Capt. Will Fitzgerald, left, and Steve Levesque at Brunswick Landing. Courtesy of MRRA

Steve Levesque, the longtime executive director of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, will retire from his position at the end of this year, the organization announced Wednesday.

The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority is tasked with overseeing redevelopment efforts on the former Brunswick Naval Air Station, which was decommissioned 2011.

Levesque has held his position for 16 years and has been the only executive director of the authority since its establishment in 2008.

Kristine Logan, the organization’s deputy director of innovation and development and director of TechPlace, will take over Levesque’s role in January 2022. Logan could not be reached Wednesday for additional comment.

As executive director, Levesque supervised a staff of 12 and managed an annual operational budget of nearly $7 million.

During his tenure, MRRA created more than 2,400 jobs, surpassing the previous Navy payroll of $150 million. The organization also brought more than 140 business entities to the Landing and Topsham Commerce Park — a third of which were new businesses to the state — founded Brunswick’s tech business incubator TechPlace, brought in more than $500 million in private sector capital investment and transferred more than 1,200 acres of conserved land to the town of Brunswick and the local Land Trust.


“It’s been a tremendous journey and I’ve been fortunate to have been in this role as long as I have; the past 16 years have flown by,” Levesque said. “It’s been an amazing team effort since day 1.”

According Southern Midcoast Maine Chamber Executive Director Cory King, when the base’s closure was devastating to Brunswick in terms of losing a major employer and the loss of the community’s military identity.

King said the expansion and revitalization of the base property so far has been so successful that it is not comparable to any other base in any other state.

“We are by far the outlier of the way we’ve recovered and Steve Levesque has more than probably anybody to do with that,” King added, noting Levesque’s effective strategy in hiring people to attract unique businesses that were suitable for the Landing’s infrastructure.

“I think it is going to increasingly become more of a community hub,” Town Councilor Dan Ankeles said, noting a recent council meeting at which preliminary plans were put forth for a major recreational complex at the base. “The whole idea behind bringing this area back is, not just to bring it back, but to integrate it into the rest of the town.”

According to Town Manager John Eldridge the closure, which was first announced in 2005, created its own set of financial challenges, especially when combined with the recession and other economic difficulties that the town was facing.


The US Census reported a population decrease in Brunswick from 21,172 in 2000 to 20,278 in 2010, a reduction of 894 people or about 4%. Eldridge said that this decrease, in part, could be related to the closure of the base, which resulted in about 700 jobs being lost in Brunswick.

The Redevelopment Authority’s original objective was to replace those 700 jobs and more, aiming for 1,200 jobs in 2021 — a goal which they have since met and doubled.

“They’ve done a really good job in terms of the employment and redeploying some of the assets out at the landing,” Eldridge said. “MRRA’s done really well to get things to where they are at this point, having said that there is still work to do.”

While he said he is proud of the growth at the former base so far, Levesque believes there is still more progress to be made and that Logan’s upcoming leadership will play a crucial role going forward.

“We’re really becoming a key fabric in Maine’s innovation economy which is what we wanted to be,” Levesque said. “I just see a continuation of that, continue of growth of cool companies and it really makes Brunswick a great place to live and work.”

Before departing, Levesque said he plans to continue to work on already ongoing projects at the base, such as working with the Maine Public Utility Commission to be a regulated water and electric utility and working with the Department of Environmental Protection to continue restoring the picnic pond area that the authority is going get from the Navy.

“There’s not any one specific item, we have about 15 initiatives that we’re working on and it is just a continuation of those,” he said.

In retirement, Levesque will be living in Greenville with his wife, Lisa.

“I’m going to miss the day-to-day interactions with the people and being involved in something that is really innovative and exciting,” Levesque said. “It’s been my baby since the beginning.”

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