The Right Equation for Responsible Development: Spotlight on Founders Place Campus, Bangor

In a multi-part series, exclusive to the Maine Real Estate Insider, we’ll provide an up-close look at the most notable commercial development projects of the past year that are helping to fuel Maine’s economy in terms of investment and job creation.  MEREDA is proud to recognize responsible development based upon criteria including environmental sustainability, economic impact, energy efficiency, difficulty of the development, uniqueness, social impact and job creation.

Our 2019 Top 7 recipients include:

62 Spring Street, Auburn, Anew Development / Auburn Housing
Founders Place Campus, Bangor, Bangor Savings Bank / CJ Developers
Cape Arundel Cottage Preserve, Arundel, Arundel-Kennebunkport Cottage Preserve, LLC
WEX Global Corporate Headquarters, Portland, Jonathan S. Cohen – 0 Hancock Street, LLC
Hannaford Center, Hampden, Good Shepherd Food Bank
Southgate, Scarborough, Avesta Housing
Station Square, Gorham, Great Falls Construction

MEREDA’s Board intended to honor the award winners at the 35th Anniversary Gala. Originally scheduled for the end of March 2020, the Gala was postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19. Though they may have their formal award delayed, these projects have only gained practical significance as they serve their communities–especially under additional strain and stress of these unprecedented times.  We look forward to formally recognizing these recipients at a future MEREDA event.

Please join us this week in celebrating Founders Place Campus in Bangor.

MEREDA:  Describe the building and project.

Bangor Savings Bank / CJ Developers:  Bangor Savings Bank’s new corporate headquarters consists of three primary structures on a 4.8 acre downtown waterfront campus consolidated from private and public lots.  The campus consists of three buildings: 1) a 5 level 35,500 SF Corporate Headquarters in a renovated historic structure; 2) a 5 level 120,000 SF state-of-the-art Operations Center; and 3) a new 5 level, 457 space parking garage.  Particularly noteworthy is the facility’s extensive environmental systems that include 80 geothermal wells and, at nearly 1,400-panels, one of the State of Maine’s largest solar arrays covering the parking garage.

MEREDA:  What was the impetus for this project?  

Bangor Savings Bank / CJ Developers:  Recognizing that attracting the best regional banking talent to one of the most remote urban centers of New England in a tight labor market would require providing more modern amenities, the project’s function and design was formulated to satisfy these requirements in the form of a dynamic legacy headquarter for the remainder of the 21st century.  Accordingly, the campus and facilities were planned with flexible and collaborative working environments, extensive environmental/sustainable systems and extensive and automated natural daylighting and views.

MEREDA:  That sounds like quite a process.  How long were you in the planning stages before construction started?

 Bangor Savings Bank / CJ Developers:  We were in the research and planning phase 12-18 months

MEREDA:  Tell us about the most challenging aspect of getting this project completed.

 Bangor Savings Bank / CJ Developers:  The most challenging aspect was the expedited timeframe. Bangor Savings Bank conceived of its relocation into a new headquarters in January of 2017 without determining a new location and with existing leases terminating in January of 2019.  The first prerequisite was to identify a location in the heart of downtown Bangor, where BSB was founded in 1852.  With 24 months to secure site control and permit, design and construct a new legacy campus, fast tracking the project was essential.  Within months, three adjacent properties were secured and consolidated from private and public sources and design had begun on developing the next era of founder’s vision to serve and support the City of Bangor and its residents.

MEREDA:  Something unexpected you learned along the way was….

 Bangor Savings Bank / CJ Developers:  Given the time constraints, the one thing we learned was the importance of valued business partners, such as Dunbar and Brawn, Cianbro, Sargent Corp, and all the other engineers alongside the BSB team. We had to all work toward a common goal to achieve and successfully complete a project of this size.

MEREDA:  Now that it’s complete, what feature of the project do you think makes it the most notable? 

Bangor Savings Bank / CJ Developers:  Bangor Savings Bank’s new corporate headquarters campus is prominently located on the Bangor Waterfront so as to 1) cement the future of the Bank’s headquarters in Bangor, 2) attract talent and meet the expectations of an existing workforce by adding amenities typical of an more urban environment, 3) incorporate and leverage environmentally sustainable technology into the buildings, and 4) redeveloping Bangor’s waterfront.   Ultimately, the development has brought together over 400 employees with the capacity for up to 500 professional jobs in the Bangor workforce that will spur additional business growth to the area.

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