The Board of Directors and staff of the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) recently visited Front Street Shipyard in Belfast, a customer that has grown rapidly in recent years. The group later toured other customers at the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority (MRRA) in Brunswick, which is located on the former Brunswick Naval Air Station base.
On October 17, members of the FAME Board and staff toured Front Street Shipyard in Belfast, an expansive, thriving yard with deep-water frontage, state-of-the-art equipment and a growing workforce. The business operates a yacht yard, marina and storage facility on Penobscot Bay. Front Street provides services for various types of vessels ranging from small recreational boats to commercial vessels and superyachts. The yard’s team of more than 100 experienced boat service professionals uses both advanced composite construction and traditional boat building techniques. FAME assisted the company in March 2018 with commercial loan insurance in partnership with Androscoggin Bank to help construct a 23,000- square foot assembly and storage building.
Later that day FAME toured other customers at MRRA in Brunswick. MRRA Deputy Director Jeffrey Jordan led board and staff on a bus tour of the property. MRRA is a public municipal corporation established by the Maine Legislature to implement the Reuse Master Plans for both Naval Air Station Brunswick and Topsham’s Annex. MRRA has successfully managed the redevelopment effort and has actively engaged with the private sector to ensure rapid redevelopment. There are now 115 entities doing business at Brunswick Landing and Topsham Commerce Park. Businesses include Mölnlycke, SaviLinx, Tempus Jets, STARC Systems, Wayfair, and Flight Deck Brewing, among others.
FAME toured Mölnlycke, a customer from years ago when it was known as Rynel Inc. Rynel later was acquired by Mölnlycke. Rynel always credited FAME for its survival and growth over the years prior to its acquisition. Mölnlycke designs and supplies medical solutions to enhance performance in healthcare, from the hospital to the home.
The board and staff also visited STARC Systems, which manufactures reusable temporary wall containment systems to eliminate the disruption of renovations in facilities. The company previously benefitted from FAME’s Seed Capital Tax Credit Program. The group also toured TechPlace, Brunswick Landing’s technology accelerator, which currently houses thirty-four businesses.
The FAME Board held its monthly meeting on October 18 at the offices of the Maine Technology Institute (MTI), which is located at Brunswick Landing. Members enjoyed a presentation by MTI President Brian Whitney on the organization’s history and recent activities, as well as a talk by Southern Maine Community College President Joseph Cassidy and Dean of SMCC–Midcoast Campus James Whitten. They discussed workforce development efforts by the college, as well as course offerings.
FAME CEO Bruce Wagner stated: “FAME really benefits from these opportunities to get out in the community and visit with our customers and partners, local businesses and institutions of higher education. We enjoy witnessing up close their success stories and learning about the needs and future plans of our business and higher education partners.”