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10 months ago · · Comments Off on MEREDA’s Annual Fall Social

MEREDA’s Annual Fall Social

PORTLAND, September 25, 2017 –  Another great "meet-and-greet" opportunity, this time on Portland’s Waterfront, you are invited to the Maine Real Estate & Development Association’s (MEREDA’s) highly-anticipated Annual Fall Social on October 26th!

MEREDA’s networking events attract key players in Maine’s real estate industry and provide our members with excellent opportunities to interact with the experts.
Join us on Portland’s waterfront for hors d’oeuvres, spirits, and great conversation with colleagues, friends and other industry professionals for our Annual Networking Fall Social on October 26 from 5:00 – 7:00 PM.
Join us for a cocktail or two, and reconnect with colleagues and friends, both old and new!
Before the official "networking" gets underway, MEREDA will hold its Annual Meeting of the Members beginning at 4:45 PM – Members Only

About the Event:

MEREDA’s Annual Fall Networking Social
October 26, 2017 – 5:00PM to 7:00PM

Hilton Garden Inn, Portland Downtown Waterfront
65 Commercial Street
Portland, ME

Registering for this Event:

MEREDA Members: $45 each | Non-Members: $60 Each
Prices Increase by $10 after Oct. 1

Your RSVP is requested by October 19. Payment is expected at the time of registration. No refunds will be granted to anyone who registers, but fails to attend or who cancels after October 19. 

For more information and to register, click here.

MEREDA’s 2017 Annual Fall Networking Social is sponsored by Bangor Savings Bank, J.B. Brown & Sons and Preti Flaherty. 

11 months ago · · Comments Off on MEREDA’s Annual Lewiston/Auburn Networking Social

MEREDA’s Annual Lewiston/Auburn Networking Social

PORTLAND, August 28, 2017 –  After the summer break, make plans to join the Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) at Baxter Brewing Co. in Lewiston on September 28 from 5-7 pm for its Annual Lewiston/Auburn Fall Social.  Located in the historic Bates Mill, Baxter Brewing currently distributes its flavorful and unique craft beers statewide in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire & Vermont.

MEREDA’s networking events attract key players in Maine’s real estate industry.  Come enjoy great food, Maine-made beer, and lively conversation with colleagues, friends and other industry professionals. A great forum to put a face with a name as well as make new business connections

Interested in learning about the brewery? A guided tour will be available fifteen minutes before the event at 4:45 pm.

About the Event:

MEREDA’s Annual Lewiston/Auburn Networking Social
September 28, 2017 – 5:00PM to 7:00PM

Baxter Brewing
130 Mill Street
Lewiston, ME

Tour:  4:45 – 5:00 PM
Event: 5:00 – 7:00 PM

Registering for this Event

MEREDA Members: $25 each | Non-Members: $35 EachPrices increase by $10 after Sept. 21

Your RSVP is requested by September 21. Payment is expected at the time of registration. No refunds will be granted to anyone who registers, but fails to attend or who cancels after September 21.

Click here for more information and to register.

MEREDA’s 2017 Annual Lewiston/Auburn Fall Networking Social is sponsored by 
Skelton, Taintor & Abbott and DeStefano & Associates, Inc. 

12 months ago · · Comments Off on Morning Menu Breakfast Event – Gown and Town Synergy: The Impact of Commercial Development in Waterville and Colby College’s Vision

Morning Menu Breakfast Event – Gown and Town Synergy: The Impact of Commercial Development in Waterville and Colby College’s Vision

Colby College’s ambitious plan to help revitalize downtown Waterville has helped launch multiple projects on and around Main Street that have attracted attention across Maine and the northeast.

Join MEREDA for breakfast on September 7th from 7:30 – 9:00 AM at the Clarion Hotel in Portland as Colby College’s Vice President of Planning shares insights into the impact of commercial development in Waterville, along with the College’s long-range vision.

Buffet Breakfast: 7:30-8:00 am
Program: 8:00-9:00 am

Registering for this Event:  
Members:  $45 pp  |  Non-Members:  $55 pp
Prices increase by $10 After August 31 

Payment is expected at the time of registration. No refunds will be granted to anyone who registers, but fails to attend or who cancels after  August 31, 2017.

MEREDA’s Morning Menu Event Series is sponsored by Norway Savings Bank.

For more information and to register for this event, click here.

1 year ago · · Comments Off on The Maine Real Estate & Development Association Announces 2017-18 Officers

The Maine Real Estate & Development Association Announces 2017-18 Officers

PORTLAND, Maine – The Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) is pleased to announce its 2017-18 slate of officers, which include Bruce Jones of Creative Office Pavilion and Brian Curley of PDT Architects serving as Vice Presidents, and Bill Shanahan of Northern New England Housing Investment Fund as Treasurer. Paul Peck of Drummond & Drummond will continue as President, in the second year of his two-year term, and Shelly R. Clark continues as Secretary of the Board in addition to serving full-time as the organization’s Vice President of Operations.

For further information, please contact MEREDA’s Vice President of Operations, Shelly R. Clark at 207-874-0801.


L-R:  Paul Peck, Bruce Jones, Brian Curley, Bill Shanahan, Shelly R. Clark

1 year ago · · Comments Off on YIMBYers extol the virtues of development

YIMBYers extol the virtues of development

SOUTH PORTLAND – The Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA), the state’s leading organization advocating for responsible real estate development, convened a conference last month entitled, "Yes-In-My-Backyard: Why Development is Good."

“Renewed interest in Maine’s cities and downtowns have placed pressure on communities to build in unprecedented ways. Recognizing the crippling effect of NIMBY, or ‘not in my backyard,’ ways of thinking,” said MEREDA president Paul Peck in announcing the event. “The ‘yes in my backyard,’ or ‘YIMBY,’ movement is an overt counterargument to oppositional mindsets – and is gaining traction quickly.”

Jesse Kanson-Benanav, a Boston area YIMBY pioneer keynoted the conference. He is an instrumental leader in the movement, and set the stage for a discussion about how to move development forward, with an update on the present status of pro-growth efforts and implications for the future of communities.

Kanson-Benanav asserted that development:

  1. Moderates and/or stabilize housing prices,
  2. Increases economic stability, and
  3. Improves the general diversity of communities, both from a social and economic perspective.

He came armed with real-world, pro-density examples. For instance, household size is decreasing across the globe, with families choosing to have fewer children and with less multigenerational living situations. In the U.S., in 1950, the average household was 3.37 people. Now it’s 2.6. Even if populations don’t grow overall, the amount of housing needed in any given community to accommodate the same number of residents is growing year-over-year.

“When you build at lower densities, you have to take farms and open spaces and turn them into lots,” he continued, suggesting that density is better for social integration and better for the environment. “Suburban expansion combined with large lots leads to exclusionary land use practices, with fewer people and increased pricing.”

Local experts augmented the conversation. James Brady, visionary of the Press Hotel and the Portland Company redevelopment in the East End, Jeff Levine of the City of Portland, Dana Totman of Avesta Housing, and Patrick Venne of Redwood Development Consulting each spoke about their local experiences, as part of a panel moderated by Elizabeth Boepple of BCM Environmental & Land Law.

Venne provided real-world examples of how convening community conversations and cultivating stakeholder questions and support is worthwhile, even before filing an application with the local planning department. “Moderating the design ahead of time can be more powerful,” he said.

Totman advocated that planning boards and planning departments take a more proactive approach to updating zoning ordinances, suggesting that those folks are the subject matter experts, but that a slow reaction to trends or best practices can mean that the city council or other entity is forced to interfere.

Levine honed in on the evergreen issue of parking, which is almost always controversial when any development is proposed. He said, when a developer gets “a curb cut, you basically take two public parking spaces and privatize them,” and therefore advocated that municipal entities relax minimums and let market decide. “Planners are libertarians when it comes to parking,” he concluded.

Some of the discussion was tactical in nature, for instance the interplay between a municipal comprehensive plan and zoning codes, while other conversation will double-down on the role of development vis-a-vis school funding models, local employment opportunities, and other quality of life benefits.

"Our goal was to offer a big picture perspective of how development is good for our collective future, and the rationale around smart growth development,” said Brian Curley, president of PDT architects and vice president of MEREDA. "Attendees were armed with tools about how to get more people to think globally about development, and what it means for the real estate industry more broadly."

All presentations can be downloaded at: https://www.mereda.org/eventdetail.php?ID=701.

1 year ago · · Comments Off on Maine Real Estate & Development Association Awards Top 10 Notable Projects of 2016

Maine Real Estate & Development Association Awards Top 10 Notable Projects of 2016

The Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) recently announced the recipients of its 2016 Notable Projects Awards at its Annual Real Estate Spring Conference. This year’s event, titled “’YIMBY’ism: YES in my Backyard – Why Development is Good” was held on May 18 in South Portland.

Each year, MEREDA recognizes some of the state’s most “noteworthy and significant” real estate projects, completed in the previous year. Spread across the state, each of these projects aided in Maine’s economic growth, while also embodying MEREDA’s belief in responsible development. These projects not only exemplify best practices in the industry, and also involve a significant investment of resources and job creation statewide.

“We are blown away by the vision and integrity demonstrated by developers across Maine, so much so that, for the first time ever, we expanded the list in true David Letterman style to a TOP TEN,” noted Paul Peck, President, MEREDA Board of Directors and LWS Investments/Drummond & Drummond, LLP.

Selections were made based upon criteria including: environmental sustainability, economic impact, energy efficiency, social impact and job creation.

MEREDA’s Top 10 Most Notable Projects of 2016 were awarded to:

  • Forefront Partners, for Brick North at Thompson’s Point in Portland
  • Avesta Housing’s Ridgewood at Village Square in Gorham
  • Community Housing of Maine’s Village Centre in Brewer
  • Anew Development’s Meetinghouse Lofts Condominiums in South Portland
  • Southern Maine Affordable Housing and Biddeford Housing for their collaborative effort at Mission Hill in Biddeford
  • Avesta Housing for the Young Street Apartments in South Berwick
  • The Szanton Company for The Lofts at Saco Falls in Biddeford
  • Sebasticook River Partners’ Sebasticook River Apartments in Newport
  • Priority Real Estate Group’s Wayfair at Brunswick Landing, and
  • Risbara Properties, LLC, for Blue Spruce Farm Apartments, Waterside Apartments and Island View Apartments, all in Westbrook

Representatives from each of the above projects were on hand at the event to receive their award.  For more information about each of these impressive projects, please click here.

Throughout the year we’ll also provide an up-close look at each of these notable commercial development projects in multi-part series exclusive to the Maine Real Estate Insider.  Stay tuned!

1 year ago · · Comments Off on Maine’s second biggest industry as healthy as it’s been in 11 years

Maine’s second biggest industry as healthy as it’s been in 11 years

Maine's real estate sector reached its highest point in 11 years, with the industry metric that measures the health of the market, The MEREDA Index, coming in at 96. The MEREDA Index grew by more than 7% over 2016, the strongest growth since the recession.

“The most recent quarter marks the eighth in a row — that's two years — where The MEREDA Index has been above 90, a number not otherwise seen since the height of the market in 2006. That the real estate sector is so strong in Maine, and has been so strong for so long, is impressive," said Paul Peck, board president of MEREDA, who is also a real estate attorney and real estate developer.

"Real estate is one of Maine's biggest industries, second only to healthcare, contributing 14% of GDP. The strength of this sector benefits us all."

The MEREDA Index is a twice-annual metric meant to measure the health of the sector against pre-recession, 2006 levels. It was designed and is compiled for MEREDA by Dr. Charles Colgan, an economist with the University of Southern Maine, and is comprised of three components.

Thanks to the support of Eaton Peabody and SMRT for underwriting this edition of The MEREDA Index, three industry insiders recently joined MEREDA to discuss the latest numbers.

Learn more by watching the following video.

The commercial market, accounting for 50% of The MEREDA Index, grew almost 9% over the course of six months, and was a key driver in the record-setting performance of the metric. "Commercial lease rates and square footage were both strong over this period, offsetting weaknesses in the volume of commercial transactions and sales price per square foot," remarked Colgan, who also noted that total commercial transactions and median commercial sale price remained near and/or surpassed 2006 levels for this period.

The residential market, comprising 40%, "was unchanged over the past six months as sales of existing units and median price remained strong, but permits for new units dropped by nearly 17%. Estimated quarterly median price 1 hit 195,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis, equivalent to the 2006 first quarter figure … Sales of existing units and mortgage originations were both strong in the fourth quarter of 2016, but fell off in the first quarter of 2017," according to Colgan.

And construction, measured solely by construction employment, has grown almost 9% in the past six months and almost 6% year-over-year. "This is the strongest growth in construction employment over the past several years," said Colgan. Industry insiders say there is still strong demand for new construction projects to go online, and that more skilled workers are still needed in the industry, laying the groundwork for even more increases in this sector in the months to come.

"Stable interest rates and prudent lending by financial institutions has set a solid base for continued growth in the months ahead," concluded Peck.

A full report of The MEREDA Index is available for download here.

1 year ago · · Comments Off on Maine Real Estate & Development Association Elects Josh Fifield to its Board of Directors

Maine Real Estate & Development Association Elects Josh Fifield to its Board of Directors

PORTLAND, Maine – Josh Fifield, a Senior Account Executive in the Business Insurance Department of Clark Insurance has been elected to the board of directors of the Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA), a statewide organization of commercial real estate owners, developers and related service providers.

Since joining Clark Insurance, a 100 percent employee-owned independent agency, Josh has built a reputation for understanding the complexities of real estate development to help insure large affordable housing projects, commercial developments and industrial properties, including insurance solutions for state and federal historic & LIHTC tax credits.

A Maine native and graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Josh has been a volunteer on MEREDA’s Marketing and Membership Committee since January 2014 and was recently named by MEREDA in January as one of two Volunteers of the Year. He is an active and energetic volunteer helping to attract new members, creating original content on behalf of MEREDA for Mainebiz’s Maine Real Estate Insider e-mail newsletter, and promoting MEREDA’s important mission and benefits throughout the state.  

Josh and his family reside in Portland.

MEREDA’s Vice President of Operations, Shelly R. Clark says, “We’ve enjoyed working with Josh at the committee level and are excited to have him now engaged at the board level.  Josh has a lot of drive and ambition and will bring a great energy to the group.”

For further information, please contact MEREDA’s Vice President of Operations, Shelly R. Clark at 207-874-0801.

1 year ago · · Comments Off on MEREDA’s 5th Anniversary “Strikes for Scholars” Bowl-a-Thon Fundraiser on May 4th Raises Funds for Scholarships for 16 Maine Students!

MEREDA’s 5th Anniversary “Strikes for Scholars” Bowl-a-Thon Fundraiser on May 4th Raises Funds for Scholarships for 16 Maine Students!

MEREDA is excited to announce that once again, MEREDA will be providing $20,000 in scholarships to students attending the Maine Community College System and the University of Southern Maine that are enrolled in the building trades and business programs. 

MEREDA strongly supports a strong education system. In fact, over the past 4 years, MEREDA is proud to have raised and donated over $47,000 in scholar­ships helping over 30 Maine students by making it a little easier for them to achieve their goal of obtaining a college credential. This year, those numbers will jump to $67,000 and 46! 

Many thanks to our generous sponsors Landry/French Construction, AAA Energy Service Co., and Mainebiz, as well as our bowling teams for supporting this worthwhile cause.  Without their involvement, these substantial donations would not be possible!   Check out photos from the event on our Facebook page!

1 year ago · · Comments Off on Morning Menu Breakfast Event: “Darkness into Light: Cannabis and its impact on Commercial Real Estate in the Post-Prohibition Era.” – Bangor Edition

Morning Menu Breakfast Event: “Darkness into Light: Cannabis and its impact on Commercial Real Estate in the Post-Prohibition Era.” – Bangor Edition

Industry experts suggest that no new-to-market use has had as large an impact on Maine’s commercial real estate landscape in recent years as has cannabis cultivation.  Starting as a niche industry five years ago, the marijuana growth business has morphed into a well-regulated and complex professional system in some respects and an unregulated and "wild west" environment in others.  Rapid growth has put a significant strain on Maine’s existing industrial inventory and regulatory systems (both state and municipal).  And with the 2016 election legalizing adult use recreational cannabis, further stressors are anticipated.  Beyond adjusting to industrial impacts, Maine’s retail corridors need to prepare for inevitable retail store and further cultivation facility demand.  Importantly, efforts to implement the recreational cannabis program will provide Maine with an opportunity to "get it right" and enact a safe, robust, and fair regulatory system giving Maine the opportunity to establish a unique and successful economic sector in which many professionals will be comfortable operating. 

Join MEREDA for breakfast on June 13 from 7:30 AM – 9:00 AM at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor for a panel discussion and presentation on how this industry has evolved, where things stand today and what the future may hold. The panel will be moderated by Justin Lamontagne, a Partner at NAI The Dunham Group specializing in commercial industrial brokerage. It will feature presentations by Dan Walker of Preti Flaherty and Gretchen Jones of Eaton Peabody, two legal experts with extensive experience in representation of both cannabis landlords and end-users. 

Discussion points will include a legislative update on current laws, an overview of financial and insurance hurdles, and pros and cons for property owner Landlords to consider. We will also have perspective from cannabis industry experts with Jacques Santucci from Opus Consulting Group and Brett Messer General Manager, Caregiver at Brigid Farm completing the panel.

About the Event:
June 13, 2017 – 7:30AM to 9:00AM

Cross Insurance Center
515 Main Street
Bangor, ME

Buffet Breakfast: 7:30-8:00 am
Program: 8:00-9:00 am

Registering for this Event:

Member: $25 pp | Non-Member: $35 pp 
Prices increase by $10 after June 6

Your RSVP is requested by June 6. Payment is expected at the time of registration. No refunds will be granted to anyone who registers, but fails to attend or who cancels after June 6. 

Click here for more information and to register.