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$2.6M project will shift workers to Brunswick Landing

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$2.6M project will shift workers to Brunswick Landing

BRUNSWICK — A child health and behavioral services company is planning to move approximately 60 employees from offices in the Fort Andross complex to newly renovated space at Brunswick Landing. 

The $2.6 million project, led by Topsham-based developer Priority Real Estate Group, is being financed by U.S. Bank and aided with tax credits from the Finance Authority of Maine. 

The project was announced May 9 by the Minneapolis-based bank.

Providence Services Corp. intends to move into a former bowling alley at 62 Pegasus St. that will be renovated into offices, conference rooms and an indoor playground.

Corrine Whitling Walker, vice president for Providence's Merrymeeting Center, said Wednesday that the company intends to consolidate its regional and state offices, currently housed in two separate suites at Fort Andross, into the new space. 

"Having everyone in one space will really help increase a continuum of care," Whitling Walker said. "There's a significant benefit to us consolidating rather than having people in three separate offices in Brunswick." 

The move will bring  Providence's total workforce at the former Navy base to 150, although most of its Mid-Coast region service providers send most their time outside the office with clients, Whitling Walker noted.

The company hopes its move will also allow for future growth. 

Providence's Merrymeeting Center is at Brunswick Landing and specializes in providing services and care to children with autism and related developmental disabilities. According to U.S. Bank, the company serves 1,500 individual clients in 15 Maine counties, making it the largest provider in the state. 

Tuscon, Arizona-based Providence has more than 8,000 employees and provides services in 44 states.

The expansion also includes plans to add a conference room to the Midcoast Veteran's Resource Center, a nonprofit at Brunswick Landing that helps military veterans obtain benefits, services and resources to support reintegration into the community. 

Priority Real Estate closed a deal with MRRA on two buildings at the base last summer and partially renovated 62 Pegasus St. and a former Navy Lodge at 12 Burbank St., creating classrooms, recreational areas and office space for the child services company.

Last March, Priority President Jim Howard announced plans for a $27 million development featuring food services, compressed natural gas and mixed-use office space at the base.

U.S. Bancorp Community Development is providing financing for the Pegasus St.  project through FAME's New Markets Capital Investment Program.

The program provides refundable state tax credits to qualified entities that reinvest in certain businesses in low-income parts of the state. U.S. Bancorp has secured a $41.6 million tax allocation from FAME, according to the agency's website. 

The program allows qualified companies to claim credits against state taxes for up to 39 percent of project's total cost, to a maximum of $20 million in tax credits per year. 

Province's Brunswick Landing expansion is the second project funded by U.S. Bancorp through the tax credit program. In 2013, the company provided financing to renovate and expand the Woodland Pulp Mill complex in Baileyville, according to Kilper.

The tax credit program was established by the Legislature in 2011 to draw investors and stimulate economic development in Maine. 

Two years ago Coastal Enterprises provided $20.7 million in tax credits through the same program to aircraft manufacturer Kestrel Aviation, which planned to place a major facility at Brunswick Landing.

Ultimately, Kestrel's owners decided not to locate in Brunswick, choosing to open a plant in Wisconsin, which promised the company $30 million in tax credits.

Peter L. McGuire can be reached at 781-3660 or pmcguire@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter @mcguiremidcoast.