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Market Analysis and Redevelopment Strategy in Biddeford, ME

June 2, 2020

Biddeford, MaineThe Challenge

For years, the Maine Energy Recovery Co. (MERC) waste-to-energy facility at 3 Lincoln Street in the middle of downtown Biddeford, ME, made the Mill District and the entire city unattractive for development. Finally, in 2012 the City Council purchased the site, removed the MERC facility, and began remediation.

City leaders recognized the critical role this property has in transforming Biddeford’s downtown and retained Camoin Associates and MRLD Landscape Architecture + Urbanism to complete a market analysis and redevelopment feasibility study.

The Solution

Following the removal of the MERC facility, the redevelopment of the city’s former textile mills picked up dramatically and vacancy rates in downtown Biddeford plummeted. Nothing in the historic data suggested this abrupt change, so Camoin Associates worked to help the City understand what was happening in the market and plan in an environment with increasing uncertainty.

The approach was not to set a path toward a single redevelopment objective but to create a framework for the City’s vision that will guide the private sector in adapting emerging market opportunities to the City’s desired development outcomes. Camoin Associates emphasized implementation by working with the City to envision what could be done and how to do it.

The Impact

Findings from the analysis helped the City Council understand the significant level of public sector investment necessary to achieve its vision. Today, the City is using the findings from the market analysis to solicit development partners for redevelopment of the MERC site.

Related Article

“Biddeford Lincoln Mill Development is Part of a Bigger Plan for Mill District,” Mainebiz.biz, October 2019

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