Is downtown redevelopment hard? You bet it is. Just ask downtown Biddeford-Saco, an area that for 25 years was plagued by odor from a trash-to energy plant right in the middle of town, on the banks of the Saco River. But the trash plant is finally gone, and that downtown area is now creating a much better future. This article, “Saco Island’s ALIVE with healthy, Maine-grown food!” shows how downtown Saco is totally redefining itself, and the article’s embedded video of a vibrant farmer’s market gives you a glimpse of just one imaginative idea for how to revitalize a downtown.
Saco Island’s redevelopment is being led by Augusta East’s parent company, Dirigo Capital Advisors. Augusta East intends to focus similar creative energy on the redevelopment of the former MaineGeneral campus in the city’s East Chestnut neighborhood.
We think Augusta’s timing is just right for catching the perfect wave, as described in this Portland Press Herald article earlier this year: “Communities see livable, walkable villages and downtowns as a way to attract younger urban-oriented residents, improve efficiency and support local commerce. The challenge in many places will be balancing decades of single-purpose design that depends on automotive transportation with the growing desire of Americans to get out of their cars and walk city streets.”
Augusta East’s redevelopment work is led by Kevin Mattson, an enthusiastic champion of Maine’s downtowns, as you can see for yourself in this video. Plans for redevelopment at Augusta East are in the very early stages. All good ideas are on the table, and welcome. Do you have a great suggestion? We encourage and invite them, info@AugustaEast.com!