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Updated: July 24, 2023 From the Editor

Pace of construction may have slowed, but it’s still moving at a rapid clip

The past several years have been fraught with bad news about spiraling construction costs, supply-chain issues, labor shortages, rising interest rates, inflation and a host of other challenges.

Yet through it all developers and construction firms have found a way to get things done.

In Maine, the pace of construction continues in a large part because the demand is still there. We need housing of all kinds, from apartment buildings to single-family homes to smaller, more sensible structures, such as accessory dwelling units. Commercial construction projects have dialed back from the frantic push of the past few years, but you still see cranes over Portland and you’re still seeing big projects move forward.

So this issue focuses on where we are right now.

For our cover story, Senior Writer Renee Cordes looks at how commercial space has changed post-pandemic. With diminished need for office space, select spots are being converted to short-term housing. Some former WEX space in South Portland is being reused by a printer. Maine Law took over space that had, until the early days of the pandemic, been used by an organization devoted to placing international students. The economy changes, and so does real estate.  

Another major conversion is the redevelopment of the former Mercy Hospital into a mixed-use space with apartments, retail, office space and co-working. As Senior Writer Laurie Schreiber writes, a development group is putting the World War II-era building through some major changes.  

This issue also features lists of Maine’s largest engineering and architecture firms.

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