Tech company promises 150 jobs at Brunswick Landing

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BRUNSWICK — Resilient Communications Corp. on Wednesday announced plans to establish a secure data center, a disaster recovery center and composite manufacturing facility at Brunswick Landing, now Brunswick Naval Air Station.

The company estimated it will create about 150 jobs.

Steve Levesque, executive director of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, said Resilient is a start-up Brunswick business that will be housed in BNAS Buildings 87 and 554. Negotiations with CEO Charles Largay, who is a Bowdoin College graduate and Bath native, have been going on for about four years, Levesque said.

“I’m thrilled,” Largay said of the agreement, adding he already has had inquiries from former civilian employees at the base about returning. “One of the best things about Mid-Coast and Maine in general, is you can go home again.”

Largay said the 2-year-old company now operates mostly virtually. He said there is a core group of about eight people involved in “this very unique opportunity.” He also commended MRRA for being the first base realignment agency in the nation to be granted access rights to government property before the base is officially closed.

Largay described BNAS as a “premier asset” that was well-built, maintained and upgraded. “It’s a gem,” he said.

Largay recalled riding his bicycle to the base as a child to visit one of his best friends, whose father was the base commander.

“It’s something I grew up with,” he said, adding that in his travels he discovered there is a twin to Building 87 in Belgium.

“There are very few other facilities even in the world (that offer the same amenities),” he said. “It certainly is in rare company.”

According to a press release from Resilient Communications, renovations will begin early next year. Levesque said building 87, formerly wing headquarters, lies within the “airport property,” which is scheduled to be transferred to MRRA next month.

The other building is near the middle of the base and will be leased from the U.S. Navy by MRRA, which will give Resilient Communications an interim lease for use until the remainder of the land is transferred later in 2011, Levesque said.

Both existing structures will use the “unique assets” to “provide private and secure information services,” according to a press release, which also said “the privately funded start-up plans to invest several million dollars in facility enhancements to expand their capacity and adapt the facilities to new missions.”

Largay said the company needs to spend some of that money to assure there is adequate bandwidth and power before beginning operations.  Additional funding will go into the buildings themselves, with a goal of meeting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards within three years, he said.

Largay said the company plans to operate a “very secure data center” that will become the “premier facility (of its type) northeast of Boston.”

He said the company qualifies for Pine Tree tax incentives, but “doesn’t need an incentive to relocate.” 

While employee salaries will vary, Largay said the payroll of the company will exceed the Navy’s for the same number of jobs. He said the intention is to train people, rather than hire people based on categorization.

“I commend Resilient Communications and the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority for their partnership leading to this exciting announcement and the promise of 150 new jobs in the Brunswick area,” Gov. John Baldacci in a press release. “The decision of Resilient Communications to locate their base of operations at Brunswick Landing is a testament to the talented workforce here in Maine and to the aggressive work of all the partners in the area to reinvigorate the economy of the region.”

Bowdoin gets conveyance

Wednesday’s announcement was the second piece of good news for Brunswick Landing in the last week.

Bowdoin College announced last week  that the Department of Education approved a public benefit conveyance of three properties at BNAS. Levesque said there are no existing structures on any of the three parcels. 

Bowdoin President Barry Mills said the acquisition process began in 2006.

“With the land necessary for future expansion, Bowdoin can continue to meet the educational needs of our students while also enhancing our role as an economic mainstay in Brunswick and mid-coast Maine,” Mills said in a press release. “We are grateful to the Department of Education and to the members of our community who have supported us in the critical effort.”

The college will receive a total of 259 acres, which will be used for education purposes. Areas such as vernal pools that do not allow development will be used for research purposes and field study.

A 12-acre parcel will be used for construction of a storage facility and warehouse space as well as parking. A 104-acre parcel will be used for athletic fields, parking, a service building and an “interpretive nature trail.” A third parcel of 143 acres is planned for classrooms and labs, parking, three greenhouses and an extension of the nature trail. 

S. Catherine Longley, Bowdoin senior vice president and treasurer, said the college expects to begin using the areas within three years of acquisition. The college expects the land transfer to take place by next fall.

Other organizations planning to use BNAS property include aircraft maker Kestrel Aircraft Co. and Southern Maine Community College.

Stephanie Grinnell can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or sgrinnell@theforecaster.net.

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