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August 22, 2018

Genetics firm, Waterville Creates! move into Hathaway Center

Photo / Fred Field
Photo / Fred Field
A genetics testing and research business and the city's arts and culture organization are moving into Waterville's Hathaway Creative Center.

WATERVILLE — An Ellsworth genetics testing firm and the city's arts and culture organization are the two latest tenants in the Hathaway Creative Center at 10 Water St.

GenoTyping Center of America, which has business offices in Ellsworth, has moved into 700 square feet of space at the former shirt factory building, with a total of 1,590 square feet to grow into — which is an expected need, said Garvan Donegan, director of planning & economic development at Central Maine Growth Council.

Waterville Creates! and Common Street Arts is also moving into the building in anticipation of major renovations to its quarters at 93 Main St.

The Hathaway Center has been targeting new businesses since it was bought in February 2017. Developers said in January that its redevelopment is a key to Waterville's rising economy.

Recent new businesses include a brew pub and coworking space.

GenoTyping Center of America, founded in 2012, has six employees, including four co-founders who split time with the Ellsworth office, but expects to grow quickly.

"GenoTyping Center of America has seen rapid growth of about 90% over each of the past three years," said Todd Dehm, CEO and co-founder. "We are excited about our expected growth over the next 12 to 24 months and we will be looking to increase our capacity and hire top talent, especially for technical laboratory work and process management to refine our operations as we continue to scale up."

Michael Greene, marketing director and co-founder of the company, said the move gives the company "access to an emerging technology community" in the city's downtown, as well as a skilled workforce and "innovation support systems that are essential for a startup biotech company like GenoTyping Center of America."

GenoTyping Center of America is a biotechnology company focused on genetic testing and the design, development, and commercialization of next generation genotyping to address unmet needs for research facilities and institutions around the globe, according to a news release about its new laboratory space, according to the news release.

"We are delighted to welcome such an innovative genetics company to the downtown district," said Donegan. "As the downtown's first biotechnology enterprise, GenoTyping Center of America adds to our region's diverse mix of people, facilities and resources and helps position Waterville and mid-Maine as a growing technology and knowledge-based hub."

Downtown Arts Center anticipated

Photo / Colby College rendering
Photo / Colby College rendering
A rendering of the proposed art hub at 93 Main St. being developed by Colby College and Waterville Creates!

Waterville Creates! and Common Street Arts began moving its administration and programming operations to a first-floor suite in the building this week. The organization has a two-year lease on 4,000 square feet of space, said Nate Towne, marketing manager for Waterville Creates!.

The arts and culture advocacy group's quarters at The Center, 93 Main St., will be redeveloped as part of the proposed Downtown Arts Center.

The organization wants to provide gallery patrons and community members with uninterrupted programming once the Downtown Arts Center project begins, Patricia King, vice president at Waterville Creates!, said in a news release. "We are thrilled to have found a location close to the heart of downtown that has freshly renovated studio and gallery space where we can continue to expand our diverse community-oriented programming."

The organization's Common Street Arts gallery, classroom and clay studio will move to the Hathaway building the week of Sept. 4.

Plans for the Downtown Art Center include a contemporary art gallery, part of the Colby College Museum of Art and the Maine Film Center's Railroad Square Cinema, which will relocate from Chapin Street. It will also include rehearsal space for the adjacent Waterville Opera House and other shared special events space.

Waterville Creates! is leading a community capital campaign to raise $2 million for the project.

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