Members of the KRDA/FirstPark present a check for the final bond payment to the Maine Municipal Bond Bank. Pictured from left, front row: James Jurdak, treasurer of FirstPark; Steve Monsulick, president of FirstPark; Mike Roy, former president of FirstPark; Irene Belanger, executive board member of FirstPark; Terry Hayes, executive director of Maine Municipal Bond Bank; back row: Craig Nelson, Esq, former president of FirstPark; Howard Mette, former president of FirstPark; Jim Dinkle executive director of FirstPark; Tom Munson, executive board member of FirstPark; Charlie Gaunce, former president of FirstPark and Mike Byron, former treasurer of FirstPark.
In a unique partnership of municipalities, FirstPark was established by the Kennebec Valley Regional Development Authority (KRDA), which represents 24 communities. The cities and towns include, Anson, Benton, Canaan, China, Clinton, Cornville, Fairfield, Farmingdale, Gardiner, Hartland, Manchester, Norridgewock, Oakland, Palmyra, Pittsfield, Readfield, Rome, Sidney, Smithfield, Solon, Starks, St. Albans, Waterville and Winslow.
“This an exciting and historic day in FirstPark’s history. The one-of-a-kind partnership that created the idea for the business park 20 years ago was really forward thinking. Simply put, if more businesses or corporations buy and develop land at FirstPark, the communities that have invested in the park will see more money coming to their community,” said Jim Dinkle, executive director of FirstPark.
The additional funds from FirstPark will now benefit communities with an additional revenue source that could help lower taxes in the communities that continue to invest in the business park.
“It may be a while before we have the personal experience of paying off our mortgage, but essentially that’s what this equates to. There was a significant upfront investment that was made to establish FirstPark that set this project up for success. The investment and business park provided an invitation to a variety of business types to come locate here and all the benefits that come from that. Now the resources that went into paying the debt can be redirected to improvements here in the park and the communities that made the investment 20 years ago,” said Terry Hayes, executive director at Maine Municipal Bond Bank.
Currently, T-Mobile is the anchor tenant and largest building in the park. Other businesses that have real estate inside the Oakland-based business park include, Bioenergetic Healing, Gateway Financial Partners, Northern Light Podiatry, L.L.Bean, MaineGeneral, Maine Medical Partners, Maine Eye Doctors, One River CPAs, Waterville Community Dental Center and SurgiCare.
Despite the the COVID-19 pandemic, the business park has attracted attention from entrepreneurs and businesses in Maine, nationally and overseas. The interest includes a visit from Kim Yonghyon, Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Boston.
Based on the recent activity and interest, the park plans to sell more lots or the entire campus. Earlier this year, the park added two new tenants and hired SVN | The Urbanek Group Advisors as the official commercial and industrial real estate broker for the business park.
The attributes that make the park attractive to entrepreneurs and business owners include shovel-ready lots, protective covenants, infrastructure and its location in a foreign trade zone. Lots are sold at $15,000 an acre, no matter where they are in the park. The park’s real estate options include high-speed fiber and pre-permitted sites that have the park poised for growth in the next three years.
In the year ahead, the park is expected to make more investments, including increased marketing, exploration of residential options and creating a community dog park, all designed to attract more interest in the large 285-acre campus.
To learn more about FirstPark and available real estate or sponsorship opportunities, visit FirstPark.com