Tory Ryden, WCSH
BRUNSWICK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Five years ago Tuesday, the Brunswick Naval Air Station was officially decommissioned, thousands of people left the state and the question loomed: What would happen at the empty base?
Five years later, we now know the answer to that question: the Brunswick base would not stay empty for long.
So much has happened at what is now called the Brunswick Landing, it’s safe to say what’s happened has more than exceeded expectations.
Since opening, The Brunswick Landing has become a vibrant community, complete with two colleges, athletics complexes, an assistant living center, international and American businesses and manufacturers. And, the growing doesn’t appear to be on the verge of stopping.
Five to 10 years ago, watching the Blue Angels slice through the summer skies overhead was the only way many could catch a glimpse of the Brunswick Naval Air Station. When BNAS was decommissioned, Steve Levesque and the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority (MRRA) stepped in with plans to reuse the space.
“It’s kind of a community within a community,” Levesque explained. And, what he envisioned five years ago has come to fruition.
“We really spend most of our time marketing to other countries, trying to attract businesses here and about the 40 businesses that are here never existed in Maine before,” Levesque emphasized. “They’re startups or they’ve come from another place like Molnlycke from Sweden and we have a biotech company Insphero from Switzerland.”
Nineteen innovative new companies to Maine are doing business at the Landing: Tempus Jets, Atayne, Greisen Aerospace, ONE Aviation, Oxford Networks Data Center, American Bureau of Shipping, FlightLevel Aviation, RollEase, STARC Systems, Grifin LLC, Wireless Sensors, AEROtech Surgical, Maritime Surveillance and MVP Aero have all settled buy clomid nolvadex uk into spaces once reserved for military activity.
In March, SaviLinx opened its call center at the Brunswick Landing, and Wayfair followed suit. So far, those who’ve moved in have brought more than 900 jobs with them.
“They have a social service component to their organization, so I put together a proposal that really fed into that, it helped what they were trying to do,” Tom Wright, a South Freeport-based architect shared.
Wright is also Executive Director of the non-profit children’s advocacy group Seeds of Independence. He brought Seeds to the Landing and is working on expanding what he calls a collaborative social service center.
“It has the potential to really be an example to the rest of the state on how we can pull these agencies into one area and create a safe place for kids,” Wright said.
He envisions a cluster of social services in one area of the Landing complex, complete with nature trails and lighting, to give it a campus feel for students.
Steve Levesque, meantime, marvels at all the good that’s happened in five years, creating new business opportunities for the entire state of Maine. “Sometimes you have to pinch yourself. It’s been very gratifying.”
Levesque recently returned from Geneva.
“We’re talking to a lot of companies that have household names like Airbus, Boeing, Honda Jets and Embriere and Bombardier and those types of companies,” Levesque shared. “We’ve been talking with them for several years and we may have projects coming up that may include some of those names.”
Levesque wouldn’t say which company, but said that the number of jobs at the Brunswick Landing will jump from 921 to 1600 before the end of the year.
Copyright 2016 WCSH