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August 22, 2018

FAME approves financing for Thompson's Point project

Courtesy / Maine Preservation
Courtesy / Maine Preservation
Forefront Commons I LLC has received a direct loan of $495,000 from the Finance Authority of Maine to help renovate a historic former rail building as part of a larger construction project at Thompson's Point in Portland, shown in the aerial view above.

About FAME

FAME is a quasi-independent state agency that provides innovative financial solutions to help Maine people and businesses pursue educational and business opportunities. FAME helps to lead the creation of good-paying jobs for Maine citizens by working at the nexus between economic and workforce development. Its Direct Loan Program provides new or existing Maine businesses with flexible gap financing. In fiscal year 2017, FAME provided loans to 20 Maine businesses totaling approximately $5.1 million. This helped to create and retain 351 Maine jobs.

The board of Finance Authority of Maine approved a direct loan of $495,000 to Forefront Commons I LLC to help renovate a historic former rail building as part of a larger construction project at Thompson's Point in Portland.

The action, which was taken at the board's Aug. 16 meeting, is expected to help create and retain 12 Maine jobs, according to a FAME news release.

The renovation of the building known as "Brick Burb" is part of a larger $3.3 million project involving construction of a new building as part of a land swap designed to relocate Suburban Propane's facility from Thompson's Point to a replacement site on Riverside Street in Portland, as well as demolition and clean-up of existing buildings on the site.

Thompson's Point is spearheaded by principals Christopher Thompson and Jed Troubh. Since the project began in 2009, the 30-acre property has evolved from a derelict former railroad yard to a vibrant, mixed-use neighborhood bringing together a wide variety of Maine companies and family-focused entertainment.

The area hosts outdoor concerts with views of the Fore River and also includes the Brick South Event Venue and an outdoor ice skating facility.

Current tenants include:

  • Cellardoor Winery.
  • Bissell Brothers Brewing Co.
  • Stroudwater Spirits Distillery.
  • Locally Sauced Restaurant.

Additionally, the Children's Museum and Theatre of Maine will be moving to the site with a newly constructed building expected to open in the fall of 2019. The 148-room Hotel Portland, part of the Tribute portfolio by Marriott, is also on track to break ground this year and open in 2020.

"FAME is pleased to support Forefront Commons I LLC's plans for site improvements and continued development," FAME Board Chair Jay Violette said in the news release. "We are happy to help facilitate this transaction to help Thompson's Point continue its impressive growth and position itself for long-term success."

Thompson said he and his partners were grateful for FAME's continued support.

"This financing helps us take another step toward realizing our vision of creating a live/work/learn environment that is open to all," he said.

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