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After 10 years, job creation at former Brunswick base exceeds expectations

FREEPORT — The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority discussed a decade of achievements and future goals at its 10th annual meeting on Wednesday evening at the Hilton Garden Inn.

Executive Director Steve Levesque provided a recap of the group’s major milestones over the course of the past 10 years, focusing on its redevelopment of Brunswick Landing, Topsham Commerce Park and Brunswick Executive Airport.  

Levesque outlined the difficult task MRRA was faced with in the mid-2000s, when converting the former Brunswick Naval Air Station into Brunswick Landing, the business campus now home to several companies, and the Brunswick Executive Airport.

“There were some scary days back when I came on in 2006,” he said. “They said ‘How are you going to deal with this?’ And I said, ‘One bite at a time.'”

Levesque added that redeveloping a military base came with its own set of unique challenges, and the original decision not to sell the property to a developer also required a lot of thought. He said the team knew the area might have gotten caught in limbo if it sold, especially when the recession hit.

“We made a decision in 2007,” Levesque said. “We could’ve gone out to bid in 2007… people might’ve bought the property, but sat on it for 10 or 15 years.”

Levesque said MRRA’s three major redevelopment projects have created more than 1,500 jobs, 103 businesses and generated $3 million in tax revenue.

At a board of trustees meeting before the dinner, Levesque said the number of jobs created has far exceeded his original hopes for Brunswick Landing.

“Our projections (for employment) was around 700 jobs,” he said. “So we’ve doubled where we thought we’d be in job creation.” 

He added that one of Brunswick Landing’s short-term goals is to recover the level of civilian employment that was present at the time the U.S. Navy base was operating. 

Read the complete article here.

The information above is for general awareness only and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Economic Adjustment or the Department of Defense as a whole.



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