September 24, 2013

Forum on military-base redevelopment comes to Portland

By Dennis Hoey
Staff Writer

PORTLAND — The ongoing redevelopment of the former Navy base in Brunswick will be the focus of a national base redevelopment forum that will be held in Portland and Brunswick this week.

The three-day-long Association of Defense Communities’ forum, which is expected to attract representatives from across the United States, is scheduled to begin Wednesday at noon at Portland’s Ocean Gateway. It will end Friday.

Steve Levesque, Executive Director of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, which is in the process of finding tenants for the former Brunswick Naval Air Station, said the conference is an opportunity to showcase the progress the MRRA has made, as well as share some of its tips for success.

“The entire session will be focused on the tools of the trade and the ways other communities can be successful,” Levesque said.

In the five years since the MRRA’s redevelopment plan was approved, the organization has been able to attract several high quality research and development companies to the former base now known as Brunswick Landing.

Most recently, a Georgia medical company unveiled a new $47 million facility this week on the property. Earlier this month, the former Navy base also landed a deal with an aircraft refurbishing company.

More than 330 new jobs have been created during the redevelopment, the MRRA says.

Guest speakers at Wednesday’s introduction ceremony will include Robert Murdock, Director of the Association of Defense Communities, Maine Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner George Gervais, and Levesque.

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