'Business deals change': Portland tech firm dumps Freeport for Gorham

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FREEPORT — ComNav Engineering, the Portland technology firm that was negotiating to move to Freeport, pulled out last week and will instead move to Gorham.

Last October, the Town Council unanimously agreed to negotiate the sale of five acres of land to ComNav Engineering to create a new business park off Desert Road.

The council agreed to create a second buildable commercial lot and seek an easement from L.L. Bean to construct a road to the town-owned property across the street from the Bean distribution center on Desert Road.

Sande Updegraph, executive director of the Freeport Economic Development Corp., said the business park concept will not go forward because it was too expensive. According to ComNav’s business consultant, it would have cost more than $1 million more to build a new structure in Freeport, Updegraph said.

“When the final numbers were put together, it just didn’t make sense for them. What did make sense was for them to move to an existing building in Gorham,” she said.  “We did a lot of work together and through all the discussions they built a nice relationship with L.L. Bean. But business deals change.”

ComNav Engineering has about 35 employees and is located on Riverside Street in Portland. The business makes ceramic filters for cell phones, GPS devices and E-ZPass sensors.

Updegraph said she will continue to look for interested businesses to create a business park in the Freeport location.

“We’ve learned a lot through the process and it hasn’t cost us anything but time,” she said. “We’ll just keep looking.”

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net

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