The closure of the Brunswick Naval Air Station, slated for 2011, looms over uninformed residents of Southern Maine with a vapid uncertainty. Vacant spaces, losses of Federal jobs and decreased revenue from sailors raise appropriate concerns. Fortunately, this impending change signals not just loss, but a significant restructuring of the Southern Maine region.
Brunswick and its surrounding towns have been undergoing major infrastructure redesigns, and any void left by the NASB will solidify the region's plans for growth. A Military Redevelopment Zone has designated Brunswick, Bath, West Bath, Topsham, Richmond and Bowdoinham as eligible areas for new business tax breaks. The reduction and possible elimination of state tax will be a massive incentive for the businesses to which it will apply. Sectors targeted for elimination and tax reduction are as follows; Information Technology, Environmental Technology, Aquaculture and Marine Technology, Financial Services, Manufacturing (including precision manufacturing technology), Biotechnology, Composite Materials Technology and Advanced Technologies for Forestry and Agriculture.
Developing businesses may be attracted to the 1000 acres within the boundaries of the Naval Air Station Brunswick; the location is central and the value is certain to grow as the area is overhauled by enterprise. On the other hand, 500 non-specific acres outside the base will be eligible for the SAME tax breaks.
Concurrent to the closure of the Air Station is the implementation of Brunswick Maine Street Station, a masterful reworking of downtown Brunswick and its transportation. 25 new structures will be erected, which include the illustrious train station, parking garages, hotels, apartment complexes, office and retail spaces and cinemas. Thorough fares will be rearranged to increase the flow of traffic. According to public record, the development comes courtesy of the private sector at a cost (not including the price of the multi-town railway overhaul) of approximately $33,000,000.
A common dismay among Southern Maine's residents has been offspring leaving the Pine tree State for increased job opportunities. The closure of the Naval Air Station, enhanced by ongoing outside redevelopment, is certain to increase the availability of desirable jobs. Of the multitudes of people working on NASB, only about 200 civilian jobs are even available to be lost. The major economic overhaul will fill the need of our highly skilled workers. The throngs of people who attend Bowdoin College, 2 state of the art medical facilities, Bath Iron Works and the growing University of Maine system will appreciate shortened commutes and more places to spend their money. The closure of the Naval Air Station Brunswick is a blessing in disguise.
Content Provided by Sam Armentrout, a Southern Maine Real Estate Agent at CHR Realty/ GMAC Real Estate
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