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Commercial Corridor Revitalization Plan is a Catalyst for Change in Brunswick, ME

The Challenge

The Town of Brunswick is a fast-growing community on Maine’s coast, about 30 minutes northeast of Portland. Within Brunswick, Cook’s Corner is a vehicle-centric commercial corridor that serves local and regional visitors with national and regional chains. As brick-and-mortar retail has evolved due to the growing popularity of e-commerce and various economic shocks in the last decade, lingering storefront vacancies prompted the Town to take a public-private approach when developing a new vision for its commercial corridor revitalization effort.

The Solution

Although visioning projects for Cook’s Corner had been completed previously, Camoin Associates designed a multi-disciplinary approach for the new commercial corridor revitalization plan that differentiated itself from those previous efforts. This approach drew support from a myriad of perspectives and was intentionally aligned with the Town’s budgeting process. Aligning real estate market realities, potential public sector investments, and the values of the community helped direct the recommendations included in the final product, the Cook’s Corner Revitalization Plan.

Through several rounds of community and targeted stakeholder engagement, a vision for the Cook’s Corner commercial corridor was established. To achieve the vision, elements of land use, Town policy, traffic planning, and economic development programs were all incorporated into the Plan, which reiterated the importance of interdepartmental collaboration to achieve the vision for Cook’s Corner.Commercial Corridor Revitalization Plan for Cook's Corner in Brunswick Maine

The Impact

With data-driven research materials and a transparent engagement process, the Cook’s Corner Revitalization Plan has already catalyzed desired activity within the corridor. When the Plan was adopted unanimously by the Town Council, the Economic Development Department took on the role of managing the implementation structure, which had been vetted and agreed upon by the participants in the planning process.

This structure will allow specialized work groups to tackle the actions that fit within their purview and collaborate with the larger group, as needed. The data resources within the commercial corridor revitalization plan have been widely used by the Town’s Economic Development and Planning departments to vet incoming development applications and continue to be a useful daily tool.

Does your community have a vision for transitioning its underused retail space? Do you know how consumer demand drives business activity in your commercial corridors? Camoin Associates can help you find these answers. Reach out to Alex Tranmer, Director of Strategic Planning, to discuss how Camoin can help position your community for success.