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Updated: March 9, 2023

Real Estate Insider notebook: Planned Skowhegan investments will top $650 million

Courtesy / Nova Concepts As shown in a rendering, the proposal for Skowhegan's vacant Spinning Mill calls for a ground-floor Bigelow Brewing production site and up to 50 apartments.

Skowhegan has had a surge in momentum, but now there's a dollar figure attached to the growth.

Projects underway or in the planning stages in the Somerset County town will total $650 million in investment. 

At a Mainebiz "On the Road" event this week, Kristina Cannon, president and CEO of Main Street Skowhegan, and Hailey Howard, the executive director of the Skowhegan Chamber of Commerce, said the investment is giving the town momentum in seeking out other projects, including much-needed housing. 

"We are seeing existing businesses thrive and grow. There are new businesses opening all the time that are making great additions," Howard told Mainebiz. "Skowhegan is an amazing place to live and work and we are seeing that every day with the continued growth and investment. The Chamber welcomes existing and new businesses and we are here to help with their business development needs. It’s only up from here and we can’t wait to continue watching the Skowhegan region flourish."

Skowhegan's downtown has been a key part of the rebirth, but the investments will encompass the area, and include manufacturing, education, housing, energy and retail industries. 

This is not a list of every single project, but includes the larger projects on the books:

  • Sappi Somerset Mill plant upgrades: $418 million. The investment will further its mission of sustainability, increasing Paper Machine No. 2’s capacity to produce solid bleached sulfate board products, a sustainable alternative to plastic packaging.  
  • New elementary school in School Administrative District 54: $75 million
  • New Balance plant upgrades: $65 million. The Boston-based shoe manufacturer plans to double capacity and add 200 jobs at the Skowhegan manufacturing site.  
  • Redevelopment of the historic Spinning Mill, which will have 45 apartments, a ground floor Bigelow Brewing and a boutique hotel with 10 to 15 guest rooms. Developer Dash Davidson of High Tide Capital detailed plans in a Real Estate Insider last summer
  • Maine Grains expansion project: $15 million. The expansion, which is adjacent to the company's Court Street headquarters, will house a grain blending-and-packaging facility, online order fulfillment, administrative offices and rental space for entrepreneurs, among other features. 
  • Dirigo Solar project: $11 million. 
  • Skowhegan Solar LLC, with ReVision energy: $11 million
  • Broadband grant with Consolidated Communications: $10.5 million
  • The planned Skowhegan River Park development: $10 million
  • New Public Safety Building: $8 million

Sheridan marks past, looks to future

Sheridan Construction is celebrating its 75th anniversary, but it’s also looking toward the future.

The company, which is based in Fairfield, was acquired in 2022 by Daniel Wildes, who is also president. Wildes is wasting no time planning for succession. 

Courtesy / Sheridan Construction
Daniel Wildes, president of Sheridan Construction

At the Mainebiz "On the Road" event in Skowhegan, Wildes told Mainebiz that he recently sold a portion of the business to two longtime employees.

The company has been busy, with projects from central Maine south to York County. 

Projects include the Nancy Shuman Shelter for the Kennebec Valley Humane Society. In Kennebunk, Sheridan is working on a train shed for the Seashore Trolley Museum. Sheridan was the general contractor on the new recycling center at the Yarmouth Transfer Station. In Waterville, Sheridan built the Sukeforth Family Sports Center at Thomas College. At Hammond Lumber’s Portland location (off Riverside), Sheridan is managing the expansion, working with KW Architects. In Rumford, it is handling a new outpatient clinic for the VA Maine Healthcare System. 

Sheridan dates to 1947, when it was an official builder for Butler. It was acquired in 1958 by Lyle Cutchin, whose son Doug took over in 1984. After ownership by Brad Nelson and Michell Sammons, Wildes took over in 2022. 

Over its history, Sheridan may be best known for doing the 1994 construction of Hadlock Field, home of the Portland Sea Dogs Double-A team, or, in 1998, the DeLorme (now Garmin) building in Yarmouth, with the 42-foot globe known as Eartha. In East Boothbay in 2008, Sheridan handled the complex expansion of the Doughty & Washburn boatbuilding operation, working around tugboats that were being built. 

Women in Construction panel

A “Women in Construction” panel, hosted by the National Association of Women in Construction and scheduled for 2 p.m. today, will feature Stacey Harris, a general superintendent at Consigli Construction. The event is happening on Zoom. Details here

Jewett's car connection

Jewett Construction, which is based in Fremont, N.H., and is active in Maine, has always had a hand in the business of building car dealerships. In Maine, Jewett handled construction of Berlin City Lexus in Portland and Darling’s Hyundai Chrysler in Augusta.

Jewett, which is led by owner Craig Jewett and president Greg Stewart, just finished renovation of a car dealership in East Hartford, Conn.

For client Gengras Motor Cars, Jewett’s renovation covered 17,000 square feet, including updates to the showroom, service area and customer lounge area. Best of all, the work was completed without interruption to business. The dealership sells Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Volkswagen vehicles.

In 2020, Jewett partnered with Gengras on the Gengras Upper Valley Honda dealership, relocating it from New Hampshire to White River Junction, Vt.  

“These projects have gone so well that Gengras has asked us to complete additional jobs with the other brands under the Gengras umbrella. It’s always a fun and exciting experience when you have a client that gets it. The Gengras group has been very cooperative in the process; they’ve been interested in understanding the scope, understanding our process, and approaching the project as a true partner. It always makes for a great experience when you have a client that wants to be so involved. We look forward to this continued partnership; there are sure to be some amazing projects to come,” said Tom Marturano, Jewett project manager.           

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