The Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA), the state’s leading organization promoting responsible real estate development, honored projects from Portland to Biddeford to Bangor, with each receiving special recognition at MEREDA’s 2023 Spring Conference on May 25th.
Each year, MEREDA recognizes some of the state’s most “noteworthy and significant” real estate projects, completed in the previous year. The exemplary projects from across the state, completed in 2022, not only embody MEREDA’s belief in responsible real estate development, but also exemplify best practices in the industry, contributing to Maine’s economic growth by significant investment of resources and job creation statewide.
Each of the seven projects was selected in part based upon criteria including: noteworthy and significant project completed* in 2022 (*Building Occupancy Permit issued by 12.31.22), environmental sustainability, economic impact, energy efficiency, social impact, uniqueness, difficulty of development and job creation.
The recipients of MEREDA’s Top 7 Most Notable Projects of 2022 include:
• Chinburg Properties and LHL Holdings’ Lincoln Hotel & Lofts in Biddeford, is another successful adaptive re-use of a former textile mill in the expansive Biddeford/Saco Mills Historic District. The city of Biddeford saw the potential in restoring the mills and supported the effort of this project and others with community support, infrastructure improvements, and thoughtful planning. The Lincoln Mill was converted into a vibrant mixed-use property by the team of Chinburg and Atlantic Holdings and is now home to The Lincoln Hotel, a 33-room boutique hotel, 147 modern apartments, Batson River Restaurant, Impact Fitness, and Immortalata Nutrition. The property is the first in southern Maine with a rooftop pool and social space.
• Community Concepts, Inc. & Avesta Housing’s Gauvreau Place is located in the heart of Lewiston. Gauvreau Place has great significance for the community. Developed by Community Concepts Inc. (CCI) in partnership with Avesta Housing, Gauvreau Place consists of 35 apartments, of which 28 are affordable and seven are market rate. Energy efficiency features include a building envelope equipped with high R-value insulation that exceeds building codes, water-conserving fixtures, and Energy Star qualified windows, appliances, and lighting. Gauvreau Place provides much-needed affordable housing for Lewiston, where rents have increased significantly in recent years. Among the new residents, there are 17 households who were living in a shelter or a hotel when they applied, and four households at risk of becoming homeless.
• Bateman Partners, LLC’s Shipyard Brewing Redevelopment in Portland, is truly a mixed-use development, consisting of office, pharmaceutical manufacturing, brewery, hotel, and residential uses, all wrapped around, and over, a pre-cast concrete parking structure. Bateman Partners was asked by Shipyard Brewing to participate in the redevelopment of this property and the final plan created over 450,000 SF of new structures, representing the largest project built on the Portland peninsula in over 35 years. One of the major challenges faced during construction were the existing site conditions. The environmental remediation of the underlying soils, which were contaminated, required over $2M dollars in removal costs. The completed project represents an example of how a collaborative effort between the city, abutting neighbors, and owners can accomplish responsible development that is meaningful.
• Portland Foreside Development Company’s Reconstruction & Reuse of Historic Building 12 in Portland has embarked on a multi-phased project to revitalize and reimagine a 10-acre neighborhood along Portland’s historic eastern waterfront. The reconstruction and reuse of Historic Building 12 was a complex piece of this larger project. After a detailed evaluation found it to be in poor condition, Foreside Development worked with a talented team, including the City of Portland, to undertake significant planning, permitting, documentation and preservation efforts that resulted in the disassembly, relocation, and reconstruction of historic Building 12. With careful documentation of the original building, including 360 laser scans of the facades, the original masonry structure was fully disassembled. The brick was cleaned and stored, and the post and beam timber, as well as salvageable joists and floorboards, were saved for reuse. The Building 12 footprint was then relocated 200 feet from its original location to a new home at 115 Thames Street, making way for construction of the roadway network identified in the City’s Master Plan. Historic Building 12 now houses a restaurant (TWELVE), office space, and a residential condominium, and has maintained its most notable feature – the recognizable ‘Portland Co.’ sign painted on the exterior western facade.
• Zachau Construction’s L.L.Bean Corporate Headquarters in Freeport, a $110M, 390,000 SF Building, sits prominently on Route 1 in Freeport and has unique building features, including large entrance columns and a 900-seat conference center and events center. L.L.Bean decided to redevelop an existing warehouse building and create an office for the entire company to share. With multiple gathering spaces throughout the headquarters, it’s designed to be a place of collaboration. The pandemic actually expedited the project timeline by almost two years while L.L.Bean had their employees working from home. By providing this new facility for their employees, L.L.Bean is investing not only in the state but in their people.
• Developers Collaborative’s Freedom Place at 66 State Street in Portland originally planned to be redeveloped into market-rate condominiums, a new vision was created for the building as a transitional housing complex for women after Developers Collaborative built a relationship with Amistad, a non-profit social services agency. Known as Freedom Place, this fulfills a significant unmet need in the Portland community and is a rare example of anti-gentrification. The facility provides residents with 38 single-occupancy bedrooms, communal bathrooms and kitchens, and gathering spaces, and Amistad offers residents wrap-around services including vocational training and treatment and recovery programming. Furthermore, to provide a full continuum of housing options for the community, a second phase of development providing 30 additional units of affordable housing is currently under construction on the site. The project enhanced the energy efficiency of the existing building and reinvigorated the existing on-site geothermal well to provide heating and cooling to both Freedom Place and the adjacent new affordable housing development. Freedom Place’s geothermal well has the distinction of being the first built in the city of Portland.
• JB Brown & Sons & FD Stonewater’s 68,000 square foot Department of Veteran Affairs / New Community-Based Outpatient Clinic in Portland services more than 100,000 Maine veterans with primary care and specialty health services. The clinic also serves as a teaching site with space dedicated to enhancing affiliate relationships with Tufts Medical School and Maine Medical Center. The exterior design honors veterans, incorporating large graphics of service members in the two-story glass entry. An adjacent three-story, 385-space parking garage offers easy access into the clinic with a drop-off circle. Equipped with over 1,500 Solar Panels, the Clinic is the largest parking garage-mounted solar canopy in the State. The project also added a 10-foot pathway running the 1,400-foot length of the property, making the West End neighborhood more pedestrian-friendly.
MEREDA congratulates its 2022 Notable Project Award Recipients and thanks its Membership for their continued commitment to responsible development in Maine. Each project will be recognized in the Maine Real Estate Insider e-newsletter published by Mainebiz, running Summer of 2023.