The sound of vehicles on the Maine Turnpike has yet to be supplanted by the hum of industry at the Portland Technology Park off Rand Road.

Yet as the city seeks bids from real estate companies to broker sales for three vacant lots at the site, Economic Development Director Greg Mitchell said the purpose of the park remains unchanged.

“I still believe the original vision should be maintained,” Mitchell said Friday. “We are going to test the waters and see who would be interested and how they might approach marketing differently.”

Bids are scheduled to be opened May 3. City records show five companies have asked for information, including the Dunham Group, which markets the lots now.

A marketing brochure shows lots available at the Portland Technology Park. Photo from PortlandMaine.gov

The scope of services offered by a broker comprises 40 percent of the evaluation criteria. The cost proposal is 35 percent, and bidder experience and qualifications are 25 percent of criteria.

The lots for sale range from 1.3 to 3.5 acres, priced from $270,000 to $600,000, according to a sales brochure. They are part of the first phase of development on 26 acres, where one lot was sold in 2015 to Patrons Oxford, an insurance company that moved from Auburn and opened offices in 2017.

The company did not fit the profile sought for the Technology Park, but Mitchell said the proximity to the turnpike made the land attractive to the buyers.

The city earned $150,000 from the sale, but also repaid Patrons Oxford $215,000 for the buyer’s cost of extending the public road and utilities, according to a July 2015 amendment to the purchase agreement.

When the first four sites are occupied, a second phase of development on three more lots will begin, according to the request for proposals.

The technology park concept dates to 2010, and the city broke ground to build the access road and install utility infrastructure in 2013. Funding came from a $1.3 million split of a U.S. Department of Commerce grant and local funds.

On Thursday, Justin Lamontagne of the Dunham Group declined to comment on the level of interest from potential buyers for the sites. On April 18, The Forecaster filed a Freedom of Access Act request with the city for the names of parties interested in buying the unoccupied sites.

Negotiations on land sales can be made in executive session. The city has in the past released names and details of property bidders for sites, including the former city-owned parking lot at Thames and Hancock streets that will become home to Wex Inc., and for the six parcels in Bayside that the city sold as it shifted its Public Works Department to Canco Road.

Mitchell said interest does exist for the lots, which offer better potential for biotech or other science-related industries than most properties on the city’s peninsula.

Proximity to the turnpike and space to build offices, sophisticated manufacturing operations that require government approvals, and warehouses are all components that should lure niche companies, he said.

Amenities also include the potential for a Portland Trails connection, he said.

Mitchell said biotech company CEOs told the city it needed a corporate business park setting. “It has taken some time to find the right matches,” he said, “but having the sites available will allow us to capture the opportunities.”

David Harry can be contacted at 781-3661, ext. 110, or at:

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