Sanford Growth Council Update

James Nimon, Director of the Sanford Growth Council, gave his quarterly report to the City Council at their October 20 meeting. He had updates on several projects.

  • He spoke about the Summer Commons elder care facility (illustrated above) being constructed off June Street, calling it “a world class facility.” Summer Commons and the new Behavioral Units at Sanford Medical Center (formerly Goodall Hospital), are bringing professional-level medical jobs to Sanford, he said, adding, “the work we’re doing here is starting to take hold.”
  • Mr. Nimon reported the empty former Mill 67 restaurant space at the Sanford Mill has been difficult to rent. Feedback from potential tenants indicates the problem is the lack of sufficient parking. The existing parking area is also perceived as confusing and possibly dangerous to access. A recommended solution would be to demolish the vacant former boiler building, and construct new parking, with an upper deck accessible from Pioneer Avenue. An experienced restaurant owner who toured the space indicated they would “take it in a heartbeat” if the parking situation were addressed.
  • The phone survey of Sanford residents to determine interest in high-speed internet service has concluded, but if you weren’t among those called, you can still help by completing the online survey here. The survey is for all city residents, but the Growth Council is especially encouraging participation from parents and small business owners.
  • Mr. Nimon regretfully announced that plans for the 3 Bears Resort, formerly known as York Pines and the Maine Sports Resort & Conference Center, are being abandoned after the owner was unable to secure financing for the project. The pandemic, which has hit the hospitality and tourism industries hard, was the final nail in the coffin. The owner of the property will look into other alternatives for development.
  • He reported that a European manufacturer has expressed interest in the renovated industrial space at One Eagle Drive, but, due to the pandemic, has been unable to travel here to look at it.
  • Jennifer Kenneally gave an update on the Growth Council’s marketing efforts. New videos have been produced and are running on Atlantic Broadband locally, and the CW out of Portland. Print advertising in magazines and consistent social media messaging are also part of their outreach.