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Updated: June 10, 2024 A Look Back

A Look Back: ‘We need to sell Maine’ — 25 years later, the topic still rings true

Biz Archive photo Steve Levesque

Steve Levesque has had a long career in economic development in Maine.

He may be best known for leading the redevelopment of Brunswick Landing, a former Navy air base that has now become one of Maine’s leading business parks, with Tech Place, and hotbed for new-home development.

He was named a Mainebiz Business Leader of the Year in 2018. By the time he retired from Brunswick Landing/Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority in 2021, the business park had generated more than 2,400 jobs at 140 businesses and had an annual payroll of $150 million.

At that time, the development had attracted more than $500 million in private-sector capital investment, as well as property sales to 20 new owners, including more than 650 units of workforce housing.

Going further back — to an issue of Mainebiz from June 1999, 25 years ago — Levesque was beating the drum for the state, as commissioner of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development.

At a speech he gave at the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments, Levesque talked about the need to promote Maine as a place to do business.

“The biggest thing we’ve found is that we really need to sell Maine,” he told the group. “Mainers don’t like to tell other people how good we are, and that’s hurting us. There’s a lot of money out there, but we’re not getting our fair share of it.”

His words are as valid now as they were 25 years ago.

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