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July 9, 2019 at 10:00 am · · Comments Off on Maine Real Estate & Development Association Recognizes Retiring Board Member

Maine Real Estate & Development Association Recognizes Retiring Board Member

The Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) has announced that Brian Curley, AIA, LEED AP, president of CHA Architecture (formally PDT Architects) has retired from MEREDA’s Board of Directors after 8 years of service. In addition to serving as one of MEREDA’s vice presidents since 2015, he has also been co-chair of the Conference Committee and served on the Executive Committee.  Brian has been twice recognized with MEREDA’s President’s Award in both 2014 & 2016.

“MEREDA has been fortunate to have Brian serve on the board for 8 years,” commented Shelly R. Clark, Vice President of Operations for MEREDA.  “We are grateful for, and have benefited significantly from, Brian’s expertise and unwavering support throughout the years. He has been a highly effective volunteer providing significant leadership and guidance.  We will miss his dedication, can-do attitude, and infectious laugh!”

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

June 28, 2019 at 8:00 am · · 0 comments

Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) Announces Mark Stasium as New Treasurer

Mark Stasium, of Portland, Senior Vice President in the Commercial Real Estate Lending Division of Camden National Bank, has been elected to serve as Treasurer of 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.  Mark succeeds Bill Shanahan, President of Northern New England Housing Investment Fund, a private, nonprofit corporation that promotes housing and community development in Maine and New Hampshire.  Mr. Shanahan will continue on as Assistant Treasurer for one additional year.

Mark works with commercial real estate investors and developers and is responsible for originating commercial real estate loan transactions in northern New England and Massachusetts.  Mark has 28 years of commercial lending and commercial credit experience, and prior to joining Camden National Bank, he was previously employed by Peoples Heritage Bank and TD Bank.  In addition to serving on MEREDA’s Board, Mark also volunteers his time on its Conference and Seminar Committee, and will now also serve on MEREDA’s Executive Committee.

“We thank Mark for his interest in stepping into this important leadership role,”  says Shelly R. Clark, Vice President of Operations for MEREDA.  “Mark brings with him a wealth of industry knowledge and we look forward to working with him closely as we continue to promote MEREDA’s mission of supporting responsible development.

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

June 27, 2019 at 7:00 am · · 0 comments

Maine Real Estate & Development Association Announces 2019-20 Officers

The Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) is pleased to announce its 2019-20 slate of officers, which include Bruce Jones of Creative Office Pavilion and Josh Fifield of Clark Insurance serving as Vice Presidents, Mark Stasium of Camden National Bank as Treasurer, and Bill Shanahan of Northern New England Housing Investment Fund as Assistant Treasurer. Gary Vogel of Drummond Woodsum 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.

L-R: Gary Vogel, Bruce Jones, Josh Fifield, Bill Shanahan, Mark Stasium, and Shelly R. Clark

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

June 24, 2019 at 9:00 am · · Comments Off on Longtime Board Members to Retire from Real Estate Organization

Longtime Board Members to Retire from Real Estate Organization

Two Maine Real Estate & Development Association Board Members Set to Retire after 16 Years of Service

Peter Merrill, Deputy Director of MaineHousing will retire from the Maine Real Estate & Development Association’s (MEREDA’s) Board of Directors at the end of the month after 16 years of service.  MEREDA recognized Peter in 2018 with its Robert B. Patterson, Jr. Founders’ Award, which honors members of MEREDA who have distinguished themselves by making significant contributions to the real estate industry and/or to MEREDA over many years. In addition to serving on the board, Peter has served on MEREDA’s public policy committee for more than a decade, where his tremendous insight into of the workings of the legislature has provided MEREDA with invaluable counsel in its legislative endeavors.

Dana Totman, President and CEO of Avesta Housing also served as a contributing member of MEREDA’s Board of Directors for the past 16 years, and will also retire at the end of June. Dana served on MEREDA’s Executive Committee as a Vice President from 2007 – 2010 and was also recognized with MEREDA’s Robert B. Patterson, Jr. Founders’ Award in 2013 for his contributions to the real estate industry and to MEREDA.  Dana’s immense knowledge and expertise in real estate has significantly benefited MEREDA and its mission.

“It has been a pleasure working with Peter and Dana for the last 16 years.  We are grateful to both for their dedication and service,” stated Shelly R. Clark, MEREDA Vice President of Operations, “The organization would not be the strong voice in our industry that it is today without the efforts of these two individuals.”

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

May 31, 2019 at 9:33 am · · Comments Off on MEREDA’s 7th Annual “Strikes for Scholars” Bowl-a-Thon Fundraiser on May 23rd Raises Funds for Scholarships for 16 Maine Students

MEREDA’s 7th Annual “Strikes for Scholars” Bowl-a-Thon Fundraiser on May 23rd Raises Funds for Scholarships for 16 Maine Students

Again this year, MEREDA is excited to be able to provide $20,000 in scholarships to students pursuing studies in building trades, architecture, construction, engineering or a business program at a Maine Community College (MCCS), or the College of Science, Technology & Health at the University of Southern Maine.  MEREDA began its scholarship program for students in the building trades and professions 7 years ago and has continued to grow and support the program.

“MEREDA is a strong supporter of trades and professions associated with real estate and the real estate development industry in Maine, and recognizes how important these professions, that provide good jobs and careers, have been to our state, the economy and the real estate industry.   The building trades and professions provide high paying lifelong opportunities for our residents,” said Gary Vogel of Drummond Woodsum and MEREDA president. “An educated workforce is vital to support economic development. We are pleased to help these deserving students achieve their goals and our members look forward to the contributions they will make to our industry, our state and our economy.”

Since the fundraiser’s inception, MEREDA is proud to have raised and donated over $107,000 in scholar­ships helping 78 Maine students by making it a little easier for them to achieve their goal of obtaining a college credential.

Many thanks to our generous sponsors AAA Energy Service Co., Zachau Construction, Verrill Dana, 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 more photos from the event on our Facebook page!

May 29, 2019 at 3:45 pm · · Comments Off on Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) Announces Josh Fifield as Vice President

Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) Announces Josh Fifield as Vice President

The Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) is pleased to announce that Portland resident, Josh Fifield, a Senior Account Executive in the Business Insurance Department of Clark Insurance has been elected vice president.

Josh has been participating on the MEREDA Board since May 2017 and currently co-chairs its Membership & Marketing Committee, in which he has been involved since 2014.

In 2017, Josh was recognized as one of two Volunteers of the Year.  An involved community member, he is also a board member for Portland Little League and Vice Chair for Town & Country Federal Credit Union.

At Clark Insurance, a 100% Employee Owned Insurance Agency headquartered in Portland, Maine, Josh is responsible for the continued and successful growth of Clark Insurance by providing its customers with comprehensive business insurance and services. His focus is on the unique needs of Maine’s property developers and business owners. With over 115 employees, Clark Insurance offers a variety of services including Personal Insurance, Business Insurance, Employee Benefits, safety & risk consulting, and exceptional customer service.  Josh has over 15-years of experience in the insurance industry and started as an Underwriter with MEMIC.

“We are excited to have Josh participate in this new leadership role as Vice President”, says Shelly R. Clark, Vice President of Operations for MEREDA.   “His dedication, commitment, and passion for MEREDA’s mission is simply undeniable.”

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

May 20, 2019 at 1:23 pm · · Comments Off on MEREDA Welcomes Heather Johnson, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development

MEREDA Welcomes Heather Johnson, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development

The Department of Economic & Community Development’s broad mission is to help communities and businesses prosper through a variety of programs providing everything from targeted tax relief to community block grants to tourism marketing. DECD and its partners show companies how to benefit from millions of dollars in tax credits, reimbursements, R & D credits, capital loans, even direct investment.

Join us on June 19th at the Holiday Inn By the Bay to hear about the Commissioner’s first few months in office, and learn about what she sees as opportunities and threats for Maine’s economy, and what may come out of the legislative session to advance the economy.  We’ll also learn what Maine is doing to be competitive and what programs DECD uses to assist development together with specific success stories.

Following her formal remarks, Commissioner Johnson will welcome questions from the audience.

About the Event:

June 19, 2019 – 7:30 – 9:00 AM

Holiday Inn by the Bay
88 Spring Street
Portland, ME

Breakfast: 7:30 – 8:00 AM
Program: 8:00 – 9:00 AM

Our Presenter:

Heather Johnson grew up in Skowhegan and graduated from the University of Maine. She began her career by building a diverse background in the private technology sector including sales, operations and general management roles at Nokia, Gateway and Toshiba. With continually expanding roles she created startup operations inside large companies, developed new products for new markets, and ran a $1.2 billion retail business.

After leaving the private sector, Heather had the opportunity to concentrate on rural economic development at Somerset Economic Development Corporation. During her time as the Executive Director she focused on key economic drivers such as; connectivity, workforce participation, and potential growth markets.

While serving as the Director of ConnectME Heather was responsible for managing a small grant program, mapping key assets, working with communities and businesses to help them identify needs and opportunities to utilize connectivity to enable their goals. Heather was able to able to make changes that positions the ConnectME to move forward into the connectivity space.

As Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development Heather continues to dedicate her career to fostering economic development, both in private companies and in rural communities across Maine.

Registering for this Event: Click Here to Register Now

Your RSVP is requested by June 12, 2019. 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 12, 2019.

Ticket Prices:

Members: $45 each | Non-Members: $55 ea
Prices increase by $10 after June 12, 2019

This MEREDA Morning Menu Breakfast Event is Sponsored by Norway Savings Bank.

 

May 15, 2019 at 10:15 am · · Comments Off on MEREDA Brings Together Industry Leaders to Collaborate and Innovate on Housing

MEREDA Brings Together Industry Leaders to Collaborate and Innovate on Housing

On Tuesday, May 7, some 300 members of Maine’s real estate industry gathered in Portland for the Maine Real Estate & Development Association’s (MEREDA’s) 2019 Spring Conference on the future of housing in Maine.  With housing at a critical juncture in Maine, MEREDA and its members are committed to finding ways to respond to existing challenges and support responsible development for the future.

“MEREDA and its members want to be part of the solution, which is why we put this important conference together,” says Gary Vogel, MEREDA President. Vogel gave introductory remarks at the conference which brought together industry leaders to collaborate and innovate on finding solutions for the housing challenges Maine faces.

The conference included a keynote presentation by Dr. Lynn Fisher of the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. Dr. Fisher provided both national and state economic data, painting a bigger picture of the housing situation.  Reflecting on the nearly 10-year economic recovery in our country, Fisher says, “Economic expansion does not die of old age,” but noted it is important to recognize that this is a mature cycle.  Fisher’s presentation included a discussion of finding ways to produce more housing at a lower price point and seeking out inventive policies to address the myriad of issues inherent to housing in Maine.

Martin Ditto of Ditto Residential in Washington, D.C. also provided a keynote and spoke about his mission to build cohousing communities as one possible solution to the housing crisis.  He urged real estate developers to think beyond merely building houses, but to help create communities where people can connect with one another.

The event also included a panel discussion with local experts Dan Brennan of MaineHousing, Matt O’Malia of GO Logic, and Hannah Pingree the Director of the Governor’s Office of Policy and Management, as well as questions from the audience.  Dan Brennan laid out the needs of Maine: “Maine needs 20,000 more affordable homes in the state.  Our most recent production has been around 300 units per year.  Our goal is to get to 1000.” On building affordable housing he continued, “We know how to do it, we’re just not doing enough of it.”

Looking to the future, Matt O’Malia and Hannah Pingree spoke on the need for more efficient homes.  O’Malia, an architect by training, has developed a sustainable insulation product made from wood fiber which will be produced in Maine and provide jobs for Mainers.  Making homes more efficient and better insulated is a goal of Governor Mills’ administration, and Pingree spoke about the challenge of keeping people in their homes and able to afford to heat them.

With the advent of tiny homes and 3-D printed homes, the panel acknowledged the need for more innovative approaches to housing. Whether or not people will want these types of homes remains a question, but thinking outside the box on how to produce affordable housing needs to be part of the conversation.  As Fisher pointed out earlier in the conference, innovation also needs to be applied to the policy side of things.  Having a few brave mayors and town councils try out different zoning policies could have a big impact on how communities can answer the need for housing.

At the end of the day, the conference showed that there are no easy answers to the housing problem in Maine, but getting the right people together in the room to discuss ideas and solutions is where we need to start. “We look forward to continuing this conversation with developers, governmental officials, lenders, brokers and homebuyers to work on turning the ideas from the conference into practice and working on additional solutions to the housing issues faced by Mainers,” said Vogel.

May 8, 2019 at 2:39 pm · · Comments Off on Maine Real Estate & Development Association Awards Top 6 Notable Projects of 2018

Maine Real Estate & Development Association Awards Top 6 Notable Projects of 2018

Projects from Portland to Boothbay Harbor to Augusta received special recognition at MEREDA’s 2019 annual Spring Conference in Portland on May 7th.

The exemplary projects from across the state, completed in 2018, not only embody MEREDA’s belief in responsible real estate development, but also exemplify best practices in the industry, contributing to Maine’s economic growth by significant investment of resources and job creation statewide.

Each of the six projects was selected in part based upon criteria including: noteworthy and significant project completed* in 2018 (*Building Occupancy Permit must be issued by 12 31 18.), environmental sustainability, economic impact, energy efficiency, social impact, uniqueness, difficulty of development and job creation.

The recipients of MEREDA’s Top 6 Most Notable Projects of 2018 include:

  • Westbrook Housing, Westbrook Development Corporation, and Anew Development’s Riverview Terrace in Westbrook
  • Dirigo Capital Advisors’ Ballard Center in Augusta
  • Paul G. Coulombe’s Boothbay Harbor Country Club in Boothbay Harbor
  • Colby College’s Bill & Joan Alfond Main Street Commons in Waterville
  • Developers Collaborative & Sea Coast Management’s The Motherhouse in Portland
  • Bateman Partners’ Topsham Care Center in Topsham

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information on these impressive projects, please click here.

May 8, 2019 at 10:26 am · · Comments Off on Challenges and Opportunities: The MEREDA Index Tells the Story of Maine’s Real Estate Markets

Challenges and Opportunities: The MEREDA Index Tells the Story of Maine’s Real Estate Markets

Industry leaders gathered in Portland on May 7 to attend the Maine Real Estate & Development Association’s (MEREDA’s) Annual Spring Conference to discuss solutions and challenges in the future of housing in Maine.   As part of the Conference, MEREDA released its 13th edition of the MEREDA Index, a key economic indicator for the state of Maine. With increased construction costs impacting projects statewide, there are many questions as to how the real estate market will be affected.  While the Index showed a slight 2% ebb primarily because of declines in the commercial market, Index commentators see vibrant, active markets with plenty of opportunities in the future.

“I’ve always found the MEREDA Index to be an extremely valuable tool,” says Tim Soley of East Brown Cow Management, Inc.  “Not only is it a great source for measuring changes in our industry over time, but it is also a wellspring of information from industry leaders sharing their insights,” continues Soley.

Regarding rising construction prices, Richard Brescia of Cianbro says, “Considering that budgets for today’s construction projects may have been developed a year or two years ago, the costs increases are sobering for owners.  Looking ahead, Cianbro believes contractors can mitigate this by employing creative solutions such as lean construction principles and a collaborative construction management (CM) delivery approach.”

The MEREDA Index was tabulated by economist Dr. Charles Colgan and is a measure of real estate activity designed to track changes in Maine’s real estate markets.  The Index is a composite of nine seasonally adjusted measures reflecting both new development and transactions involving existing properties and it covers both the commercial and residential markets statewide.  This most recent release covers the last quarter of 2018 through the first quarter of 2019 and includes commentary from Tim Soley of East Brown Cow Management, Inc.; Joseph Porta, SIOR of Porta & Co. Commercial Real Estate; Elise Kiely, Esq. of Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty, and Richard Brescia of Cianbro.

This edition of the MEREDA Index is supported by Cianbro, Porta & Co. Commercial Real Estate, SMRT Architects | Engineers, and XPress Copy

Click here to download the report.  For more information and a video on the MEREDA Index, please click here.