By Zendelle Bouchard
Keith McBride, Director of the Sanford Regional Economic Growth Council, presented his quarterly report to the City Council at its meeting on November 8, 2023. He said his organization is partnering with the Friends of Downtown for a Small Businesses, Small Plates & Big Conversations event on Nov. 16 at the Veterans Memorial Gym from 6 to 7:30 pm. All local small business owners are invited to learn about grant opportunities and receive help in applying. See our event listing for more details.
With regard to local development, McBride reported that the Upper Nasson Apartments, formerly the Nasson College dorms, is moving ahead with plans for Phase 2, which includes building a new 18-unit building on the site. They will be before the Planning Board next week. The developer, GreenMars, hopes to begin renting the existing renovated buildings in early 2024.
McBride said he and Small Business Advocate Mary Hastings are putting a lot of effort into marketing the City to commercial Realtors in the area. These efforts have netted results, with an increase in calls from business owners who are starting or expanding. A newsletter targeted to commercial real estate professionals is being developed.
Maine is tenth out of 50 states in in-migration, which reflects the number of people moving here from away. Although our state has a high retirement age population, McBride said this in-migration has started to change our demographics and is a positive trend for the future.
With regard to industrial development, the Growth Council is looking at doing some pre-permitted development in the Sanford Industrial Park to make those properties more attractive to industry. He noted there aren’t many lots left, and the Industrial Development Corporation is looking to acquire more land for future development.