TechPlace an Exciting Project for the State and Region

By Ben Sturtevant, Communications Coordinator, Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority (MRRA)

In January, the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority (MRRA) opened TechPlace, Brunswick Landing’s Technology Accelerator. TechPlace supports the business development needs of early-stage companies and startups in a shared and collaborative work environment. It will give entrepreneurs a place to network with others, research and develop ideas, build prototypes, test products, assemble, grow, and become successful manufacturing and technology companies.

TechPlace is located at 74 Orion Street in the newly renovated 93,000 SF former Navy aviation maintenance department. Here, aircraft components from the P3 Orions were repaired in dozens of individual workshops and testing facilities. The building is being converted into shared industrial “maker spaces” and offices. It includes…

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Maine’s Growing Food Economy & Its Impact on Real Estate – MEREDA’s Annual Spring Conference is May 12!

MerEATa The Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) will Host its Annual Real Estate Spring Conference on May 12 in Portland.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015
7:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Holiday Inn By the Bay
88 Spring Street, Portland

Food and real estate are inextricably connected in many more ways than just seed and soil, and the Maine Real Estate and Development Association’s 2015 Spring Conference will feature leaders in food/beverage industries. Coffee, beer, organic produce, sea and freshwater products and an exploding foodie culture here and outside of Maine mean there is growing need for production facilities, enhanced supply chains, specialty storage and many other real property infrastructure assets, old and new. Maine’s organic and specialty foods industry is growing and a supply line of food products leads from Maine to the rest of the world, while a steady supply of customers come here to eat and drink, and underneath it all is real estate.

Attendees at MEREDA’s Spring Conference will learn what’s new, what’s old and now new again, what opportunities exist and what challenges and hurdles that stand in the way of making Maine even more of a food and beverage resource and thus create more development and redevelopment opportunities.

MEREDA’s panel of experts will dig into the growing opportunities that exist for Maine and its closely related industries of food and real estate. And as always risks and rewards follow opportunity, so please accept this invitation to MEREDA’s Spring Conference and come harvest some knowledge and plant some seeds of your own with your colleagues and friends.

Panelists Include:
• Moderator, Betsy Biemann, Maine Food Cluster Project, Harvard Kennedy School
• John Piotti, Executive Director, Maine Farmland Trust
• Jen Faigel, Interim Executive Director, Crop Circle Kitchen
• Chris Hallweaver, General Manager, Northern Girl
• Dan Kleban, Founder, Maine Beer Company
• Sam Hayward, Chef/Partner, Fore Street
• Mary Allen Lindemann, Owner, Coffee by Design
• Erik Hayward, Vice President, Libra Foundation

MEREDA will also recognize the Top Notable Projects for 2014 and will unveil the newest “MEREDA Index” number. This metric measures the pulse of the state’s commercial real estate industry, including sale and lease activity, construction starts and other data, aggregated into one figure as an indicator of this important sector of Maine’s economy.

For more information about the Agenda & Scheduled Speakers and to register, visit www.mereda.org.

Application has been made for 3.00 Broker, Legal, Appraiser, and Architect Continuing Education Credits. Approvals are Pending.

Many thanks to our sponsors for their generous support:  NBT Bank, Blais Civil Engineers, Pierce Atwood, Consigli Construction, AAA Energy Service, Co., Verrill Dana, Commercial Properties, PDT Architects, and Mainebiz

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Real Estate Tip: Buyers’ Blues

Rick Smith, Bernstein Shur’s Real Estate Practice Group and Green Building Team

Buyer beware is an old warning. A recent title insurance case reminds us just how wary a buyer must be, even in 2015. In the case of IQ Holdings, Inc. v. Stewart Title Guaranty Co.,  2014 WL 6601148, the buyer thought it could rely either on an escrow agent’s responsibilities, on the title insurance company insuring the closing, or on the title insurance policy itself. The buyer was wrong on all counts.

As is the case in most closings involving a condominium unit, the title insurance policy took an exception for matters that are set forth in the condominium declaration. Reading the declaration and other documents to which it refers is a very …

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Are you ready for IPD?

By Ellen L. Belknap, AIA, President, SMRT Architects & Engineers and Matthew Tonello, P.E. Area Manager, Consigli Construction Co., Inc.

Successful design and construction projects require multiple parties with specialized expertise to work effectively together for the duration of the project. Often, within the constraints of today’s traditional construction delivery methods, parties are not able to come together early enough in the process to realize the benefits of integrated design and construction. When contractors and subcontractors are at the table with the owner and the architect/engineer for all phases of the project, the ability for parties to collaborate effectively bringing value to the owner and achieving project success is measurably improved.

Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) removes the barriers traditionally inserted between the parties and binds these parties together from the outset of the project.  The IPD contract establishes…

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Appraising Real Estate in Maine – Important Regulatory Information

By Mark L. Plourde, MAI, Maine Valuation Company

The Maine Board of Real Estate Appraisers (MBREA) was established to protect the public through examination and licensure of persons who wish to conduct real estate appraisals for a fee in the State of Maine as mandated by the federal Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989. The primary responsibilities of the Board are to identify qualified applicants for licensure, to issue licenses and renewals to applicants who have met licensure requirements and to promulgate rules as necessary to ensure protection of the public to enforce the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). Annual license fees are currently $380 and also require 14 hours of approved continuing education per year. The following briefly outlines appraiser license types, scope of practice, and requirements for obtaining a license. 

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Donating Real Estate to Charity

Daniel Burke, Attorney, Rudman Winchell

Donating real estate to a charitable organization can benefit both the charity and the donor.  The tax laws provide several methods for donation of real estate, both during a donor’s life  or through bequests under a donor’s will, or other gifts taking effect at death.

The simplest method is the outright transfer of property during the donor’s life, by a deed conveying the donor’s entire interest in a property to a qualifying charitable organization.  Another method, known as a bargain sale, is the sale of property to the charity for less than fair market value.

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MEREDA’s “Morning Menu” Breakfast Event – The Historic Tax Credit Effect: How these Credits Have Transformed the Feasibility of Historic Rehabilitation

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The percentage of historic buildings in Maine is one of the highest in the country, with these buildings comprising a significant proportion of the state’s real estate portfolio. For years many communities and building owners were faced with trying to repurpose vacant mill buildings, abandoned schools, and other historic buildings whose original purposes were obsolete and adaptive uses not feasible. The passage of the Maine Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit in 2008 has provided a new tool to recalibrate pro formas for income-producing projects. The 25% state credit is also paired with an additional  20% federal historic credit. Since 2008, 62 privately developed historic rehabilitation projects using these credits and investing more than a third-of-a billion dollars have been completed or are under construction in Maine.

What buildings are eligible for these tax credits? What are the rehabilitation requirements? Which buildings have used the credits and for what purposes? How is the financing for various projects structured? What are the requirements and limitations?  This program will outline the key elements  of the credit, provide examples of how it has been used and how projects have been financed, discuss the tax consequences for the users and reveal the results of the just-completed economic impact report from Planning Decisions and Maine Preservation.

Join MEREDA for breakfast on April 14, 2015 from 7:30 – 9:00 AM at  DaVinci’s Eatery in the Bates Mill Complex in Lewiston to learn how Maine’s Historic Tax Credit has transformed Historic Rehabilitation in the State.

Buffet Breakfast: 7:30 - 8:00 AM  |  Program: 8:00- 9:00 AM

For more information and to register, visit www.mereda.org.

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Green Building Systems – What is out there

By Asha Echeverria, Shareholder, Bernstein Shur

With continued national concern regarding energy costs and environmental efficiency, green building systems allow owners and the public to increase, assess, and understand the environmental and energy efficiency of a project. Green building systems offer both cost savings to owners and benefits to occupants, including reduced operating costs, increased property value, reduced construction waste and greenhouse gas emissions, reduced energy and water consumption, healthier air quality, and possibly tax and financing incentives. Several systems exist, and examples of these systems can be seen in projects around Maine.

  • LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) was developed in 1998 and is administered by the U.S. Green Building Council. It is the most widely used and known rating system for commercial buildings. LEED provides standards, and assesses points, for environmentally sustainable building construction and operations in several broad categories, including sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and air quality. LEED certification is available at four levels: certified, silver, gold and platinum. LEED’s market success has resulted in several municipalities, institutions, such as colleges and hospitals, and the federal General Services Administration requiring LEED certification for new building construction. Example projects: New Portland Jetport Terminal (Gold), Elm Terrace in Portland (Platinum) and Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens’ Bosarge Family Education Center in Boothbay (Platinum).
  • Green Globes™ US is a web-based interactive self-assessment protocol offered by the Green Building Institute (GBI) for commercial buildings. The U.S. program was adapted from the Green Globes Canada rating system in 2004. For certification and receipt of a rating of one to four Green Globes, GBI requires third-party verification by a GBI-approved trained professional. The Green Globes protocol focuses on life cycle assessment and provides immediate feedback of a project’s sustainability strengths and weaknesses. Though the protocol evaluates projects in several areas, the primary emphasis is on energy efficiency, which accounts for over one-third of the possible points in the system. Green Globes is not as widely used as LEED, in Maine and throughout the country, but it is less expensive than LEED, making it a viable alternative for smaller projects. Example projects: Several Buildings on the VA Maine Healthcare System Togus Campus in Augusta, including the Primary Care Building 205 and the Theater Building 210.
  • ENERGY STAR is a free program developed for existing buildings by the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. Unlike other systems, the ENERGY STAR program focusses exclusively on energy performance. The system compares a particular building’s energy performance with that of similar buildings. Using at least one year of utility information, the ENERGY STAR system models a building’s energy consumption based on building size and type, occupancy, and location. With one hundred points possible, projects with 75 points or more can apply to receive the ENERGY STAR label. Projects can continue to utilize the system to monitor utility consumption and performance during the life of the building. ENERGY STAR example projects: Brookside Village (32 units in certification process) in Farmington, ME and four, soon to be eight, Habitat for Humanity homes in Freeport.
  • Living Building Challenge was launched in 2006 by the International Living Future Institute. The challenge determines rankings based upon achievement in seven “petals”: site, water, energy, health, materials, equity and beauty. Within each petal, various criteria must be met. After one year of operation and use, a project can be certified as “living” if it proves it meets all program requirements. A project can also receive Petal Recognition, or partial program certification, if it achieves all of the requirements of three petals or more, one of which must be either the water, energy or, materials petal. In relation to the challenge, the institute also publishes a Materials Red List, identifying, and hoping to eliminate from building construction the worst chemicals and materials from a human and ecological health standpoint.
  • Other green building systems, such as Net Zero and Passive House, are also active in Maine. Net Zero buildings minimize energy use through high-energy efficiency and then offset any remaining energy needs through on-site renewable energy production, usually photovoltaic solar cells. The goal for a New Zero building is that over the course of its lifetime, it will produce as much energy as it consumes. Net Zero example projects: BrightBuilt Barn in Rockport, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens’ Bosarge Family Education Center in Boothbay, and Viridescent House in Falmouth (Net Positive). Passive building utilizes design of airtight envelopes, superinsulation and high performance windows and doors, resulting in buildings with exceptionally low energy use, even for heating and cooling. Passive House example projects: Go Home Passive House in Belfast and Viridescent House in Falmouth.
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Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) Announces Additions to its Board of Directors

 

NewBoardMemsMarch2015

Tanya Emery, Mike Galeucia, Rick Harnum

Tanya Emery of Hampden, Mike Galeucia of Scarborough, and Rick Harnum of Hampden have 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.

Tanya Emery is the Director of Community and Economic Development for the City of Bangor. In this role, Tanya oversees the Economic Development, Community Development, Code Enforcement, and Planning divisions of the City. In this role, Tanya is responsible for many of the development projects that make Bangor a great place to live, work, and play.

Tanya attended Trinity College in Hartford, CT, earning a Bachelor’s in Political Science with honors. Prior to joining the Bangor team, Tanya was Deputy Director of Economic Development for the City of Brewer for five years. Tanya also serves on the board of the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce.

Mike Galeucia leads Macpage LLC Consulting Services, which include Financial Strategies and Services, Information Assurance Services, and assisting clients with value creation and preservation. He responds to business needs and advises on a range of issues based on over 23 years of experience managing the complexities of family-owned businesses, corporate strategy, operational efficiency, business process analysis, exit and
succession planning and organizational development.

Mike earned a BS in Management from Bentley College and a Master of Business Administration degree from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College. He is a former board member and active supporter of the Ronald McDonald House of Portland, Maine.

Rick Harnum is Vice President of Real Estate for the Webber Group in Bangor, Maine. He is responsible for leasing, managing, and development of assets in the real estate division.  Rick began working at Webber in 2012 after running his own real estate investments specializing in residential housing for six years.

Rick graduated from the University of Denver with a major in Business Management and 3 minors in marketing, finance, and real estate. Rick is also a member of Webber’s Board of Directors.

“Both Tanya and Rick add to the geographic diversity of the board which aids in our efforts to promote responsible development statewide, and both they, and Mike, bring a wealth of knowledge and welcome expertise to the Board”, says Shelly R. Clark, MEREDA’s Vice President of Operations.  “We are excited to work with all of them.”

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

About MEREDA (www.mereda.org)   Founded in 1985, MEREDA is an organization of commercial real estate owners, developers and related service providers, whose mission is to promote an environment for responsible development and ownership of real estate throughout the State of Maine.

 

 

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Market Conditions Are Driving Company Value Up

By John Hammett, Managing Director, Minneapolis Office, Corporate Finance Associates

Private company owners nearly always focus on the inside attributes of their companies when they think about selling. Do I have a management team that will add value in a sale? Are my margins good? Do I have a problem with customer concentration? How good is my intellectual property? How much growth can I project in the next five years? How good are my control and reporting systems? Are my sales people driving revenue?

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