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Updated: November 13, 2023 Building Business

Building Business: Small and large, projects are still in the works

Rendering / The Downs The Downs Town Center will include 2 million square feet of commercial space.

Despite initial fears about how the construction industry would be affected by higher interest rates and continued issues with materials pricing and the labor shortage, groundbreakings are continuing at a strong pace in Maine.

Rendering / The Downs
The Downs broke ground on phase 1 of the $130 million Town Center.

The Downs broke ground on phase 1 of the $130 million Town Center, which will include commercial and retail space, boutiques, restaurants and mixed-use housing. It will also include sidewalks, trails and a central greenspace. About 2 million square feet of commercial space is planned.

The first phase of the Town Center will be completed in 2025. At full buildout, the entire project is estimated to create over $615 million in new value. It is expected to create 3,000 jobs.

Since 2018, the Downs has developed 500 units of housing of all kinds, as well as an Innovation District office-and-industrial complex. A Costco is set to open later this year. Allagash Brewing will have a tasting room, slated to open in late 2024.

In Madison, the development team of Sam Hight, Kara Wilbur and Brian Eng broke ground Oct. 20 on an affordable housing project at 55 Weston Ave., with 36 units. The project, 55 Weston Avenue LLC, is being developed in partnership with the town of Madison, MaineHousing and the state of Maine.

Kittery plan for affordable housing

Two town-owned properties in Kittery will be turned into affordable housing with a $210,000 EPA grant from Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission. The properties are located at 42-44 Old Post Road. One lot is a dilapidated house while next door there’s a former commercial mechanic’s garage. Once the sites are cleaned up, the town will transfer the properties to Kittery-based nonprofit, Fair Tide, which will build the affordable housing.

At the finish line

Photo / Peter Van Allen
The Chase branch is finishing construction in Yarmouth.

In Yarmouth, D.F. Pray General Contractors, of Seekonk, Mass., is putting the final touches on a stand-alone Chase branch, newly constructed in the Hannaford Plaza shopping center. Signs are up and the drive-thru has been paved.

In Woolwich, Ben Davis and the Even Keel family of brands opened a production and office facility at 126 US Route 1 in Woolwich. The site will produce recycled PET plastic composite panels and the EDURA Building System. “EDURA is our flagship building product used independently and in our modular structures that benefit both our customers and the planet,” Davis says.

In Portland, PM Construction, of Saco, finished the 218 Washington project, which has 45 condominium units. The developer was Chris Tyll. Design was handled by Portland-based Archetype; Sebago Technics of South Portland managed civil engineering; M2 Structural Engineering, of Windham, managed structural engineering. Staging for show units was handled by TNS Staging. Waypoint Brokers Collective is the listing broker.

In Bangor, developer Dash Davidson and High Tide Capital finished the historic renovation of 27 State St. The building, with 20 apartments, will be leased by Northern Light Health, which plans to house visiting doctors and nurses there. Construction was managed by Zack Pike of Pike Developers; engineering was done by Steve Govoni of Wentworth Partners and Associates of Skowhegan; design was managed by DJLU Architects, of New York City.

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