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FY 2015 Defense Spending By State report now available for download.

Brunswick Naval Air Station

Purpose: 

More than 1,224 new jobs have been created by the redevelopment of the Naval Air Station, with 100 organizations doing business at the new Brunswick Landing.

 

Brunswick NAS Today

The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority (MRRA) has set a rapid pace for its base redevelopment efforts.  As of September 2016, 2,781 acres have been transferred to the community and more than 1,224 new jobs have been created – representing 149 percent of the lost civilian jobs – with over 100 entities doing business at Brunswick Landing.  In 2016, more than $2.6 million in taxes were paid to the Towns of Topsham and Brunswick as a result of the redevelopment.

Highlights of the redevelopment effort include a newly built high-tech facility for a Swedish medical device and wound care manufacturer generating 50 jobs, and the flight line location of Tempus Jets, home to aircraft repair and completions work for Boeing and Airbus business jets with 16 jobs.  The Tech Place, an advanced manufacturing facility and business accelerator established in 2014, workforce training, and technical assistance further enhance the community’s efforts to create business opportunities and job growth at this location.

The project’s continued success is rooted in an extensive public outreach process that engaged citizens across the mid-coast Maine region to define what and how the space should be used.  From business incubation to open land and recreational facilities, the community-led redevelopment plan has been able to create viable and continued opportunity for the region. 

Background

Naval Air Station Brunswick occupied more than 3,200 acres of land across Maine’s mid-coast region.  It was recommended for closure by the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission, and officially closed in May 2011.  The 2005 Commission also recommended closure of the nearby Topsham Annex, which sat on 74 acres of land.  Before its closure, Brunswick was Maine’s second largest single-site employer.  The closing of both sites resulted in the loss of 700 civilian jobs, and 120 contractor positions.  The sites provided more than $187 million to the local economy, including $115 million in salaries, $38 million in contracts and material purchases, and $34 million in medical purchases.  In addition to base employees, the military community encompassed more than 1,650 military spouses and more than 1,400 family members.  At the time, 21 percent of military spouses filled in-demand, highly skilled positions on base or in the immediate surrounding areas.  With a local population of 34,592, the impact to the community, other employers and local schools was significant. 

The State of Maine and the Town of Brunswick established the Brunswick Local Redevelopment Authority (BLRA) to complete the base redevelopment plan, and the Town of Topsham Local Redevelopment Authority completed a redevelopment plan for the Annex.  The State of Maine established the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority (MRRA) in January 2008 to implement the plans at both locations.

Reuse goals established by MRRA included developing a mixed-use “live/work/play/educate” environment at both sites as well as connecting the annex to the surrounding residential communities.  Brunswick Landing, a business center, and the Topsham Commerce Park, along with the Brunswick Executive Airport are now part of Maine’s Center for Innovation and an integral part of the executed land reuse strategy set forth by MRRA. 

Expansive land and environmental cleanup of both Brunswick and Topsham were necessary before the redevelopment process could begin.  In 1987, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared the base a Superfund Site for chemical contamination after open-air detonation of ordnance.  From 2007 until 2015, the Navy assessed and removed ordnance from the area, and in July 2015, EPA declared the area safe with land-use controls such as signs and fencing.

At the time of closing, the unmet housing gap in the region was estimated to be between 4 and fourteen supportive-housing units and supportive services.  The BLRA established a homeless services trust fund to be capitalized by future base property sales/transfers and development to support housing and related services for homeless persons.  The $600,000 trust fund may be used for housing vouchers, lease, or purchase of supportive housing for up to eight family homes and other services. 

Updated October, 2017

Point of Contact

Steve Levesque

Executive Director

Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority

State:
ME