City completes first phase of new technology park

Portland has completed the first phase of a new technology park off Rand Road, hoping that it will expand the city’s life science industry and position Portland to compete with areas like Boston.

“With more than 40 life science businesses, the Portland area is home to the largest cluster in the state and as we look to future economic development and opportunity we need to build the infrastructure like the Portland Technology Park to support growth and attract new businesses,” Mayor Michael Brennan said in a written statement.

There are no tenants yet in the 26-acre technology park, which envisions seven lots for buildings 10,000 to 40,000 square feet.

The first phase of the project consisted of building a 1,500-foot road and associated utilities for three buildings near the Fore River Sanctuary, off Interstate 95 Exit 47.

The $1.3 million project was funded equally through local tax dollars and a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Portland firm will design new N.H. women’s prison

New Hampshire’s Executive Council has approved a $2.4 million design contract with a Maine firm for a new women’s prison in New Hampshire.

The contract with SMRT Inc. of Portland was approved at Wednesday’s meeting in Windham, N.H.

The company is expected to complete plans for the prison in 2014. Construction would start the following year, with the prison opening in 2016.

The 224-bed prison and transitional facility will be located in Concord and will cost $38 million.

The Concord Monitor reported that SMRT designed the women’s unit at the Maine Correctional Center, as well as four county jails in New Hampshire.

Single-family home starts rose 7 percent in August

U.S. builders started work in August on the most single-family homes in six months and requested permits to construct even more in future months. The figures suggest housing remains a driver of economic growth despite rising mortgage rates.

Construction of single-family homes rose 7 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 628,000, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That’s the fastest rate since February. And builders sought 627,000 permits to construct future single-family homes, 3 percent more than July and the best pace since May 2008.

– From staff and news services