Each year, the Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) recognizes some of the state’s most “noteworthy and significant” real estate projects, completed in the previous year. The exemplary projects from across the state, completed in 2022, not only embody MEREDA’s belief in responsible real estate development, but also exemplify best practices in the industry, contributing to Maine’s economic growth by significant investment of resources and job creation statewide.

This year, MEREDA honored projects from Lewiston to Portland to Biddeford, with each receiving special recognition at MEREDA’s 2023 Spring Conference on May 25th.

In a multi-part series exclusive to the Maine Real Estate Insider, we’ll provide an up-close look at the most notable commercial development projects of the past year that are helping to fuel Maine’s economy in terms of investment and job creation. MEREDA is proud to recognize responsible development based upon criteria including environmental sustainability, economic impact, energy efficiency, difficulty of the development, uniqueness, social impact and job creation.

MEREDA’s 2022 Top 7 recipients include:

Lincoln Hotel & Lofts, LHL Holdings and Chinburg Properties (Biddeford)
Gauvreau Place, Community Concepts Inc. and Avesta Housing (Lewiston)

Shipyard Brewing Redevelopment, Bateman Partners, LLC (Portland)
Reconstruction & Reuse of Historic Building 12, Portland Foreside Development Company (Portland)
L.L.Bean Corporate Headquarters, Zachau Construction (Freeport)
Freedom Place at 66 State Street, Developers Collaborative (Portland)
VA Outpatient Clinic, J.B. Brown & Sons and FD Stonewater (Portland)

Please join us this week in celebrating Shipyard Brewing Redevelopment.

MEREDA:  Describe the building and project.

Shipyard Brewing Redevelopment: The 86 Newbury Street redevelopment was a continuation of work started by Shipyard Brewing and Fred Forsley when Shipyard purchased 75% of the City block in the late 1980’s. The site was originally the American Hoistway Manufacturing facility. For this portion of the redevelopment 86 Newbury Street, LLC created roughly 450,000 SF of new structures. This mixed use project consists of office space, pharmaceutical manufacturing, brewery, hotel and residential uses all wrapped around, and over a pre-cast concrete parking structure.

MEREDA:  What was the impetus for this project?  

Shipyard Brewing Redevelopment: The major impetus for this project was to maximize the development potential on a parcel of land that was formerly an industrial site with major environmental challenges. This project was also in response to a need by Covetrus for a corporate headquarters in Portland Maine. Covetrus required over 120,000 SF of office space and pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution facilities. This site was a perfect candidate for those needs as well as creating the Cambria Suite Hotel and handling all parking within the site.

MEREDA:  That sounds like quite a process.  How long were you in the planning stages before construction started?

Shipyard Brewing Redevelopment: The planning of this project took a little over 2 ½ years prior to closing financing and starting construction.

MEREDA:  Tell us about the most challenging aspect of getting this project completed.

Shipyard Brewing Redevelopment: One of the major challenges faced during construction were the existing site conditions. The environmental remediation of the underlying soils which were contaminated required over $2M in remediation costs. The site itself is sloped from Newbury Street down to Fore Street with a grade change of 32’ in elevation. This grade change required significant engineering to accommodate a six-story structure with footings up to 45’ below Newbury Street. A coffer dam was designed to hold back Newbury Street while the footings and foundation s wall were constructed. The majority of all this work was done during the entire duration of the Covid pandemic that shut down the majority of trades and supply chain causing significant lead time and delivery delays.

MEREDA:  Something unexpected you learned along the way was….

Shipyard Brewing Redevelopment: The most unexpected thing we learned along the way is the resilience of all of the contractor, subcontractors and design team. Despite the global pandemic that shut down the majority of work globally this team showed up to work every day to meet the construction challenges. The entire team adapted to remote meetings when required but also adapted to the safety protocols to allow construction to continue. Between daily health checks, masks, washing stations and work teams to allow for social distancing the teams did an amazing job. Every day we were confronted with new problems and every day the teams came together with solutions.

MEREDA:  Now that it’s complete, what feature of the project do you think makes it the most notable? 

Shipyard Brewing Redevelopment: The list of items that make this project notable are many. The project itself consists of one of the largest green roofs in Portland which is impressive by itself. Adding to that we were able to provide the primary tenant a loading dock facility under the entire project that allows for 14’ of ceiling height allowing tractor trailer trucks to pull in under the campus for loading and unloading. The views created for the office tenants overlooking Casco Bay, the City of Portland and looking toward Mt Washington are amazing. Additionally the creation of the large courtyard 4 stories in the air that is part of the Cambria Suite Hotel provides and amazing atmosphere to enjoy food and beverages with family and friends.