At its August 16 board meeting, the members of the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) approved a direct loan totaling $495,000 to Forefront Commons I, LLC, to help renovate an historic former rail building as part of a larger construction project at Thompson’s Point in Portland.
FAME’s action is expected to help create and retain twelve Maine jobs. The renovation of the building known as “Brick Burb” is part of a larger $3.3 million project involving construction of a new building as part of a land swap designed to relocate Suburban Propane’s facility from Thompson’s Point to a replacement site on Riverside Street in Portland, as well as demolition and clean-up of existing buildings on the site.
Thompson’s Point is spearheaded by principals Christopher Thompson and Jed Troubh. Since the project began in 2009, the thirty-acre property has evolved from a derelict former railroad yard to a vibrant, mixed-use neighborhood bringing together a wide variety of Maine companies and family-focused entertainment. The area hosts outdoor concerts with views of the Fore River, and also includes the Brick South Event Venue and an outdoor ice skating facility. Current tenants include Cellardoor Winery; Bissell Brothers Brewing Co.; Stroudwater Spirits Distillery; and Locally Sauced Restaurant. Additionally, the Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine will be moving to the site with a newly constructed building expected to open in the fall of 2019. The 148-room Hotel Portland, part of the Tribute portfolio by Marriott, is also on track to break ground in 2018 and open in 2020.
“FAME is pleased to support Forefront Commons, I, LLC’s plans for site improvements and continued development,” stated FAME Board Chair Jay Violette. “We are happy to help facilitate this transaction to help Thompson’s Point continue its impressive growth and position itself for long-term success.”
FAME’s Direct Loan Program provides new or existing Maine businesses with flexible gap financing. In FY 2017, FAME provided loans to twenty Maine businesses totaling approximately $5.1 million. This helped to create and retain 351 Maine jobs.
“We are grateful for FAME’s continued support and assistance with our plans,” stated Chris Thompson, principal. “This financing helps us take another step toward realizing our vision of creating a live/work/learn environment that is open to all.”