2017-11-10 / Opinion

MRRA by the Numbers

GUEST COLUMN
BY STEVE LEVESQUE
MRRA Executive Director

The Department of Defense and the Association of Defense Communities have both recognized the redevelopment of the former NAS Brunswick as the most successful reuse effort of the 26 major bases involved in the current base closure round. Why?

• Since the closure of NAS Brunswick in 2011, over 105 business entities now call Brunswick Landing and the Topsham Commerce Park home. Nearly 40 percent of these entities did not exist in Maine before.

• More than 1,500 new jobs have been created to date, with 800 more projected within the next year, just from the existing businesses.

• The current annual payroll of business activity now exceeds $100 million annually from property reuse. The state-wide economic multiplier is projected to be a minimum of $300 million.

• TechPlace, our new technology business incubator, is home to more than 30 early stage high-tech businesses, with nearly 100 employees.

• Resident businesses exist in all six target business sectors: aerospace, advanced materials, information technology, cleantech, life science and education.

• Over $350 million has been invested by the private sector and $50 million by the public sector in the redevelopment effort.

• Nearly $160 million in new property value has been added to the tax rolls of Brunswick and Topsham.

• The redevelopment effort generates more than $3 million annually in local real estate and personal property taxes.

• 45 buildings and more than 400 acres of land have been sold to nine private sector developers and several individual businesses for active redevelopment purposes.

• 11 commercial and industrial buildings comprising more than 140,000 square feet have either been constructed or underwent major reconstruction. Three more are either now under construction or in the planning stages, totaling an additional 55,000 SF.

• Brunswick Executive Airport is really taking off, with a projected 18,000 air operations by year-end and a 10 percent annual growth in airport usage and fuel sales.

• 31 resident aircraft owners collectively pay $3,000 annually in excise taxes.

• The combined Southern Maine Community College and University of Maine campus on Brunswick Landing has an enrollment of nearly 1,000 current students.

• The 650 former Navy family housing units in Brunswick and Topsham are fully occupied, with over 230 already sold to working families. And 200 - 400 additional units in Brunswick and Topsham are in the planning stages.

• Over 1,000 acres of land (one third of total former base land) has been reserved for conservation and recreation purposes.

• 100 percent of the electric power provided to Brunswick Landing customers comes from renewable sources. With the addition of the 1.5-megawatt solar farm (now under construction), nearly 75 percent of that power will be generated on site.

• Over $3 million has been invested in critical infrastructure improvements at Brunswick Landing to date (electric, wastewater, water, roads, etc.). An additional $2 million new connector road between Admiral Fitch Avenue and Route 24 is planned for this winter.

As the numbers show, the NAS Brunswick redevelopment effort is proceeding on the course originally envisioned by the Reuse Master Plan; however, at a much faster pace than originally projected. We have clearly established Brunswick Landing as Maine’s Center for Innovation and an incredible asset for the growth of both the Midcoast and Maine economy. It is a great place to live, work and play! And we’re not done!

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