MRRA welcomes public to picnic

August 29, 2016 in News

Publication: The Times Record


The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority held its annual open house and picnic Wednesday night, providing the public a chance to talk with MRRA officials and get to know a little more about the base redevelopment.

The event drew members of the public and tenants as well as town officials, offering them a chance to speak with MRRA Executive Director Steve Levesque and take a guided tour via Maine Bus Rentals.

The event was catered by New Beet Market, with owner Nate Wildes touting the many Maine-made and in-house creations.

Maine-made red hot dogs, Maine-grown corn on the cob, black bean burgers and pulled pork sandwiches with Maine-grown pork were served along with an array of salad sides. Even the buns used were locally baked, according to Wildes.

“The exciting thing about (Brunswick) Landing is everybody’s growing together,” Wildes said. “The Landing is doing a good job of working together and grow.”

 MRRA Executive Director Steve Levesque talks with Town Council Chairwoman Sarah Brayman at the annual MRRA open house and picnic.  DOUGLAS MCINTIRE / THE TIMES RECORD MRRA Executive Director Steve Levesque talks with Town Council Chairwoman Sarah Brayman at the annual MRRA open house and picnic. DOUGLAS MCINTIRE / THE TIMES RECORD Wildes said Brunswick Landing has become a very “complementary community” where everyone is working in each other’s best interest by branding and marketing the area as “a cool place to come.”

“Every day we get people in the restaurant who say, ‘I haven’t been out here since it was an active Navy base — I can’t believe how much has changed,’” Wildes said.


Douglas Cardente is one of the developers at Brunswick Landing. He purchased the American Bureau of Shipping building on Leavitt Drive. The property was once part of the Navy Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape school program.

“It’s a new building and I think one of the best ones out here,” Cardente said.

Besides ABS, Cardente said Harpswell Coastal Academy is moving in from its former location in the same building as Seeds of Independence. Cardente said that since the building was formerly used for educational purposes, it’s a natural fit for HCA.

Cardente said that with his purchase, there came an additional 12 acres that he may develop down the road into office buildings.

“(Levesque) has been a great promoter of this area and even tonight, he just wants to make sure that every base is covered in terms of letting everyone know what’s here and what’s available,” Cardente said.

Levesque said the event has drawn in mostly members of the community, curious about MRRA and how the former base is being developed.

“It’s really just to open the place up to the community and let them know what’s going on — a lot of people don’t know,” Levesque said.

To get word out, Levesque said they sent out mass mailings and put notices in the newspapers.

Levesque said it gives MRRA a chance to dispel misinformation that people might hear. One story Levesque tries to set straight is the misconception that the town isn’t receiving property taxes from the former base. The home page of the MRRA website notes more than $2.5 million in taxes paid to the town.

Brunswick Downtown Association Director Deb King was also present at the event. King said that besides MRRA, there are many businesses at Brunswick Landing who are part of the association.

“We are really excited about the growth out here,” King said.

King said the BDA has a definite interest outside of the immediate downtown area and will continue reaching out to tenants as they arrive, such as Wayfair.

“I’m absolutely thrilled with the efforts of MRRA and the accomplishments — as everyone knows, they’ve far surpassed the expectations at an award winning pace,” King said — something that bodes well for the entire community.




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