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Portland technology firm could be moving to Freeport

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Portland technology firm could be moving to Freeport

FREEPORT — The Town Council is prepared to sell five acres of land off Desert Road to accommodate a Portland business and possibly a new business park.

The unanimous decision to negotiate the sale of land to ComNav Engineering, create a second buildable commercial lot and seek an easement from L.L. Bean to construct a road to the town-owned property came after an executive session on Tuesday, Oct. 26.

The land is across the street from the Bean distribution center on Desert Road.

Sande Updegraph, executive director of the Freeport Economic Development Corp., said the total parcel is about 24 acres. The five-acre portion would be developed and sold to the Portland company if Bean allows the access road to be built.

ComNav Engineering President Marty Geesaman said the proposal to move to Freeport is in its preliminary stages.

Geesaman, 52, is originally from Maryland, and has lived in Maine since 1992. He said he started ComNav in 1996 after working for GTE Products Corp., which manufactures electrical control devices for the automobile industry and sensing equipment for appliances and lighting in Standish.

ComNav makes ceramic filters for cell phones, GPS devices and E-ZPass sensors. The company has about 35 employees on Riverside Street in Portland, Geesaman said, but is growing at a "steady, easy-to-handle pace."

Updegraph said the company is unable to expand in Portland, but would have that option in Freeport. The deal will not cost the town anything and will generate tax dollars and job opportunities, she said.

"Nothing is solid yet, but it puts Freeport in a very small way in the business of expanding its manufacturing base with a clean, progressive company," she said. "This will help diversify the tax base and promote activity year round."

Updegraph said the town must still secure a letter of intent from the ComNav and meet with Bean to discuss the easement. The proposal has to be vetted by the Project Review Board, Planning Board and council for final approval.

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