Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) to Host Annual Lewiston/Auburn Fall Networking Social

Make plans to join the Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) at its Annual Lewiston/Auburn Fall Networking Social on September 16th from 5:00 – 7:00 PM at the Martindale Country Club in Auburn.

MEREDA’s networking events attract key players in Maine’s real estate industry providing great opportunities to interact with other industry experts. MEREDA’s networking events are not only fun — they are an extremely valuable business development tool.

We hope you’ll join us in Auburn on September 16th at Martindale Country Club for hors d’oeuvres, spirits, and lively conversation with other industry professionals.

Registering for this Event:
Visit www.mereda.org. 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 10, 2014.

Sponsored by:
Hebert Construction
Libby Hill

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MEREDA’s Morning Menu Breakfast Event – “Reversing the Tide” A discussion on the new FEMA flood maps

BreakfastLogoJoin the Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) for breakfast on September 9th from 7:30 – 9:00 AM at the Clarion Hotel, 1230 Congress Street in Portland for a discussion on the FEMA flood insurance rate maps and their impact on property owners in Maine.

Registering for this Event:
Your RSVP is requested by September 4, 2014. 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 4th.

Ticket Prices:
Members: $45.00 per person | Non-Members: $55.00 per person Prices increase by $10 after September 4th.

Visit www.mereda.org for more information and to register.

This MEREDA “Morning Menu” Breakfast Event is Sponsored by Norway Savings Bank and Verrill Dana.

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MEREDA names Michael O’Reilly as new president, announces slate of officers

Mike O'ReillyJune2014PORTLAND, Maine (July 2, 2014) – Michael O’Reilly, senior vice president in the Commercial Banking Group at Bangor Savings Bank, and the southern Maine team lead for the Commercial and Business Banking lenders is the new president of the Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA), a statewide organization of commercial real estate owners, developers and related service providers. Founded in 1985, MEREDA promotes responsible development and ownership of real estate in Maine through legislative advocacy, educational programs and professional networking opportunities.

Mike succeeds Drew Sigfridson, SIOR | Managing Director, Partner at CBRE | The Boulos Company who has led MEREDA for the past two years.

“I am honored to accept the position of MEREDA president and look forward to furthering the organization’s mission of promoting responsible development in Maine,” said Michael O’Reilly, president of MEREDA. “Over the next two years we will continue to facilitate discussions on economic growth and the future of our state”.

“I would like to thank all of the members and officers who have helped make MEREDA so successful,” said Drew Sigfridson, former president of MEREDA. “I am pleased to pass the reigns off to such an accomplished professional as Mike. I wish him all the best as president and am confident he will help take the organization to the next level.”

MEREDA also announced the 2014 / 2015 slate of officers as follows:

- Vice President: Paul Peck, of Drummond & Drummond, LLP
- Treasurer: William Shanahan, of Northern New England Housing Investment Fund
- Assistant Treasurer: James C. Otis, of Otis | Atwell
- Secretary: Jaimie P. Schwartz, of Bernstein Shur
- Assistant Secretary: Shelly R. Clark, of MEREDA

About the Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA)

MEREDA is a nonprofit whose members banded together in 1985 to present the views of the state’s real estate industry to lawmakers in Augusta. Today, MEREDA’s more than 280 member firms are primarily from the commercial real estate industry and employ thousands of Maine citizens and drive a huge percentage of Maine’s economic activity. The organization aims to promote fair and responsible development and ownership of real estate throughout Maine. Additional information about MEREDA is available at www.mereda.org.

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MEREDA Announces Board Changes, Recognizes Retiring Directors

PORTLAND, Maine (June 30, 2014) – The Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) announces recent board changes. Retiring members include Eric Stauffer from Preti Flaherty, Geoff Gattis from Bath Savings Institution and Mark Malone from Malone Commercial Brokers, Inc. Joining the board to fill their seats are Timmi Paulson from Preti Flaherty, Theresa Hodge from Bath Savings Institution and Jennifer Small from Malone Commercial Brokers, Inc.

“MEREDA’s success is largely based on the support and commitment from its volunteers. We are thankful for all of the great contributions that our exiting board members have made to the organization,” said Drew Sigfridson, president of MEREDA. “We are pleased to welcome their successors going into our new fiscal year. We are confident that they will continue to add value to the organization and we look forward to their leadership in serving the real estate community.”

Eric P. Stauffer, of Preti Flaherty, has been an integral part of MEREDA for 28 years, as both a board member and long-time participant on MEREDA’s Legislative Committee, which he co-chaired for a number of years. Stauffer was the recipient of the 2007 MEREDA Volunteer of the Year Award, 1992 MEREDA Public Policy Award and 2002 MEREDA Founder’s Award. Stauffer will be replaced on the board by Timmi Paulson, a real estate attorney, also from Preti Flaherty and a MEREDA member.

Geoff Gattis, of Bath Savings Institution, was an active MEREDA member for the past 18 years. He will be replaced on the board of directors at the end of June by Theresa Hodge, Vice President of Commercial Lending at Bath Savings Institution and MEREDA member.

Additionally, Mark Malone, of Malone Commercial Brokers, Inc. who served on the MEREDA board for eight years will be replaced by Jennifer Small, an associate broker with Malone Commercial Brokers, Inc. and member of MEREDA’s Membership and Marketing Committee since 2010.

OutgoingMembers_06June

Mark Malone, Geoff Gattis, Eric P. Stauffer

 

 

IncomingMembers_06June

Timmi Paulson, Theresa Hodge, Jennifer Small

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


About the Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA)

MEREDA is a nonprofit whose members banded together in 1985 to present the views of the state’s real estate industry to lawmakers in Augusta. Today, MEREDA’s more than 280 member firms are primarily from the commercial real estate industry and employ thousands of Maine citizens and drive a huge percentage of Maine’s economic activity.  The organization aims to promote fair and responsible development and ownership of real estate throughout Maine. Additional information about MEREDA is available at www.mereda.org.

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MEREDA Promotes Shelly R. Clark to Vice President of Operations

Clark-Shelly-rect_2014PORTLAND, Maine (June 23, 2014) – The board of directors of the Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) is pleased to announce the promotion of Shelly R. Clark of  Portland to Vice President of Operations.

Clark has been with MEREDA since 1997.  As Vice President of Operations, she is responsible for managing all day-to-day operations, including coordinating educational programs, membership development and retention efforts, as well as marketing and communications. In 2011, Clark was awarded MEREDA’s President’s Award for her service to the organization. In addition to her role as Vice President of Operations, Clark serves on MEREDA’s executive committee as Assistant Secretary.

“Shelly is the glue that holds the organization together. Her energy and passion for our work is unparalleled.” said Drew Sigfridson, president of MEREDA. “This promotion is well deserved and demonstrates Shelly’s value and commitment to our members and to the real estate community. We look forward to her continued success.”

Clark is a graduate of Thomas College and holds a degree in Business Management. She is active in the community and resides with her husband in Portland.

About the Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA)

MEREDA is a nonprofit whose members banded together in 1985 to present the views of the state’s real estate industry to lawmakers in Augusta. Today, MEREDA’s more than 280 member firms are primarily from the commercial real estate industry and employ thousands of Maine citizens and drive a huge percentage of Maine’s economic activity.  The organization aims to promote fair and responsible development and ownership of real estate throughout Maine. Additional information about MEREDA is available at www.mereda.org.

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MEREDA’s Morning Menu Breakfast Event – Romancing the Stone: What the natural gas shale plays could mean to Maine

BreakfastLogo“Romancing the Stone: What the natural gas shale plays could mean for Maine” provides a primer on the natural gas industry, where natural gas has traditionally been sourced in the United States, what the supporting infrastructure is, how natural gas is stored and distributed, and finally, how it is used. Presented by leading energy attorneys from the law firm of Bernstein Shur, you will gain the foundational understanding necessary to navigate this complex industry.

In addition, this presentation will discuss what opportunities exist in the newly developed plays, what growth is expected in the industry, and what these developments mean for surface and subsurface leaseholds and other land rights in the active drilling states.

Join MEREDA for breakfast on June 11, 2014 from 7:30 – 9:00 AM at the newly renovated Westin Portland Harborview Hotel for a primer on the natural gas industry. Learn what opportunities exist in the newly developed plays, and what it means for surface and subsurface leaseholds and other new land rights in the active drilling states.

To register and for more information, visit www.mereda.org.

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Maine’s Real Estate Sector Rose 2.4% Over 2013

Index Logo from BPR The real estate sector, a leading driver of Maine’s economy, rose 2.4% over last year according to the latest data from the Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA). In its semi-annual report on the state of Maine’s real estate industry, the MEREDA Index, increased to 78. The increase in the Index is attributed to the overall increase in the real estate industry—specifically residential home sales, commercial transactions, occupancy rates and new construction jobs. This is the second consecutive increase in the Index since its inception.

“This third release of the MEREDA Index shows signs of an improving real estate economy for the State,” said Drew Sigfridson, President of MEREDA and Managing Director with CBRE | The Boulos Company. “With the health of the economy directly tied to our industry we can be optimistic about the future and that we’ve turned the corner.”

The data shows that the residential components continue to provide the major impetus to growth over the past year with a 7% increase. The commercial market showed a slight decline of 1%, with construction employment up slightly, 0.5%.

The MEREDA Index provides insight into what’s fueling real estate growth, predicts future trends and, most importantly, demonstrates the correlation between Maine’s commercial real estate market and the overall strength of the economy. The biannual MEREDA Index is a composite of nine measures reflecting both new development and transactions involving existing properties and covers both the commercial and residential markets statewide.

Data sources for the Index include: The Maine Association of Realtors, CBRE | The Boulos Company, Maine Department of Labor, Mortgage Bankers Association, and Moody’s Analytics.

For more information about the MEREDA Index and to view the report, click here

About the Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA)
MEREDA is a nonprofit whose members banded together in 1985 to present the views of the state’s real estate industry to lawmakers in Augusta. Today, MEREDA’s more than 280 member firms are primarily from the commercial real estate industry and employ thousands of Maine citizens and drive a huge percentage of Maine’s economic activity. The organization aims to promote fair, responsible development and ownership of real estate throughout Maine. For more about MEREDA, visit www.mereda.org.

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Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) to Host Annual Bangor-Area Summer Networking Social

The Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) returns to Bangor to host its 4th Annual Networking Social Event on June 26, 2014 at the new Cross Insurance Center!

MEREDA’s networking events attract key players in Maine’s real estate industry making this an excellent opportunity to interact with the experts. Make plans to join us on June 26 in Bangor from 5-7 pm for hors d’oeuvres, spirits, and great conversation with other industry professionals.

Generously sponsored by Bangor Savings Bank, City of Brewer, Epstein Commercial Real Estate, Rudman Winchell, WBRC Architects/Engineers, Webber Group.

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

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MEREDA convenes business leaders, government officials to discuss Maine’s ranking as least business friendly state

Over 300 gathered to catapult Maine from last to first on Forbes’ “Best States to Do Business” list 

PORTLAND, Maine (5/20/14) – In a first-ever forum for the state, on May 20 the Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) hosted “50th to 1st: Ingredients of a Successful Economic Development Plan,” a discussion on Maine’s ranking as the worst state in which to do business according to Forbes. Alan Hall, a businessperson and entrepreneur from Utah, a state opposite Maine at the top of Forbes’ rankings, served as keynote and shared what he considers the key pillars of economic development, in hopes of inspiring those in attendance. “Government officials and business leaders need to resolve that they want to move the state forward,” remarked Hall.

MAR_4500Using Utah as a model, Hall’s recipe for success included: Business friendly government; abundant and educated workforce; abundant and inexpensive land, water, energy, transportation and communications; cooperative financial institutions; quality of life; innovation; revenue growth opportunities; and anchor industries. Hall noted, for instance, that Utah’s average age is 26, whereas that same metric is at 43 in Maine.

Drew Sigfridson, president of MEREDA and managing director at CBRE | The Boulos Co. said that, as contradictory as it sounds, he was pleased to welcome such a large crowd to a forum on such a tough topic. “Maine needs an economic development plan if it is going to compete for business nationally and make progress from its last place ranking on Forbes‘ list of best places to do business,” he said.

MAR_4648_2Andrea Cianchette Maker, public policy counsel to MEREDA, facilitated a conversation with six local panelists and attendees on how Maine might be able to catapult to the top of the list. Maker noted that MEREDA would like to be involved in the larger discussion around economic development in Maine, and will work on a model of bringing feedback to Maine’s top elected and appointed officials. Thanks to the robust conversation from the day, it’s likely that MEREDA will have a lot to contribute.

For instance, panelist Petur J. Petersen, station manager of Eimskip Portland, was one of the panelists, and noted that the city of Portland and other public entities were helpful to his firm in establishing their presence in Portland. He suggested that Maine open up more services to utilize the coast and ports improve infrastructure to move goods and services out of the state.

The panel discussion was robust. Peter DelGreco of Maine & Company urged that we need to “take care of our businesses here” and that “we cannot derail what is already working well.”

To that end, John Everets of The Bank of Maine worried aloud, “is Maine at risk of losing companies?”

John Fitzsimmons of the Maine Community College System responded by noting that the “business community needs to support and work more proactively with education.” We need to lay out a “plan for education, economic development” and “we must commit for the long term,” he said.

Kent Peterson of Fluid Imaging Technologies nodded along. We need a plan, he incited, “this needs to go beyond quality of life.”

Josh Benthien of Northland Enterprises noted that affordable energy needs to be part of the mix, and that Maine needs to “pay attention to our clusters to attract anchor businesses.”

Each attendee was invited to ask questions of the panel. The conversation was robust, wide-ranging and passionate. For instance, State Representatives Amy Volk (R-Scarborough) and Anne-Marie Mastraccio (D-Sanford) both emerged from the audience with thoughtful questions, though seemed to disagree with one another as to whether Maine was already undertaking strides in the right direction. Other business and civic leaders from almost all of Maine’s counties engaged with questions as well.

“This is a dialogue that really needed to happen,” remarked one attendee on her way out.

The 300+ business leaders in attendance were then asked to “vote” on what they thought Maine was doing wrong, and right, to improve its economy. The activity was popular, with almost all offering up their ideas. The results of that feedback will be reviewed by Maker and others in the coming weeks as MEREDA shapes its next step vis-à-vis this new economic development direction for the organization.

As an optimistic footnote to the conversation, Sigfridson announced that Maine’s real estate economy has grown 2.4% over the last year, with The MEREDA Index coming in at a healthy 78. The improvement shows steady growth in new construction employment and residential real estate sales. Sigfridson noted that The MEREDA Index indicated the following trends since January, when the last number was released:

  • Overall increase in Maine’s real estate industry
  • Uptick in residential home sales
  • Increased volume of commercial transactions
  • High commercial occupancy rates
  • Additional construction jobs

“Maine’s economy continues to move in the right direction. Historically, the real estate sector has been a leading indicator in terms of overall economic recovery, which isn’t to say there is not work to be done – but folks should be optimistic about the health of Maine’s real estate industry, especially in terms of added construction jobs, which are likely to spur even more growth within the commercial market,” said Sigfridson. 

The MEREDA Index is comprised of three factors: commercial real estate, residential real estate, and construction employment – weighted at 50%, 40%, and 10% respectively. Major gains in The MEREDA Index for this quarter were driven by the residential real estate component, which has grown a remarkable 7% over the last year, counteracting the commercial market, which has continued to struggle to achieve significant acceleration. Construction employment has begun to recover but still slowly, up 0.5% over the past year.

The commercial market portion of The MEREDA Index has strengthened somewhat in terms of transactions (lease and sale) and commercial lease rates. Space (square footage) has also trended up over the past year although the first quarter of 2014 did show a drop in the square footage trend. Just in the last quarter, the commercial portion of the Index grew by 1.2%, led by an increase in transactions and rental rates.

MEREDA’s annual awards for the state’s best commercial development projects were bestowed to six top Maine developments

MEREDA’s annual awards for the state’s best commercial development projects were bestowed to six top Maine developments

Also at the event, MEREDA bestowed its annual awards for real estate projects that embody MEREDA’s belief in responsible development and involved a significant investment of resources and job creation state-wide. Awardees included the Alfond Center for Health by MaineGeneral Medical Center, Cross Insurance Center by the City of Bangor, Mönlycke Health Care by Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, Westin Portland Harborview by Rockbridge, The Sanford Mill Historic Renovation by Northland Enterprises and the Synergy Center by IDEXX Laboratories World Campus. Projects were selected based upon criteria including environmental sustainability, economic impact, energy efficiency, social impact and job creation.

All told, the morning was a great gathering of some of the state’s top minds and movers and shakers. The proof in the pudding will be the continued dialogue around the economic development issues in the state. MEREDA and its many influential members incited the conversation, and are well-positioned to influence it in the future.

About the Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA)
MEREDA is a nonprofit whose members banded together in 1985 to present the views of the state’s real estate industry to lawmakers in Augusta. Today, MEREDA’s more than 280 member firms are primarily from the commercial real estate industry and employ thousands of Maine citizens and drive a huge percentage of Maine’s economic activity. The organization aims to promote fair, responsible development and ownership of real estate throughout Maine. For more about MEREDA, visit www.mereda.org.

About The MEREDA Index
The MEREDA Index is a metric that measures the pulse of the state’s commercial real estate industry, including sale and lease activity, construction starts and other data – for the first time ever, aggregated into one figure as an indicator of this important sector of Maine’s economy. The MEREDA Index is a composite of nine measures reflecting both new development and transactions involving existing properties and covers both the commercial and residential markets statewide.  The MEREDA Index is quarterly beginning in the first quarter of 2006 and is published twice annually in partnership with renowned Maine economist Dr. Charles Colgan, associate director of the Maine Center for Business & Economic Research, and his team at USM’s Muskie Institute.  The most recent report covers the Index through the first quarter of 2014.

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Awards on Tap for Maine’s Best Commercial Development Projects

Augusta, Bangor, Brunswick, Portland, Sanford and Westbrook projects to receive awards from Maine Real Estate & Development Association on May 20th

PORTLAND, Maine (May 13, 2014) – As the new construction season is upon us, The Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) will recognize last year’s most notable commercial development projects at its annual spring conference titled “50th to 1st: Ingredients of a Successful Economic Development Plan” on Tuesday, May 20 in Portland.

All of the projects not only embody MEREDA’s belief in responsible development, but also involved a significant investment of resources and job creation state-wide. Each project was completed in 2013 and all are fully tenanted. Projects were selected based upon criteria including environmental sustainability, economic impact, energy efficiency, social impact and job creation.

“We are repeatedly impressed with the vision and integrity demonstrated by developers across Maine,” said Drew Sigfridson, president of MEREDA. “Though spread across the state, they have all aided Maine’s economic growth and we are looking forward to seeing what projects this year brings.”

MEREDA’s most notable projects of 2013 include:
•Augusta: Alfond Center for Health by MaineGeneral Medical Center
•Bangor: Cross Insurance Center by City of Bangor
•Brunswick: Mölnlycke Health Care by Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority
•Portland: Westin Portland Harborview by Rockbridge
•Sanford: The Sanford Mill Historic Renovation by Northland Enterprises
•Westbrook: Synergy Center by IDEXX Laboratories World Campus

Representatives from each of the above projects will be at the event to receive their award. More information on each of the projects is available by contacting MEREDA.

“The City of Bangor is incredibly proud of our Cross Insurance Center,” said Tanya Emery, director of community and economic development for the City of Bangor. “The economic impact has already been clearly demonstrated and we look forward to announcing even more projects that build on the momentum that we’re seeing in Bangor.”

“The Synergy Center features an environmentally efficient LEED design, connective technology, and a dynamic open work environment that enhances employee collaboration to drive innovation, the foundation of IDEXX’s success for the past 30 years here in Maine,” stated Jonathan Ayers, president and CEO of IDEXX Laboratories.

“Having a quality company like Mölnlycke here [in Brunswick] is a huge benefit to the redevelopment efforts and the region,” explained Steve Levesque, executive director of Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority.

The conference will be held on May 20th at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland. Registration slots are still available, with discounts and free admission offered for many. Visit www.mereda.org for more information, and to register.

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