Winter 2014 Redevelopment Newsletter: Brunswick Landing Sees Business Boost in 2014
Greetings and Happy New Year! We anticipate a great 2014 as we kick off the New Year. We aim to carry the momentum forward from 2013’s strong redevelopment efforts. As we noted in a recent newspaper column in the Brunswick Times Record, it’s evident that a positive impact has been made on the local and regional economies since the former base closed in 2011. The reuse implementation at Brunswick Landing and Topsham Commerce Park is recognized as one of the most successful military base redevelopment projects in the U.S. by the Department of Defense and the Association of Defense Communities. In fact, MRRA is well ahead of its 2005 BRAC peers. Through a combination of great partnerships, available property, usable infrastructure, and plain old hard work, MRRA has surpassed several of its early objectives and is well on the way to meeting some of its mid-term goals.
We continue to work with exciting new prospects that are interested in doing business in Maine. We are proud of the lineup of businesses and organizations that are here now, and we expect them to continue to thrive and grow.
SMCC Composites Technology Program, Engineering Research Lab Touted
Southern Maine Community College has one of the nation’s best Composites Technology education programs, and it’s located right here at the Midcoast Campus at Brunswick Landing. Recently, the college held an Open House. The new Maine Advanced Technology and Engineering Center (MATEC), the building where the composites classes are held, was one of the highlights of the tour. It’s an impressive facility with state-of-the-art machinery and a one-of-a-kind Composites Engineering Research Lab (CERL). This type of training program is a huge benefit to businesses looking to expand their manufacturing operations to Maine. Watch video interview with SMCC composites professor Andy Schoenberg who discusses the program and the lab.
Terminal Building Improvements Under Way, Ready by Spring for MRRA’s Move
Work continues on the former Navy Terminal and Control Tower (Building 200) on the northeast side of the airfield. Contractors are installing a new elevator, renovating offices and the lobby, and updating the HVAC systems. Work should be complete by early spring. Once it’s ready, MRRA and FlightLevel (Brunswick Executive Airport’s FBO) are slated to move their operations to the building, which offers splendid views of the airfield, especially from the control tower. Grant funds from the FAA’s Military Airports Program (MAP) are being used for this project.
MRRA Consolidates Committees for Increased Efficiency and Fewer Meetings
We’ve merged several of our old committees with the goal of more productive (and fewer) meetings for the volunteer Board of Trustees and staff. Now there are three committees — Executive, Redevelopment, and Finance, down from original six. This should help improve attendance and streamline the work. The Community Relations Committee was merged with the Executive Committee, while the new Redevelopment Committee is a combination of the former Airport, Utilities, Environmental & Energy, and Property Committees. As always, all MRRA meetings are open to the public. Check the MRRA Events Schedule or follow us on Facebook or Twitter for the latest meeting reminders and locations.
MRRA to attend MEREDA 2014 Annual Forecast Conference and Member Showcase
MRRA staff will be at the Maine Real Estate and Development Association’s (MEREDA) annual conference on January 23 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Holiday Inn By the Bay, 88 Spring Street, Portland, ME. This annual conference attracts hundreds from Maine’s real estate, construction, finance, architecture, legal, engineering, tourism, and economic development communities. It’s the largest gathering of commercial real estate professionals in Maine. If you’re attending, be sure to stop by the MRRA booth (No. 41) and say hello.
Hilary Rockett’s Group Purchases Former Topsham Commissary for Redevelopment
On November 15, MRRA closed on the sale of the former Commissary building and accompanying 5.6 acres of land at the Topsham Commerce Park with JHR Development. This sale, which is the first commercial transaction MRRA has completed in Topsham (excluding housing land), allows JHR to proceed with leases to The Maine Harvest Company and Wicked Joe Coffee, which collectively will add over 50 new jobs to Topsham and fully lease the building.
Four More Entities Added to Brunswick Landing Business Lineup
In the last couple of months, we’ve welcomed four more businesses to campus. The Town of Brunswick opened its new Recreation Center in the former Navy Field House (Building 211) on Neptune Street. The facility has been refurbished and includes two new basketball courts and an indoor track, which is about an eighth of a mile in circumference. Just across the way from Parks and Rec., two new companies – SeaChange Group and the Southern Maine Midcoast Chamber opened offices in the Maine Technology Institute building. Also D and D Automotive is leasing the former Navy service station at the corner of Burbank and Orion and will begin servicing vehicles at the site. These latest new businesses increase the number of entities doing business at Brunswick Landing to 41.
Recent newspaper headlines about redevelopment from the Times Record