October 1, 2010

Mid Coast Hospital to invest in center

It plans a walk-in clinic and medical offices in Brunswick's new retail and transportation center.

By Dennis Hoey dhoey@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Brunswick's new downtown retail and transportation center has brought a major tenant on board that developers say will anchor the $25 million project.

Mid Coast Hospital announced Thursday it will invest $5 million in a medical office building featuring a walk-in clinic and primary care offices at Maine Street Station.

The 20,000-square-foot clinic should be ready to open by next May or June.

"The Maine Street Station project has just taken a giant step forward toward completion with Mid Coast Hospital's decision to open the walk-in clinic and medical offices downtown. The vision of this exciting and important center of everyday activity in the community is really coming to life," J. Hilary Rockett Jr., president of JHR Development, said in a statement.

Brunswick's Planning Board approved the $25 million retail, office and housing project in June 2008. The project is located on Maine Street in downtown Brunswick, between the Hannaford supermarket and the Bowdoin College campus.

Rockett, whose development firm is located in Marblehead, Mass., is a Bowdoin graduate.

JHR's project manager, Mike Lyne, said the development already features The College Store, a Bowdoin College outlet that sells apparel and stationary. Inside The College Store is a miniature Best Buy electronics store.

The Brunswick Visitor Center, which opened earlier this year, is served daily by Concord Coach buses. The visitor center also includes a new train station that will serve Amtrak passengers once service begins in Brunswick in 2012. Located in the same building as the visitor center are two restaurants, Byrne's Irish Pub and Scarlet Begonias, as well as Park Row Interiors and a college dance studio.

The Brunswick Town Council's meeting chambers and the community cable-television studios are also located in the visitor center building.

Another element of the project is the 52-room Inn at Maine Street Station, which broke ground last month. It will be operated by the Maine-based Migis Hotel Group, which operates Migis Lodge on Sebago Lake and the Black Point Inn in Scarborough.

Lyne said the remaining phases of the project -- 16 condominiums and an 18,000-square-foot mixed-use development -- are still being planned.

"To us, it has been a long haul," Lyne said. "But considering what the community has been through with the base closure, we are really pleased."

"We've done well considering that we had to deal with the closure of the Brunswick Naval Air Station," said Dave Markovchick, Brunswick's director of Economic and Community Development. "This (Mid Coast Hospital) adds some traction to the project."

Lois Skillings, Mid Coast Hospital's executive vice president, said the walk-in clinic will be more convenient for Brunswick patients. Mid Coast's main campus is located at Cook's Corner, a few miles north of downtown Brunswick.

Walk-in clinic fees should be lower than those charged at an emergency room and operating hours will include nights and weekends. Skillings said the clinic could serve up to 10,000 people a year.

"We are so excited to be part of the vibrancy of Brunswick's downtown, not only to make high quality health care more accessible for the people of our community, but also to support this important revitalization project for our region's future," Skillings said.

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:



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