Penciling the Future: MEREDA Spring Conference Highlights Opportunities for Developing Projects Aligned with Maine’s Needs

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The Greater Portland Retail Forecast for 2024

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Listen Up! The May 2024 Episode of the “MEREDA Matters” Podcast is Now Available!

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MEREDA’s Morning Menu – Wet & Wild: Developing in Maine’s Changing Climate

June 5, 2024 – 8:30 – 10:00 AM
Buffet Breakfast: 8:30-9:00 am
Program: 9:00-10:00 am

In-Person – Pre-registration is required.

NEW LOCATION!
McGoldrick Career & Student Success Center
35 Bedford Street, Portland, ME

Seating Capacity: 100 – We will not be able to accommodate walk-ins.

About the Event:

As we all know, the water levels in Maine aren’t the only things rising and we need to take action to build resilience in our communities. Businesses and individuals are all affected and it is becoming increasingly important to take action at the local level and address the impacts of climate change on our water resources, infrastructure, and communities.

During this event, we’ll be discussing the various challenges and opportunities that arise when building in a changing climate. From rising sea levels to extreme weather events, we’ll explore how we can adapt and build resilience in our communities. Join us on June 5th for an engaging and informative discussion on climate resiliency. We can’t wait to see you there!

Refund Policy: 
Your RSVP is requested by May 29. Payment is expected at the time of registration. No refunds will be granted to anyone who registers, but fails to attend or who cancels after May 29.

Ticket Prices:
Members: $45 each | Non-Members: $55 each
Prices increase by $10 after May 29.

EVENT PARKING:  Everyone that parks on the USM Campus in the Bedford Street Garage has to use the digital parking system. You can pre-register for your parking session or do it upon arrival. To avoid a parking citation, you must begin your digital parking session – and pay – within 10 minutes of parking.  You can also pre-schedule your session.  Click Here to Download the Event Parking Instructions.

By purchasing these tickets, you confirm that you have read and understand the Event Parking information provided by the McGoldrick Career & Student Success Center above.

Register HERE

This event is Sponsored by Norway Savings Bank.

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MEREDA to Host Spring Conference on Developing Successful Projects That Meet Maine’s Evolving Needs

On May 15, 2024, the Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) will host a conference that delves into upcoming changes that will impact every developer in Maine. With insightful presentations and multifaceted discussions, MEREDA’s Spring Conference brings together a line-up of national, regional, and local speakers and panelists to discuss how development projects can be feasible and contribute positively to evolving societal needs.

“Maine’s development landscape is changing,” says MEREDA President Craig Young. “We desperately need development projects that will provide solutions to the affordable housing crisis and climate change. It can be very challenging for developers to make the numbers work when penciling out those projects, but it is possible. Our Spring Conference brings together industry experts for a discussion on how to navigate the challenges of aligning development goals with projects that will create a brighter future for Maine. It will be a great opportunity to learn from people who are making responsible development happen in innovative and exciting ways.”

Kicking off the conference, MEREDA will host Jonathan Tate, an award-winning architect from New Orleans, who brings an international perspective on housing development and urban planning. The conference will also include an economic presentation from Kenneth J. Entenmann of NBT Bank. Rounding out the conference will be two engaging panel discussions on topics ranging from Historic Tax Credits to Portland’s ReCode. Panelists include Kevin Kraft and Nell Donaldson from the City of Portland; Nate Marcet, a CPA from Albin, Randall & Bennett; Jonathan Culley, Principal at Redfern Properties; Tyler Norod, Development Director at Westbrook Development Corporation; John Egan, Senior Program Officer for Strategic Initiatives at the Genesis Fund; and Jason Howe, Partner at Preti Flaherty.

MEREDA will also recognize its 2023 Notable Project recipients at the Spring Conference. The conference will be held at The Holiday Inn By the Bay from 1pm to 5pm on Wednesday, May 15. An application has been submitted for Continuing Education Credits. This event is sponsored by NBT Bank; Preti Flaherty; Mainebiz; Evernorth; Daigle Commercial Group; Sebago Technics; Albin, Randall & Bennett; Criterium Engineers; Efficiency Maine; Pierce Atwood; and SageStone.

Registration details can be found at www.mereda.org.

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RECAP OF FEBRUARY 29, 2024 MEREDA REGIONAL FORECAST

By Chris Paszyc, CCIM, SIOR | The Boulos Company – Partner, Broker

On February 29th Chris Paszyc participated on the “Regional Outlook” Panel at the Maine Real Estate & Development Association’s (MEREDA’s) 2024 Annual Forecast Conference. Below is a recap from his presentation.

AUGUSTA

The office market in Augusta has proved to be resilient and often surprising, bucking regional and national trends.  Office leasing and sales have held up well despite the work-from-home movement.  Furthermore, rents have seen an uptick in the past 12-18 months.  Augusta also had one of the largest investment sales to occur in Maine at Central Maine Commerce Center, which sold for $18.5 million in 2023.

On the residential front, Augusta’s City Council has a stated goal to encourage new and varied types of housing development.  This has led to a variety of single-and-multifamily project to be permitted.  However, many of them have yet to be constructed.  Given the difficulty and costs associated with debt, equity and construction pricing juxtaposed with market rents, it may be a while before we see shovels in the ground.  The leadership at Augusta also want to see industrial development, as their vacancy rate is practically zero.  Again, given the high costs of new development versus market rents, it will be difficult to move new developments forward.

WATERVILLE

Waterville continues to excite!  According to a recent tally by the Central Maine Growth Council, downtown initiatives investment now total over $100 million.  Some exciting projects on the slate for 2024-2025 include the Head of Falls Village on Front Street, spearheaded by a partnership of Todd Alexander at Renewal Housing and Josh Benthien at Northland.  This is the new 63 units planned, with a project budget of $36 million.  Demo and site remediation to start Spring 2024.  In addition, North River has 145 new units planned at Lockwood Mills – 65 units of workforce and market rate in Phase 1, with 80 more planned in Phase 2.  There’s also 120,000 sf of new industrial planned for the new Trafton Rd exit, a new Reny’s and a new $60 million performing arts center at Colby.

LEWISTON/AUBURN

In Lewiston/Auburn, there’s demand for housing – a market study states there is demand for 2,600 new market rate units, with downtown capturing 560 of those units.  There are numerous housing projects in various stages of development:

  • Jason Levesque and Joe Mannisto have 320 units with approvals near Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston
  • The Residences at Great Falls on the Androscoggin have 244 units approved
  • Dave Gendron has site plan approval for over 200 units in Lewiston, and John Gendron has 96 now permitted, with plans for over 1,100 in Auburn
  • In all, Auburn as 475 new units in the pipeline for since 2020

However, the office market outlook for L/A is uncertain.  There are a number large office buildings currently not utilized.  In all, we estimate over 700,000 sf currently sitting idle or underutilized.  The alternatives are industrial conversion, housing or retail.  Or smaller subdivided office, just not likely with the existing tenants.

Industrial continues to dominate with very little functional vacancy.  Dave Gendron has started construction on another spec multi-tenanted flex industrial building in Auburn and permitting another in Lewiston after recently filling the last remaining vacancy.

In conclusion, Auburn is vying to become one of Maine’s federally designated Tech Hubs for advancement of innovative forest bioproducts with a large industrial project in the works around Exit 75.  That will be making headlines in 2024.

THE “DARK HORSE”

My “dark horse” bet for 2024 is the Jay Paper Mill redevelopment.  Developers are going thru SLODA to subdivide the land and buildings to make available for lease and purchase opportunities.  They’re also going thru with a gas turbine and solar facility taking advantage of the 150MW interconnect.  Recently, they announced a deal to sell a 60-acre parcel to construct a 300,000 sf plant that will manufacture oriented stand board (OSB).  However, it’s just the start for this 1,000 acre site with 900,000 sf of existing high-bay industrial space.

In summary, Central Maine remains an integral component of Maine’s commercial real estate landscape.

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MEREDA to Host Spring Conference on Developing Successful Projects That Meet Maine’s Evolving Needs

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Listen Up! The April 2024 Episode of the “MEREDA Matters” Podcast is Now Available!

A Conversation with Nate Green & Chris Marshall of GreenMars

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MEREDA’s Morning Menu – Residential Check-In

April 25, 2024 – 8:30 – 10:00 AM
Buffet Breakfast: 8:30-9:00 am
Program: 9:00-10:00 am

In-Person – Pre-registration is required.

NEW LOCATION!
McGoldrick Career & Student Success Center
35 Bedford Street, Portland, ME

Seating Capacity: 110 – We will not be able to accommodate walk-ins.

EVENT PARKING:  Everyone that parks on the USM Campus in the Bedford Street Garage is required to use the digital parking system. You can pre-register for your parking session or do it upon arrival. To avoid a parking citation, you must begin your digital parking session – and pay- within 10 minutes of parking.  You can also pre-schedule your session.  Click Here to Download the Event Parking Instructions.

About the event: Dive deep into the pulse of today’s residential market at our April 25th breakfast panel discussion, at the McGoldrick Career & Student Success Center at USM in Portland. We welcome experts from across the state to dissect market dynamics, analyze trends, and strategize for success. We will discuss the recent class action law suit, among other important influences on our current marketplace.

Space is limited, so reserve your spot today and elevate your knowledge of the residential real estate market in Maine. Don’t miss this chance to gain a competitive edge, forge valuable connections, and unlock the insights that will drive your success in today’s dynamic market.

Our expert panel include Nova Tower, Partner & Broker at Waypoint Brokers Collective, Julie Dawson Williams, CEO & Broker/Owner of Dawson Inc., and Adam Shub, Partner at Preti Flaherty.  Moderating the panel is MEREDA Board Member, Gwen Hulit, Mortgage Loan Officer at US Bank.

Join us!

Refund Policy: Your RSVP is requested by April 18. Payment is expected at the time of registration. No refunds will be granted to anyone who registers, but fails to attend or who cancels after April 18.

Ticket Prices:
Members: $45 each | Non-Members: $55 each
Prices increase by $10 after April 18.

Parking Note:
By purchasing these tickets, you confirm that you have read and understand the Event Parking information provided by the McGoldrick Career & Student Success Center above.

Register HERE

This event is sponsored by Norway Savings Bank.

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MEREDA’s Strikes for Scholars Bowl-a-Thon Fundraiser 2024

MEREDA returns to Bayside Bowl in Portland for it’s Annual Strikes for Scholars Bowl-a-Thon Fundraiser on May 2, 2024!

May 2 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Consistent with the tradition of this event, all proceeds will support students pursuing studies and experience in the building trades. Past recipients of the donations have included Maine’s Community College System, the ACE Mentor Program of Maine as well as the AGC Maine Education Foundation.

MEREDA began this event to support students in the building trades and professions 11 years ago and has continued to grow and support the program. Since the fundraiser’s inception, MEREDA is proud to have raised and donated over $166,000 in scholarships helping over 150 Maine students.

We are now accepting applications for Bowling Teams! This event sells out quickly, so download and complete the 2024 Strikes For Scholars Bowl-a-Thon Fundraiser Application and Return with your Payment as soon as Possible!

Want to Increase Your Company’s Credibility and Visibility within Maine’s Commercial Real Estate Sector?

For $1500, sponsors are featured in emails about the event, you can display your company banner at the event, you’ll be mentioned at the event, and we’ll post a number of posts on our social media platforms. The best benefit is that all the net proceeds go directly to deserving Maine students!

We are also looking for a sponsor for our Raffle Drawings of $400.

What you get:

“Pay it Forward” with 100% of net proceeds funding the scholarship program

• Sponsorships provide high visibility on press releases, publications, social media mentions, the MEREDA website and signage at the event.

• Opportunity to be creative! Best Team Shirts gets a Summer Bowling Party!

BRING CASH! We’ll be raffling off two $200 Cash Prizes so come prepared to purchase raffle tickets!

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