MEREDA’s Annual Real Estate Forecast Conference and Member Showcase is January 22!

Be Sure to Register Early for this Must-Attend Event!

Sponsored by TD Bank, our Forecast Conference brings together the largest gathering of commercial real estate professionals in Maine. This event attracts over 600 guests and offers a unique forum specifically geared toward developers, brokers, architects, bankers, attorneys, accountants, and other commercial real estate professionals looking to gain valuable insights on the state of the economy and what lies ahead in the coming year for the industry.

This event is well-known as an annual “must attend” for anyone involved in, or touched by, the real estate industry. You should attend if:

· You want to network with Maine’s top industry professionals.

· You could benefit from a sneak peek into Maine’s real estate industry – and would like to learn about key trends and transactions in regions and market segments (i.e. Southern Maine vs. Bangor region etc., and multi-family vs. retail transactions, etc.)

· You desire a front row seat for forecasts from leading insiders about industry trends and the economic recovery.

· You are in need of continuing education credits.

· You believe that Maine’s real estate sector is an important economic driver and want to support the future of the industry.

MEREDA has assembled some of Maine’s top real estate leaders to provide an economic overview and outlook on the profession’s key economic indicators, along with the popular market overview by property type, focusing on both commercial and residential real estate forecasts.

We look forward to welcoming Maine Governor, Paul LePage, who will provide our Welcome Address, as well as highly experienced U.S. economic researcher and forecaster, Michael Dolega, Senior Economist at TD Economics, which supports all of the divisions of TD Bank Group, who will provide his outlook on Maine’s economy.

Supplementing the conference is our popular Member Showcase which provides an excellent opportunity for members to network and market their products and services.

This course has been approved for 4.00 hours of BROKER, LEGAL, APPRAISER, & ARCHITECT Continuing Education Credits.

To register, or for more information, click here.

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AARP Maine’s Age-Friendly Community Program Seeks to Keep Maine Seniors Home

by Peter Morelli, AARP Maine

Maine has an opportunity to take bold action to help address the major challenges of Maine’s rapidly aging population and struggling economy, House Speaker Mark Eves told a recent MEREDA breakfast.  Eves detailed the bipartisan “KeepME Home” plan which calls for a $65 million investment bond for the construction of affordable and efficient housing for Maine seniors in all 16 counties in the state.

“We are at the epicenter of the changing demographics in this country,” Eves said. Maine has the oldest population in the country, with a median age of 44 years, added Peter Morelli, who leads AARP Maine’s Age Friendly Community program. AARP Maine has joined a coalition of businesses, housing developers and senior advocates to urge lawmakers and the governor to support the KeepME Home bond.

“The housing bond will be critical to help seniors remain in their communities,” Eves said. The bond will would create more than 1000 energy efficient homes and 2,000 jobs across the state in each and every county. Maine’s housing stock is among the oldest in the country, and it is poorly matched with current needs because it is too unaffordable, too inaccessible, too inefficient and too remote from the services and resources seniors need to thrive in their communities, Eves said.

Morelli described the Age Friendly Community Network approach which AARP Maine is rolling out in cooperation with towns, cities and community groups. The approach supports the development and implementation of strategic action plans for communities which want to address Maine’s aging demographic. Morelli also discussed the economic value of cities and towns starting to plan now. Representing more than 50 percent of Maine’s economy, Baby Boomers have a lot to offer Maine and the state could do more to engage this group.

The age friendly community program is organized around eight aspects of community life relevant to 50+ Mainers. Three involve the built environment: outdoor spaces and buildings, transportation, and housing. And five focus on the social environment: social participation, respect and social inclusion, civic participation and employment, communication and information, and community support and health.

Eves said that most seniors want to live independently as long as possible, but that thousands of Maine seniors are currently on waitlists for affordable housing.  As the backlog grows for affordable housing, more and more seniors living on a fixed income are faced with tough choices. Mainers who have worked their whole deserve a secure a retirement in the place where they raised a generation. Yet many have trouble keeping up with rising property taxes, the cost of heating oil and maintaining their homes.

Eves said that the housing bond will be a key to job creation in the construction industry. The over 2000 jobs are diverse, he said, with 776 construction  jobs, 368 jobs for the people who provide supplies and services to the industry, and 1,144 jobs created when construction and supplier workers spend their earnings across all sectors of the economy.

MEREDA supports the KeepME Home initiative and encourages its members to do the same.  Nearly 80 companies and organizations across the state have already signed on.  If you are interested in supporting this initiative, or would like to learn more, please contact Greg Payne at the Maine Affordable Housing Coalition at

The KeepME Home bond will address our economic and aging challenges head on within the construction of housing units for seniors addressing a critical need, while also strengthening the economy, Eves said. He said that getting the program through the Legislature “will be a heavy lift” and thanks MEREDA for supporting the program.

Morelli invited people or communities which want to learn more about the AARP Maine age friendly community program to contact him at or review

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Real Estate Professionals – Planning Around the Passive Activity Loss Rules

By Jason Favreau, Principal, BerryDunn

Under the passive activity loss (PAL) rules, rental activities are generally considered passive activities with few exceptions. Consequently, many taxpayers find that the PAL rules broadly restrict the deduction of tax losses generated from their rental real estate activities. One exception to the passive treatment of a rental real estate activity occurs when the activity is operated by a taxpayer who qualifies as a “Real Estate Professional.”

In order for a taxpayer to qualify as a Real Estate Professional (REP) there are two basic requirements that must be met annually.

Read more >>>

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Environmental Issues in Business Transactions – Problems and Practical Problem Solving

Ken Gray, Partner, Pierce Atwood LLP

You’re thinking of buying a property and are advised to do some environmental due diligence.  Why is environmental due diligence important?  Simple:  you can save money and multiple headaches later, preserve the value of the property, and limit your liability under federal and state cleanup programs.  Below is a quick look at some of the recent environmental issues involved in real estate transactions, and some of the practical solutions.

Phase I

The first step of environmental due diligence is often having a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment conducted.  Here are some typical Phase I problems:


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Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) Announces Membership & Marketing Committee Chair

The Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) is pleased to announce that Jason Favreau of Westbrook will chair MEREDA’s Membership & Marketing Committee.

Jason Favreau 2013 webJason Favreau, CPA MST, is a Principal in the Tax Services Group at BerryDunn and specializes in providing consulting and compliance services to clients in a variety of industries including real estate development, hospitality, and long-term care.  He has extensive experience providing proactive advice regarding complex closely-held business tax matters in order to determine the best tax strategies and structure to optimize tax benefits.  Jason earned a Master of Science in Taxation degree from Bentley University and was the recipient of the Professor E. William Dandes award.

MEREDA’s Vice President of Operations, Shelly R. Clark says, “Jason has always been an active and enthusiastic member of the organization.  We are excited to work more closely with him and welcome his contributions now as chair of this committee”.  Jason replaces Michael O’Reilly of Bangor Savings Bank who is now serving a two-year term as MEREDA’s president.

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

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Opinions of Value – and why they differ

By Mark L. Plourde, MAI, Maine Valuation Company

So you ask a simple question “What’s my property worth?”.  Depending on whom you ask, the answer may be given quite quickly, but also may vary quite widely!  Why is there such a difference?

Perhaps it wasn’t clear just “what” the property actually consists of.  For instance –where is it located?  How much land is included? What is the zoning, and are there any deeded easements and/or use restrictions? How big and how old is the building?  Are there any tenants with leases in place?  What is the condition of the property? And so on and so forth…what becomes readily apparent is that one simple question of “what’s it worth” actually involves a number of questions that require answers before the opinion given should be considered credible. Appraiser’s apply due diligence, data, and analyses in forming an opinion of value.

Read more >>>

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How a lease agreement can make or break your business

Justin Lamontagne, Broker, NAI | The Dunham Group

I was recently listening to a podcast interview with a blogger who specializes in social media. She stressed the importance of sometimes writing for a mass audience as opposed your professional inner-circle. It inspired me to write this column on a topic most people who work within my industry understand. But among the public, including many landlords and tenants, it remains the single most confusing topic in commercial real estate: triple net and modified gross leases and how they differ.

First, it’s important to understand and recognize that a lease is a legally binding document.

Read more >>>

Article originally published in Mainebiz on October 29, 2012.

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Maine Supreme Court Upholds Conditional Rezoning: What it means for Real Estate

Mary Costigan, Bernstein Shur, Municipal and Regulatory Practice Group

The Maine Supreme Court issued a decision last week that upheld the conditional rezoning of Williston-West Church in Portland. In Charles Remmel, et al. v. City of Portland, et al., the Court upheld the conditional rezoning of the large, historically significant church located in a residential zone. The church was purchased by a business owner, represented by Bernstein Shur, who intended to use the property as a residence for his family and office space for his business.

Read more >>>

Article originally published on October 20, 2014.

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Pitfalls at the Intersection of Income & Estate Tax: Planning for Real Estate

Baker Newman Noyes Tax Principal Jean McDevitt recently joined MEREDA members for breakfast to present factors that must be taken into consideration for real estate owners when it comes to both income tax planning and estate tax planning.  Read on to learn what these considerations are and how they don’t often go hand in hand.

By Andrew Smith, BNN Tax Principal

No one wants to pay tax, or certainly not any more than they absolutely have to pay!  What many individuals don’t consider is that sometimes it’s better to pay taxes now to save even more taxes later or that what might make sense from an estate tax planning perspective may not make sense with regard to income taxes.

Read more >>>

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MEREDA’s Morning Menu Breakfast Event – “Age-Friendly Communities: Adapting to Maine’s Changing Population”


Maine communities face a formidable challenge: How to meet the needs of their aging residents. As our state grows ever older (and Maine is already the oldest state), the need to make our towns and communities more age-friendly becomes more and more important. AARP national surveys indicate that a vast majority of people want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. Here in Maine, surveys show that nine out of ten residents 50 and older want to stay in their own homes and local communities as long as possible. The question is how our towns and cities can work together to help residents remain engaged, active, healthy and safe as possible.

The AARP’s Age-Friendly Community initiative envisions an inclusive and accessible urban or suburban environment that encourages active and healthy aging. Join MEREDA on December 11 at the Portland Regency Hotel as Lori Parham, AARP Maine state director, and Peter Morelli, AARP Maine Age Friendly Community manager, discuss Maine’s changing demographics and the age friendly community approach. In addition, Speaker of the House, Mark Eves, will share with us details of his Senior Housing Bond Initiative to address the fundamental mismatch between Maine’s housing supply and Maine’s housing needs.

Registering for this Event:

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 December 5, 2014

Ticket Prices: MEREDA Member: $45 each | Non – Member: $55 each
Register After December 5: Prices increase $10 each

To register and for more information, visit

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

Norway Savings Transparent

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