brunswick will have access to housing and classes will be open to those without prior flight training. Read article about new aviation program in Kennebec Journal »
SMCC Composites Program Receives National Press
The Composites Manufacturing magazine recently published an article on the sometimes frayed connection between the composites industry and composites training academic programs. Southern Maine Community College and its composites technology program and composites engineering research lab located at Brunswick Landing was featured prominently in the story. Read article in Composites Manufacturing Magazine »
Coastal Landing Project Coming Along
Rousseau Enterprises is making rapid progress on transforming the former Navy Hotel (Building 750) into an apartment complex and assisted living facility called Coastal Landing. The building has changed hands in recent years. Rousseau purchased the hotel, which was once one of the largest in the State of Maine, from George Schott last year after George purchased it from MRRA in 2013. The 115,000 SF building is undergoing extensive renovations. A new portico is being built on the front and the rooms are being converted to independent and assisted living apartments. Also, in the works – a family room, multi-media, game room, chapel, and cafeteria, and a new elevator is being installed. The opening is slated for late this summer.
Kestrel, Eclipse Merge to Form ONE Aviation
Kestrel, based at Brunswick Landing, and Eclipse, a New Mexico-based aircraft company have teamed up as a new company — ONE Aviation Corporation. The new company will design, develop, and manufacture a family of aircraft, each of which will be a market leader in its category and class. ONE Aviation’s core products include the Eclipse 550 twin-engine light jet and the Kestrel K350 single-engine turboprop. Kestrel’s manufacturing operations are split between Maine and Wisconsin with the Brunswick operation focused on carbon-fiber composites parts production. “We are excited to announce the formation of ONE Aviation. I feel privileged to lead this experienced team of aviation professionals as we increase production of the Eclipse Jet, further the development of the Kestrel turboprop, and build a suite of General Aviation products second to none in the industry,” stated Alan Klapmeier, CEO of ONE Aviation.